Sunday, May 22, 2005

Los Angelos Angels Of Anaheim @ Los Angelos Dodgers

The Angels aim for the sweep against the Dodgers to win the battle for Los Angelos once and for all! The Dodgers send Boston's postseason hero Derek Lowe (3.07 ERA) to the mound against Paul Byrd (4.15 ERA). Compared to yesterday, the Angels field an offensive juggernaut thanks to the return of Garret Anderson, the Halos' only .300+ hitter. Ex-Dodger Finley isn't in the lineup today.

The Game
- The first inning starts in typical Angels fashion. Figgins bunts for a hit, steals second, goes to third on Kennedy's single, stays there as Kennedy is caught stealing and scores on a ground out by Erstad. 1-0 Angels
- Byrd starts well with a 1-2-3 inning.
Juan Rivera makes a case for himself as the future DH as he leads off the second inning with a homerun. 2-0 Angels
- Paul Byrd was one strike away from another 1-2-3 inning, but then he Ledee hits a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall. 2-1 Angels
- A two-out-double from Erstad is wasted as the Halos fail to score in an inning for the first time today in the 3rd. :)
-Perez works a work and comes home on a two-out-bloop-single by Drew. 2-2

Meanwhile, Matt Clement finishes the 9th inning of his complete game, 4 hit, 110 pitch, 5-2 victory. Good job Mr. Goatee!

- Rivera singles up the middle, but cannot advance as Josh Paul strikes out on a check swing (!) as Rivera steals second.
- Byrd walks Bradley but then picks him off at first. Ledee pops up, but Cabrera looses the ball in the sun for a double. But Byrd retires Philips on a fly out to Figgins in center.
- Figgins singles with one out, but Kennedy grounds into a double play to end the first half of the game.
- Perez leads of the bottom of the inning with a double, goes to third on a bunt from Lowe and scores on a single by Izturis. 3-2 Dodgers
- The Angels start the inning with two singles by Erstad and Anderson, but neither Rivera nor McPherson nor Cabrera can score or advance them.
- Byrd works a quick 1-2-3 inning and keeps the Angels close.
- The Angels send pinchhitters to the plate in Pride and Finley, but both strike out. Figgins flies to center for an easy inning for Derek Lowe.
- Kevin Gregg comes in and immediately gives up a homer Philips (TO PHILIPS!!!). After he gets Perez to fly out, he allows two singles and leaves the game and hopefully the Angels major league club for good. Jake Woods comes in and gives up a run scoring single to J.D. Drew. Choi lines to Rivera, who catches it from his knees and makes an offline throw to first, prompting Erstad to dive for it. Woods then strikes out Kent to end the inning. 5-2 Dodgers
Kevin Gregg now owns a comical 7.77 ERA. I hope I never have to see him pitch again for the Angels.
- Yhency Brazoban (Nice name!) relieves Lowe and makes quick work of the Halos 1-2-3.
- Jake Woods is back on the mound. He allows single to Bradley, gets Ledee to fly out and then has to watch as McPherson's high throw allows Philips to reach first. Another single by Robles with two outs gives Woods an unearned run. 6-2 Dodgers
- Eric Gagne comes into the game although it's not a save situation. But it doesn't really bother him, so 1-2-3 the game is over. Final score: Dodgers - Angels 6-2

Conclusion & Notes
The Angels went hitless in their last 12 at-bats and one cannot overlook the fact that they only scored 5 runs in the last two games. The nine runs in the first game were against a starter who hasn't had an ERA under 5 since 1999 and in the 9th inning of 4-0 ballgame.
Orlando Cabrera still can't hit even if he faces familar NL pitching as he went 1-15.
At least, Figgins is getting better again. He went 5-12 with 4 RBI, 3R and 3SB.
The pitching is still strong, Washburn (7IP, 5H, 0R) and Lackey (6.1IP, 5H, 1ER, 10K) are really getting it done and even Byrd delivered a quality start (6IP, 5H, 3R). And all Angels reliever not named Gregg didn't allow an earned run in 6.1 IP.

The Halos win the Freeway Series 2-1 and are now LA's official Nr.1 team. But with Guerrero on the DL, you can hardly call with weekend a success for the Angels. Let's hope he returns quickly and does not require surgery.

