What is with the Angels getting screwed over on blown calls on tag plays involving Dee Gordon? Last June, the Dodgers stole a victory from the Halos on a bad call on a play at the plate where Dee Gordon was called safe despite the video evidence to the contrary. Tonight, it happened again, only at second base this time.
While the call in last year's game was debatable, tonight's call seemed pretty obviously incorrect given the benefit of instant replay (heaven forbid MLB ever expand its use). If the umpire gets it right, Hank Conger is the hero for nailing Gordon at second to end the threat in the eighth inning. But no, it wasn't meant to be.
Jerome Williams, who was terrific through seven innings, was already running on fumes at that point. Once that call went against him, it was over. AJ Ellis then drew. Ethier followed that up with a game-tying single and Juan Rivera delivered the deathblow by crushing a meatball from the tired Williams the very next pitch for a three-run homer. Freeway Series 2012 Game 2 goes to the Dodgers and poor Jerome Williams goes home the tough luck loser.
And I do mean poor Jerome Williams. Sitting in the dugout after he got pulled, he looked like someone just ran over his dog. Still, a valiant effort, even in umpire-assisted defeat.
- Fans were a bit upset with Scioscia for not pulling Williams for Scott Downs when Andre Ethier came to the plate. However, it turns out Downs was not available due to some soreness in his side after he fielded a comebacker on Sunday. Basically, the Halos were flying without a bullpen net in this one as the struggling Jordan Walden and maybe Hisanori Takahashi (who threw 30 pitches on Monday) were the "best" relievers Sosh had at his disposal in this one. Frieri, Hawkins and Isringhausen were all on ice as well since they all pitched in the previous three games. So, if you complained, you can go ahead and send Mike an apology letter.
- Blame Joe West all you want for his missed call, but let's not forget that the Halos were 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position tonight. That definitely didn't help.
- If you really want to talk about bad breaks, the Dodgers had their fair share in this as well. Adam Kennedy allowed the first run to score by booting a Morales grounder in the third. AK then struck again when he threw to second in the sixth inning to make what should have been the final out, but Dee Gordon couldn't handle the throw, thus permitting the Angels' second run to score. Why Kennedy didn't go to first there is beyond me. Hank Conger was coming in hard to second, so the play was going to be close whereas Jerome Williams was plodding down the first base line and would've been out by a mile. Really, it was a page right out of Erick Aybar's playbook.
Sure, Mike Trout proved to be human by striking out with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning with the Dodgers on the ropes, but he is the golden boy, so let's just blame Joe West as he is just such an easier target.
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Thank you for taking in the entire 360° view in this recap. It very well sums up the situation and comments, correctly I feel, of how things went wrong and why. Thank you, Mr. ™.
I am sure glad I don't follow the Dodgers. Who *are* these guys? The only way they continue successfully this season has to be truly horrible division opponents around them. If Arizona can get straightened out even a little I'd have to think they should win the division. One of the bigger problems for the Angels has been Dee Gordon. I just can't think of a good reason he should be on a major league roster yet he pesters the Angels incessantly. Almost every time I look up it seems like the Angels are walking him, a guy who I believe started the series hitting .229. That has to be almost as bad as walking the pitcher. Mr. ™ may be a little off on the evaluation of that throw to second by Kennedy, looked to me like Gordon was late getting there because he was spectating (I could have said standing there with his finger in his nose). Really, we thought Erick Aybar had...uh..."concentration lapses". This guy puts me in the mind of an iPhone ringtone my wife bought, "Hey! You some kinda retard, need helmet?" due to all the mental mistakes he's made.
Anyway, the point is (memo to Angels pitchers): Don't fear this guy! Throw them right down the pipe! From the looks of him you'll rip his arms off if he makes contact (somewhat unlikely).
@Rick K. Oh, Gordon was definitely late covering, but I still don't understand why Kennedy reflexively wanted to go to second on the play to begin with. First base was the surest out in that situation and it wasn't like the throw was significantly further. It isn't even a Kennedy thing, I see middle infielder do it all the time and it drives me crazy.
@monkeywithahalo Uh oh. That was going to be my reasoning: infielders do it all the time so Gordon should have been ready. I always thought they were just going for the shorter throw since I first noticed it, "And (the second baseman) goes the short way to second."