Despite some major control issues from Haren, he still managed to turn in a quality start with 1 unearned run through 7 inning. Fuentes came back to Angel stadium, and us fans were treated to an oh-so familiar sight of a blown save and an extra innings debacle.
Angels 1 Athletics 2
The one thing that really impressed me during this game was the effectiveness of our bullpen. I haven't seen the Angels bullpen lock down the opposition this long for a while, and I don't think it's a fluke anymore. Takahashi is slowly gaining command of his pitches and Walden STILL hasn't given up a run this season. Rodney still forces us to sit through nail-biters, except now he seems to sneak away with a scoreless inning through every single appearance. The best part of the game was watching Daisy come back "home" and treat the fans to a spectacle in Fuentes' blown save.
- Dan Haren displayed some wildness today, giving up 2 free passes on nearly 40 balls. Even though this looks pretty off-setting on paper, this speaks wonders for Dan Haren's ability to pitch himself out of jams. Haren got himself into many deep counts and allowed a bit of activity on the base paths, yet he still allowed just one unearned run. Having pitchers in your staff that can work through pressure-heavy situations don't just carry the team through ballgames, they carry the team through championships. This start was more telling on Haren's effectiveness than his other dominant starts this season.
- Daisy Fuentes blew the save against a Bobby Abreu RBI double, great to see Abreu finally deliver in a must-hit situation. What's even better is seeing Abreu get a hit against a lefty, which he's been struggling to hit against for the past few series. It's a shame the Angels couldn't capitalize on the walk-off opportunities in that inning and avoid the extra frames.
- Vernon Wells blew Jordan Waldens hold, a seasoned vet like Wells should not be missing catches like that in a high pressure situation. It seemed like Bourjos might have had a better shot at it had Wells not slid towards the ball. I'm starting to lose my patience with Wells, he refuses to hit and can't make the catches we traded for. At some point Scioscia has to wonder whether or not benching Wells for a series would be beneficial for the team.
Why do you continue to put the Angels through all this pain and suffereing with your shoddy fielding? I bet you dropped the ball on purpose so you wouldn't have to sit though another agonizing extra innings affair. Even if that was the case (which it better not be player), there's no justification for your performance. I don't care if Bourjos made a mistake on his route, that ball was practically in your glove. Catch the ball next time Wells, or you're gonna be catching some muscle atrophy from the countless hours of benchwarming you'll be doing in the near future.