Ex-Boston Braves @ Boston Red Sox

In a battle of generations, 39-year-old knuckleballer Tim Wakefield faces off against 21-year-old Kyle Davies. I have never heard of this guy, but he has a better ERA than Wakefield. 0.00 against 3.61 :). So obviously, he's a rookie making his first major league start. Another clash of generations takes places at DH. 29-year-old David Ortiz isn't exactly young, but he looks like a rookie if you see that Atlanta counters with 46-year-old Julio Franco.
Another interesting thing to watch is Jason Varitek catching tonight. Usually, Doug Mirabelli is Wakefield's catcher, but he is on the DL. It will be interesting to see if Varitek can handle the knuckler. I expect at least 5 wild pitches/passed balls tonight.

The Game

- Furcal leads off and reaches on an error by Renteria. After Trot Nixon goes into the stands to catch a foul ball (which means he will win a gold glove this year!), Furcal steals 2nd and could have been out if Renteria had hold on to the baseball.
- Chipper Jones walks and Adam LaRoche hits a long fly ball to right, but Trot Nixon makes a great running catch at the bullpen wall (Hey, I was only joking with the gold glove).
- Wakefield knuckles one over the plate for strike three to Andruw Jones. Inning over.
- Davies starts with a strike, but runs out of luck quickly as Damon singles to lead thing off.
- There is wild pitch number one, but it's thrown by Davies, not Wakefield. Damon to third.
- Renteria flies out to right and Mondesi throws a bullet to third, but Damon makes it anyway. So Mondesi has at least one skill, even if it's not hitting. Maybe he should try to pitch? I means, he's playing in Atlanta.
- David Ortiz strikes out on a breaking ball and naturally disagrees. A long stare from the home plate umpire convinces him.
- Manny Ramirez has looked terrible in most games I watched on TV so far this year. I think he is just not motivated. This time, he flies out on a decent line drive to Mondesi.
- Switch-hitter Estrada hits right handed against Wakefield, but it doesn't help him as he flies out to right.
The best 46-year-old hitter in baseball history flies out to Damon, followed by a pop up by Brian Jordan.
- 2005 gold glover Trot Nixon flies out to center, Varitek grounds out and Millar pops out and we're already in the 3rd.
- Tim Wakefield throws less knuckleballs than usually because Varitek is not really comfortable catching them. After Wakefield strikes out Mondesi, he falls behind 3-0 to Furcal and then challenges him with a 78mph hea..., ah, somewhat fastball. He walks him with the next pitch anyway.
- Nearly the first passed ball, but Varitek can keep it under control. Two pitches and Furcal hasn't attempted to steal yet? Wakefield and Varitek seem to think the same way as I do. They pitch out and get Furcal on a close play.
- Marcus giles doubles on a fly ball to right field that gets past Nixon (that might cost him his gold glove). Chipper Jones brings him home with a single to left. 1-0 Braves
- LaRoche ends the inning with a fly ball to Damon
- Bill Mueller treats his knees with a walk to first to lead of the bottom of the 3th and Mark Bellhorn does what he does best, he strikes out.
- Damon singles up the middle, but Renteria strikes out and Ortiz grounds out to end the inning.
- Andruw Jones can't find the knuckler and strikes out the second time tonight, so does Estrada. But Franco demonstrates the virtues of age as he's patient and works a walk, followed by a single to left by 39-year-old Jordan.
- 34-year-old young gun Mondesi advances both oldies two bases with a double. 2-0 Braves
- Furcal flies out to shallow center to end the two-out-rally.
- Davies strikes out Ramirez on three pitches, then throws three straight balls to Nixon, then three strikes again. He walks the next batter Varitek and allows a single to Millar, but Mueller grounds out on the first pitch to end the inning.
- Giles starts the 5th inning with a ground rule double and Jones bloops a single to left to put runners on the corners. Giles scores on a timely wild pitch and Chipper goes to 2nd. Still no outs.
- LaRoche walks on four pitches and the Red Sox are lucky that the runners don't go as the balls gets away from Varitek for a moment. Wakefield strikes out Andruw Jones, but gives up a single to Estrada, scoring Chipper. It doesn't get any better as Franco doubles to score LaRoche. The Red Sox finally get the second out on the sac fly by Jordan. Mondesi pops up to end the pain for this inning. 6-0 Braves
- Bellhorn flies out, Damon walks and Renteria strikes out, but Ortiz singles to put runners at the corners with two outs and Ramirez at the plate. Now would be the right time to prove me wrong and hit one over the green monster. Davies strikes him out to get out of the jam.
- Halama relieves Wakefield and get Furcal to hit a ground ball to short, but Furcal reaches on a throwing error by Renteria. Furcal gets to 2nd on a wild pitch. Giles grounds to 3rd and Bill Mueller throws the baseball into the seats behind first base. Maybe this is Millar's fault after all? He's just not a good target.
- Jones flies out to right and Giles goes to third. Now, Boston brings the infield in. Do they really think they can still win this? We'll see.
- LaRoche grounds out to Millar and does the job himself, keeping Giles at 3rd. Halams strikes out Jones and escapes without and earned run. Still 7-0 Braves
- Jorge Sosa relieves Davies and he prompty walks Nixon and gives up a single to Varitek and the Red Sox have runners on first and second with nobody out.
- The runners advance on a wild pitch and the Red Sox are finally on the board as Millar fights off a 1-2 pitch to right field for a single and an RBI.
- Bill Mueller also picks up an RBI, but a costly one as he grounds into a double play. Bellhorn makes the third out as he pops up. 7-2 Braves

