Walks, walk, more walks and another walk-off cost the Angels the win and left my heart in pieces.
This is just brutal. Four games into the season and I already want to just give up. I can live with losing three straight, it happens. What I can't live with is the way in which those losses came about. Not one, not two, but three consecutive blown saves in the late innings, including two walk-off homers, with tonight's being the most heart-rending.
You see, it wasn't like Kansas City unleashed a relentless offensive attack that the Halos just couldn't fend off. This loss couldn't possibly have been more self inflicted. From the ninth inning through the 13th, the Royals had just three hits, one was the game-tying double and another the walk-off home run by Treanor (seriously, Matt Treanor?). Now guess how many walks they had in those 4 2/3 innings. EIGHT! You didn't misread that, though for the sake of fairness, I should point out that one was intentional. And this is no one game phenomenon either. As a whole, the relievers have shown an inexplicable inability to throw strikes. I mean, at what point do these guys just start throwing the ball down the middle and hope the batter just hits it at someone. At least that way the other team earns their comeback win.
All of this has simply sucked the life out of this fan. I really don't even want to watch the next game because I don't think I can handle anymore of these tragedies unfolding before my eyes. And I really wonder if the non-bullpen members of the Angel roster aren't feeling the same way.
- Scott Kazmir probably should've been released right there on the mound after his pathetic effort today. He game them NOTHING. He got hit hard, he hit batters, didn't throw strikes and just seemed defeated from pretty much the first pitch. Furthermore, his inability to even get out of the second inning put the bullpen in an almost impossible situation, having to work so many innings (and they would've gotten away with it to if it weren't for those meddling walks). Alas, I think the news of Joel Pineiro having a setback with his shoulder might buy Kaz just a little bit more time, but he will need a miracle to keep his job after this embarrassing outing.
- Speaking of being released, Jason Bulger might want to keep his suitcase packed. In a four-game series, Scioscia used Jepsen, Kohn and Walden three times and everyone else but Thompson twice. As for Bulger, he was only used when the Angels had no other option in extra innings of the final game. And I don't even blame him for the walk-off homer. He was so far past a pitch count where he is comfortable, that it is no surprise that he just couldn't hold it together anymore. Even before that though, Bulger just wasn't very sharp (as evidenced by his four walks), so he isn't exactly getting off the hook either. Consider Bulger as good as gone as soon as Downs comes off the DL.
- Granted, there were gale force winds blowing in KC on Sunday, but the slugfest the Halos put on might just be what they need to inject a little life into a lineup that has struggled out of the gate. And, yes, I do realize how bad it sounds that I already have to look for little silver linings like that thsi early in the season.
- I can't wait to hear Mike Scioscia try and defend Jeff Mathis not catching any of the six base stealers today. I know relievers are worse at holding runners on, but Mathis should've at least caught one of them and he might've if he didn't shorthop most of his throws. At least he made up for it at the plate and went 0-for-6.
It is almost unfair to single on person out for this loss, but Fraudney was the real instigator of this whole metldown in the first place. The killer part of what Fraudney did was step on the good feelings that the team might have been having after showing some real fight and repsonding with two more runs after Takahashi and Kohn let the lead slip away in the seventh. This game could've given the team some real momentum and gotten the bad tast of the two previous losses out of their mouths, but it wasn't to be simply because Fernando couldn't get the ball over the plate.