You know... I'm glad the game went the way it did in the 8th because maybe now Scioscia will stop putting so much undeserved trust into Kevin Jepsen. Jesus Christ the guy is garbage, he's always been bad and people think just because he put up a tolerable year in '10 that he's going to somehow find the potential that he doesn't have. Maybe Dipoto will be able to sell him to another team as good as the Angels have been selling Jepsen all Spring Training, I knew he was going to be this bad coming into the season and I'm not in the least bit surprised to see him blowing game after game.
It isn't all Jepsen's fault however, even though it should be. Absolutly horrible mismanagement of the bullpen lead to this loss, Scioscia had ZERO reason to take out Scott Downs after striking out one batter to end the 7th, replacing him with Jepsen was just icing on the cake. The fact that he completely flip flops and leaves Carpenter in for two innings was just the most frustrating thing to deal with. I really like Carpenter, he's got the stuff to be one of the only arms to hold down this bullpen, he should have been the one to pitch the 8th since Scioscia was so keen on prematurely pulling the hook on Downs. Scioscia is always one move behind and that was completely evident with the way the bullpen was handled tonight. The only way to stop Scioscia from pulling more boneheaded moves in the future is to simply get Jepsen off the trade. Trade him, release him, sent him down I don't care, the Angels have to do whatever it takes to get this bum off of our team and replace him with a real reliever.
It kills me that this 19 year old undergrad has a better idea of how to manage this bullpen than a professional manager.
Athletics 5 Angels 3
- Whoopdie freakin doo, Vernon Wells hits another meaningless home run. Is it just me or have all of his home runs been meaningless solo shots that have no impact on the game whatsoever. It's like he's only capable of turning the heat up when the Angels have already played themselves out of the game or have a comfortable 5+ run lead. Don't get me wrong it's great to see Vernon Wells coming back around, but it's just so frustrating to see him continually struggle and when the pressure is finally off his back he starts to perform. I'm still not convinced Vernon Wells is good again and won't be convinced until he starts performing in high pressure situations.
- What is it with the Angels and their horrible baserunning decisions? Trying to advance Pujols from first to third on a single was almost as bad of an idea as letting Jepsen pitch the 8th, the Angels have to realize that Pujols isn't an aggressive baserunner and just to let it be. Stop trying to play him like a guy who can run on the opposing defense, he's a hitter not a runner. Other then his terrible baserunning he's starting to get his game back together, which is more then needed with the way this team has been playing
- Stop pitching Jepsen in close games. In fact why don't you just stop pitching Jepsen completely? He's a cancer to this team regardless of how good his attitude might be simply due to his incredibly innate ability to suck all the life out of this team at the mere mention of his name. I know Dipoto isn't one for panic moves, but this better be the last game we all see Kevin Jepsen blow as an Angel. He needs to shown the door in order to continue progressing this bullpen to a tolerable level.
- I should probably mention Dan Haren and the fact that he's gotten himself back on track after his start to the season. A nice 6.2 IP with only 1 run allowed, which was a homerun off the bat of Daric Barton. Haren is the hard luck loser of tonight's game however as Jepsen managed to steal yet another win away from the team. Haren can't be happy with the way Scioscia screwed him out of a win tonight, but he's just going to have to get over it and look towards his next start. Seriously though, if Jepsen isn't off this team and replaced with a competent reliever by the end of the week I'm going to have some strongly worded letters to write, very strongly worded letters indeed.
*Other notable offensive performances: T. Hunter 2-4 1RBI 1K, A. Callaspo 2-4, K. Morales 2-4 1R, V.Wells 2-4 2H 2RBI
Absolutely no question at all that Scioscia deserves to be the Halo A-Hole of this game. In fact he deserves to be the perpetual Halo A-hole for this entire season so far, complete mismanagement of this roster is killing this team. His lineups are often ridiculous and illogical, but I can handle that because this offense is good enough that it can carry itself no matter what the order is. His management of the bullpen however, is completely horrendous. For some reason he has far too much trust in the worst relievers and has no idea how long a reliever should be left in a game and who would work best in what spot. No way Scott Downs should have been taken out after 1 out, and absolutely no way in hell Jepsen should have been allowed to pitch the 8th. Scioscia is the worst I have seen at managing a bullpen, if he could competently manage the pen he would be able to hide the glaring issues with our weak relievers by not putting them in certain situations, such as what he did tonight.
Say what you will about this statement I'm about to make, but the way Scioscia has been managing this team with total incompetence he deserves to have Dipoto breathing down his neck. The issues with this team, and especially this bullpen, all trace back to Scioscia. I'm crossing my fingers that Scioscia will be able to figure it out soon enough, but with the way Dipoto has been making drastic changes to this ballclub I wouldn't be surprised to see him moving onto Scioscia next. I'm not saying he needs to threaten Scioscia's job, but he needs to make it known that he will not tolerate incompetent managing. It's about time Dipoto draped a leash over Scioscia's neck until he figures out how to properly manage his team.