- And then my internet connection broke down and it took me until noon today to fix it. :(

The Red Sox added a run in the 7th and two more in the 9th, while Halama and Mantei held the Braves down. But tying run Varitek flied out to end the 9th and the Red Sox lost by the final score of 5-7.

The rubber game of the series will be played at 2.05 with Smoltz and Clement on the mound. I hope my connection stays alive tonight!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Los Angelos Angels Of Anaheim @ Los Angelos Dodgers

With Vladdi out after an ill-advised head first slide to home plate (with the Angels holding a big lead) the Angels lineup does not contain a hitter with an average of .270 or better. Adam Kennedy leads the group with .265 (Guess what his SLG is! Right, it's .265). Finley is the only hitter slugging over .400 (and barely: .403 - the three best Guerrero .520, Molina (!) .479 and Anderson .434 are all on the bench or DL). The highest OBP is owned by Jeff DaVanon with .309. That's probably why he's the number three hitter today. How is this lineup supposed to score a run?

The Game
- Well, the game is on the way and the above question is already answered as Jose Molina hits a homerun in the top of the 3rd to put the Angels in front 1-0.
- Lackey's not looking too sharp out there early, but he's helped himself with two double plays so far. Now, he allows a single and then a walk with no outs, but Brad Penny strikes out on a bunt attempt and Lackey wiggles out of the Jam.
- Nothing happens in the 4th except that the reporter says that Steve Finley had a Hall-Of-Fame career. Hm. He has (or will have) 100+ triples, 400+ doubles, 300+ HR, 2500+ hits, and five gold gloves, but will this be enough? Hardly. In times in which even 500 HR might not be enough to enter the hall, Steve Finley will most surely fall short.
- Looks like I couldn't have been more wrong about Lackey. After five innings, he has only allowed two infield singles, a walk, hit a batter, had a baserunner on an error and struck out nine (!) batters. Still, I think the Angels will have to put a couple more runs on the board to win this one.
- In the bottom of the 6th, Lackey strikes out his 10th batter and ties his career record. Then, he allows a single and two long flyballs to center field (one of them was caught nicely on the run by Finley) which gives me the impression that Lackey is tiring a bit. If K-Rod were available, I would go with Donnelly in the 7th, but I expect Lackey to be back for another inning at least.
- He is and quickly falls behind to Bradley, who hits a double to left field. Lackey gets Ledee to ground out to the mound, keeping Bradley at second, but a wild pitch advances him to third anyway with only one out.
- Lackey tries to strike Perez out, but he fouls off some pitches and finally singles to right field to tie the game.
- Donnelly comes in and allows another single on a hit-and-run to put runners at the corners.
- He strikes out pinch-hitter Saenz, two outs.
- He gets ahead 1-2, 2-2 and finally pops the batter up. Puh, what a nailbiter.
- I predict a walk-steal-bunt-sac fly inning for the Angels now.
- Carrara pitches for the Dodgers and he has been very hitable with a .324 BAA and an 4.24 ERA this year. With Eric Gagne waiting in the bullpen, it's now or never.
- Jose Molina singles, but is out when McPherson tries to bunt him over. McPherson reaches 2nd on a wild pitch. Then Figgins comes through with a double just inside the bag and the Angels reclaim the lead. 2-1
- Darin Erstad is walked intentionally (probably raising his OBP dramatically), still only one out.
- Even Jeff DaVanon works a walk on a ball four wild pitch. Figgins is thinking about going home, but stops at 3rd.
- Kelly Wunsch comes in to face Finley. Wunsch is German for "wish" by the way - so I wish for a grand slam, but all I get is a single to right. I (and especially the Angels) take it gladly. 3-1 Angels
- Duaner Sanchez relieves Wunsch. He gets Rivera to ground out into a fielder's choice at home and then Cabrera to ground out softly to the mound. So they leave them loaded and it's still only 3-1 Angels
- Scot Shields relieves Donnelly to set himself up. He get pops up Choi, Drew and Kent for a quick bottom 8th.
- Eric Gagne comes in and faces ... ah, who? Scot Shields? How about a double switch Mr. Scioscia? Shields strikes out (of course) on a breaking ball in the zone that had him jumping away from the plate, laughing afterwards.
- Molina strikes out but seems as good mooded as Shields after his at bat.
- McPherson works a walk after a 1-2 count. Nice work, young boy!
- Chone Figgins grounds out and Shields comes back for the 9th.
- Bradley leads off with a double and Ledee works a full count and then takes a two-seamer for strike three that he thinks was up and in (he might have been right). One out.
- Perez grounds out to short, leaving the runner at 2nd.
- Shields has Bako 2-2, then runs the count full. But instead of finishing him off, Shields unloads a wild pitch that nearly hits the batter. Runners at the corners, winning run at the plate.
- Shields hangs one, but Philips fouls it back. Then Philips makes better contact, but hits a fly ball to Finley. Game Over.
Angels win 3-1

