Two starts ago, Garrett Richards was being anointed (by some) as the new ace of the Angels starting staff. The kid with the mid-90's fastball and lively breaking ball was supposed to hold down the fort before Jered Weaver came back.
Two starts ago, Richards and his team had a much better outlook on this 2013 season than they do after tonight. A few hours after playing in the longest game in franchise history, the Angels offense did everything in their power to knock together some runs. And thanks to Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo, the game remained fairly close on a night when aforementioned "ace" Garrett Richards decided he was playing spikeball. That's not much of an exaggeration, either. In 5 2/3 innings, Richards walked two, and also made two costly wild pitches that bounced well before reaching the plate, allowing key Oakland A's runs to score. We can delve into how he pitched much better than his final line of 5.2, 8 H, 7ER, 2BB, but 7 runs is 7 runs.
Nick Maronde offered no "relief," also throwing a wild pitch, while surrendering two earned runs on ZERO hits, and two walks. If not for the shoddy relief work from the young lefty, the game would have remained within reach. But it was not to be for this day.
-- In what turned out to be the most bizarre moment in a bizarre past couple games, Angels manager Mike Scioscia made his most insufferable blunder yet. Get this:
1. Pitching coach Mike Butcher pays Maronde a visit to the mound, in what turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt at calming down the pitcher.
2. A few pitchers later, with the same batter still at the plate, here comes Scioscia, waddling out to do… something? Nobody is quite sure what. First base umpire Gary Cederstorm promptly shoos him away, reminding the clueless manager that Butcher had already come out and that he could only visit the pitcher if to make a pitching change. Which, apparently, Scioscia wasn't going to do…?
3. If that description was confusing to you, it's because it was a confusing moment.
Mike Scioscia is confusing.
-- Shortstop Erick Aybar made his return to the Angels lineup tonight and provided some spark at the top of the order., with a walk and a hit. If he can continue this, the Angels just might be able to weather the loss of Peter Bourjos for the next couple weeks. Keyword being a big "might."
-- Josh Hamilton walked. I repeat, Josh Hamilton walked! In other news, a flock of swine was spotted in flight around the Sierra Madre mountain range area.
-- After clubbing two home runs last night, Albert Pujols looked old again. 0-5.
-- Mark Trumbo is powerful.
Halo A-Hole of the Game
The month of April really sucks.