Deja Vu All Over Again for the Angels

Last Saturday, the Los Angels Angels went into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing the New York Mets, 6-3. They got two runners on base, and with two outs, 41-year-old Raul Ibanez hit a dramatic, game-tying three-run home run. The game went into extra innings, but the Angels’ bullpen was not up to the task, with Matt Shoemaker surrendering a 13th inning home run to back-up catcher Anthony Recker, giving the Mets a 7-6 win. Sunday morning, Shoemaker was on a bus to Salt Lake City.

Last night, the Angels went into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing the Oakland A’s 9-7. Kole Calhoun led off the inning with a double, and 22-year-old Mike Trout then hit a dramatic two-run home run to tie the game. The game went into extra innings, but the

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Angels bullpen was not up to the task, and against someone named Yosian Herrera, a 32-year-old who had pitched in five game with Pittsburgh in 2008 making his second appearance as an Angel, The A’s scored an 11th inning run for a 10-9 win. When Herrera’s bus ticked will be issued is as of yet unknown, but Calhoun this morning finds himself on the disabled list with an ankle injury.

Leading up to the ninth inning dramatics, set-up guy Joe Smith had blown an earlier one-run lead, giving up four eighth-inning runs. The night before, closer Ernesto Frieri had blown a ninth inning 2-1 lead, giving up a pinch-hit two-run home run to John Jaso. Over these two games

against Oakland, Angels’ relievers have pitched five and two thirds innings, giving up seven runs, all earned.

Calhoun suffered a sprained ankle in the 11th inning, when he stepped in a hole just passed first base. This leaves the team with two-thirds of its starting outfield on the DL and with only three outfielders on the roster, if you consider Ibanez a designated

hitter and nothing else, which you should. The Angels might sign recently released Sam Fuld as a back-up rather than bringing up yet another minor leaguer from the minors. Fuld is a tremendous fielder, but is a lifetime .233 hitter through parts of seven seasons. He does have excellent speed and has been a good base stealer through his career.

With the major issues of last season – scoring runs and starting pitching – seemingly vastly improved, a disappointing bullpen and the traditional Angels’ bugaboo of injuries are derailing what could otherwise have been a really good season’s start.

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