Conclusion & Notes:
Nice game, not much offense from both teams, but good pitching by Lackey. It's a shame he didn't get the W. Brad Penny also did a good job, but nobody expected the Angels to go on an offensive tear today. They managed to get three runs and that was enough today.
Kennedy went 0-3 and his average dropped to .250. Team leader is now Figgins with .261 after going 2-5 with RBI and R. Finley and Molina both went 2-4.

Interleague Play Weekend

I realize that most die hard baseball fans hate interleague play, but I really like it. Maybe it's because I don't have any baseball tradition myself, but I don't understand what's the big problem. Some say, it takes away from the All-Star Game and the World Series. Are you kidding me? That the Dodgers play the Angels in LA won't make a World Series between the two teams any less interesting. Of course, rivalry series make the schedule harder for some teams, but schedules aren't fair in the first place (You know, with the Devil Rays playing the Yankees and the Red Sox and the Orioles now), so what? Nobody in the NFL complains (Or do they? I don't really know).
However, while some matchup like Mariners - Padres or Tigers - Diamondbacks don't excite anyone (but is Mariners - Tigers so exciting?), I'm really looking forward to watch the free- and subway series. It gives me the joy of watching Jarrod Washburn work a walk or having a pitcher double (against Randy Johnson) and scoring a run against the Yankees (He should have been out, but I take it). I always enjoy watching the Yankees loose a game, but (after the Red Sox) it's the most fun if it's against the Mets.
Long story short, I'm a fan of interleague play and this is a great baseball weekend for me. :)

Friday, May 20, 2005

From zero to ?

Now that I have a counter on my blog, I have to face the fact that nobody actually reads the crap I'm writing. I put the counter on a couple of days ago and it's still stuck on 000000. So, naturally, I thought about ways to change that. I obviously need more sites linking to mine, so I should link to more sites myself. I also officially declare this blog a Angels / Red Sox blog, so that fans know what to expect here. Let's see if I can crack the dozen by next week. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Halos split doubleheader

The Halos (or better: the Hals, because they have no "O" - all probs for this atrocious pun go to Matt Allen, not me) managed to split the doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers on saturday despite doing hardly anything against the starters Bonderman and Maroth. They somehow managed 18 hits (only 4 for extra bases) and 5 runs and only drew 2 walks in both games combined. To be fair, it's hard to draw a walk if you're constantly behind in the count 0-2 or 1-2. As I recall it, Jose Molina, who was the only one who walked against Maroth, had to battle back from 0-2 to draw a free pass. While Detroit's starter struck out 13, Colon and Washburn both fanned three and walked three. And while Colon was limited to 5 innings due to a rain delay, Washburn battled for 7 innings to keep the Angels close.
So what was the offense's problem? Not enough patience?
I'm a big fan of OBP and I really think the Angels need to draw more walks especially at the top of the order. Imagine what Figgins and Erstad could do if they were on-base at least 35% of the time (I'm modest here). But today, patience certainly wasn't the problem. It doesn't help to be patient if the opposing pitcher throws strikes with the first pitch all day long. The Angels' hitters were constantly behind in the count. Most often, they had to put the ball in play with 2 strikes on them and hardly ever had a three ball count. They watched so many first pitches in the zone that I thought, "come on, be more agressive". I think you have to hit at least some first pitch strikes to make the pitcher be aware that he can't throw anything at you to start the AB. Sometimes, patience is just not what you need.
Speaking of patience, I don't understand why the Tigers even bothered to swing the bat at all against Esteban Yan when he clearly couldn't find the zone to save his life. He's listed to have thrown 18 pitches, only 8 for strikes, at least half of them on swings at something out of the zone. Oh, and a wild pitch, too. Still, he managed to get out of the inning with only a walk, no hits (obviously, there just was no pitch to hit) and no runs. While this looks like a good inning on paper, I wouldn't have the confidence to throw him in a close game again any time soon.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

