I'd say this loss hurt if it hadn't been from the same Buttercup-inspired script that has told the story of so many other Angel losses. They take an early lead, the bullpen can't seem to do anything right and blows the lead, then let's the other team go ahead only to have it get tied up for them to blow the lead once more. Been there, done that, got the tear stained t-shirt.
On the offensive side, it was business as usual. Going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position including double plays to end the sixth, eighth and ninth inning. Heck, they got a game-tying bases loaded walk by Erick Aybar of all people and still couldn't pull this one out. It was like one of those games in Madden where the computer just refuses to let you win by making you randomly fumble every time you have a chance to take the lead. The whole Angels season has been like that.
On the bright side, losing a home series to the Twins right before the trade deadline is a great way to make sure the Angels do the right thing and become sellers. Silver linings!
-- There was one bit of great news to come out of this game: Tommy Hanson. Not only did Tommy look sharp in his return from the disabled list, his velocity was back and back in a big way. He was working in the 91-93 MPH range all night, even in his final inning of work. If there is one under-the-radar storyline to follow the rest of the way, it is Hanson proving to the team that he deserves to be on the roster next year. If he can keep throwing that hard and with that kind of command, it will be a very easy decision for the Angels.
-- Considering that the Angels somehow ended up losing by seven, it will sound weird to say that this game was lost by a matter of inches just like the night before. On Monday, it was Clete Thomas robbing Iannetta's homer. Tonight, it was Morneau scoring a run by miraculously sliding around a tag on a throw that had him dead to rights.
-- It was Frieri who had the big meltdown in this one, but Kevin Jepsen shares some of the blame. Actually, that's not totally true, Mike Scioscia's usage of Kevin Jepsen deserves the blame. Jepsen has struggled against lefties for years and yet he is asked to come in and face the toughest lefty bats the Twins have to offer. I realize the bullpen was short-handed, but that just isn't a position Scioscia should put Jepsen in when he could turn to Garrett Richards, who has more balanced splits, instead.
Halo A-Hole of the Game
No, not Frieri. This one is on J.B. Shuck for that back-breaking bases loaded double play to end the ninth with Trout on deck. YOU HAD ONE JOB!
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