What's wrong with...

... Hideki Matsui?
After he punished the Red Sox in the first games of the season hitting two homeruns and .440, .481, .760 overall (OPS 1.241!), Matsui was a sure thing MVP for many. One month later, Matsui is hitting .231, .316, .385 (OPS .701). And things are getting worse, as Matsui hit .208, .303, .327 over the last 30 days and .160, .267, .280 in the last week in 25 AB.
So what's wrong with him?
I have no idea, of course. The games against the Red Sox should have given him a lot of confidence, but today his slump has really gotten to his head. He looked completely lost in the game against the A's today, going 0-4 with 2 Ks, taking a called third strike right down the middle.
As a Yankee hater, I don't really mind a Yankee being in that kind of slump, but I wonder if or when he will break out of it. Of course, I don't expect Matsui to hit under the Mendoza line for too long, but he certainly isn't used to this kind of struggles, so it might affect him for a little longer.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Is Derrek Lee hot or what?

With Mark Prior pitching a strong game, the Cubs still trailed 0-1 in the bottom of the 8th. Pinch hitter Jose Macias lead off with a single and Jerry Hairston Jr. sacrified him to second. That closed the book on Cory Lidle, who had pitched a four hit gem. Rheal Cormier got Corey Patterson to ground out, advancing Macias to 3rd with Derrek Lee at the plate. Instead of intentionally walking the only major leaguer hitting above .400, the Phillies went to their closer Billy Wagner. After three straight ball, Wagner decided that pitching around Lee would make him a coward, so he challenged him. Brave decision, but also stupid as Lee hit a homerun to center field and the Cubs took the lead. The Cubs' "closer by lack of alternatives" LaTroy Hawkins threw nearly as hard a Wagner and with even less success. He allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases. Then, Placido Polanco hits a liner directly into Hawkins glove. He then checked third, second and finally threw it to first, hitting the runner in the back. Of course, the ball ricochet into the stands, allowing the runners to advance two bases, giving the Phillies the lead. Billy Wagner came to the plate so he could save his own win. The Cubs went quietly in the 9th and lost a game so typically for their season so far: Good starting pitching, cold hitters except for a hot Derrek Lee and a shaky closer.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Yankees revamp their lineup

The Yankees, having just finished their first losing month in nearly two years, decided to tinker with their lineup to get their ship back on track. They let Hideki Matsui take over center field from Bernie Williams, switched Tony Womack from second base to left and called up Robinson Cano to play first base.
The most obvious decision is to send Matsui to center field. He played this position back in Japan and might be more comfortable there than in left. His arm is weak, but it's not like the Yankees had a cannon in center before in Williams.
That Tony Womack is moved to left field is more inscrutable to me. He played 122 games in right field for Arizona in 1999, but other than that, he never played more than a handful of games in the outfield. And his hitting line of .270, .316, .315 with 4R and 4 RBI is much more tolerable at 2B than in LF. His batting average, on-base-percentage and slugging percentage would rank 17th, 21st and 23rd (and next to last to Scott Podsenik, who is faster than Womack, at least) respectively among ML left fielders. His SLG would be the lowest of a Yankee left fielder since Gerald Williams, who slugged .191 in just 38 games.
The Yankees can't really be planning to finish the season with Womack in left, which means that we are going to see a trade for an outfielder sooner than later.
Before his call-up, I had never heard before of Robinson Cano, so I looked up his stats.
In 2004, Cano hit .301, .356, .497 in 74 games at AA and .259, .316, .403 in 61 games in AAA. This year in spring training, he hit .286, .306, .371, which makes me wonder why he didn't get Womack's job in the first place. But even if he plays better than Womack did so far this year (which is at least possible, considering his poor numbers), Cano isn't the solution the Yankees are looking for. That a second baseman was called up when the team needed an outfielder probably says more about the Yankees' farm system than about Cano's ability.
I first thought that the Yankees should give Bubba Crosby a chance in center, but when I saw he hit .141, .185, .247 I wondered why he was on the roster of a 200-million-$-team in the first place.
So, I expect that the Yankees will give Cano some playing time and if he does fairly well, they'll trade him for an old, overpriced outfielder. If he sucks, he's sent back to the minors and the Yankees will trade for an old, overpriced outfielder on a team that desperately need to cut payroll.
So, is the team any better now?
Hardly, but at least Joe Torre has a bunch of DH/pinch hitters to choose from in Williams, Giambi and Sierra (once he returns from the DL) now. Also the starting pitching is looking a little peaky right now and there is still a lot of season left to get "real" injuries for anybody. In the current state, this Yankee team probably isn't good enough to make the postseason if Orioles stay hot and Boston plays at least half as good as they can.
So, I think we will see lots of rumors flowing around in the next weeks and I won't be surprised if some impact deals are done before the trade deadline gets really close.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

May 1st - Angels @ Twins

It's sunday evening here in Germany, which means it's baseball time for me. I'll start with an hour of Blue Jays @ Yankees and then change to Angels @ Twins (Finally an early Angels game!), maybe switching to Red Sox @ Rangers during the commercial break.

Angels @ Twins
The Angels lost two in a row and now have to win against Cy Young winner Johan Santana, who's on a 17 game winning streak) to avoid the sweep. The Angels' pitcher will be A-Rod new best friend Bartolo Colon. Let's hope he will not make new friends within the Twins lineup today (Justin Morneau may be a candidate).

The game's a great pitching match-up so far. Santana has just started to get some strike outs, when Vladdi hits a ball of the left field foul pole for a homerun. 1-0 Angels
Jose Molina leads of the 6th and is looking for the heat. He gets it and hits a long homerun to left. 2-0 Angels. That were the homeruns #4 & #5 allowed by Santana this year. So no smallball for the Angels today.
Bartolo Colon continues to look good. He has just allowed one hit so far (a single) and gets a ton of groundballs. He also throws a lot of two-seam-fastballs and gets good calls from the home plate umpire.
Santana goes 1-2-3 in the 7th, so Colon doesn't get much rest this inning.
But it looks like he doesn't need any rest as he strikes out Castro on a 96mph heater. After a short scare on a fly ball to the track in right, Colon strikes out Morneau again on a generous call.
Santana makes a bid to strike out the side, but finally walks Jeff DaVanon.
By the way, Santana may be a great pitcher, but his pick-up move is so slow, a runner might get picked off but still make it to second before the first baseman has the ball.
You cannot say the same about Redman's throw to second. DaVanon is caught stealing to end the inning.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, this happend with two out:
Grand Slam, walk, walk, homerun
and within 1/3 of an inning, Mark Prior raises his extraordinary 1.29 ERA to an ordinary 3.75 Ouch!
Colon (who had just throws 84 pitches) gets another out, when Jones hits a high chopper. Colon jumps high, but can't get it, and hurts his ankle (probably) on the play. He leaves the game and Scot Shields comes in the game with one man on 1st.
Shields runs the count full and the Twins get lucky when a hit draws Figgins to the bag and instead of a double play it's runners at the corners with one out.
Shields falls behind, 2-0, 3-1 and walks pinch hitter Mauer to load the bases.
Sciosia decides he needs a K and calls to the bullpen for K-Rod.
K-Rod throws two sliders that freeze pinch hitter LeCroy and the count is 1-1. Then, on another slider, LeCroy hits it up the middle, but Cabrera is there and the Angels get just what they needed, a double play. Puh!
Santana won't win today, he's replaced by Rincon. The Angels do nothing and K-Rod starts the Bottom of the 9th by serving up a hanging slider that Stewart takes out. 2-1 Angels
K-Rod falls behind, 3-1 to the next hitter, 3-2. Punto hits a ball foul and then another ball to Erstad for the first out. 2-2 to Lew Ford, fouls on off, then hits a tough one to McPherson, who makes a good throw to Erstand, two outs. 1-2 to Morneau, then Morneau strikes out on a slider.
So the Angels avoid the sweep, stay in first place in their division.
Santana loses for the first time since last July. It's a pity, because he pitches a very good game, only made two mistakes, so he certainly didn't deserve the L today.