The Halos opened their second half with an unfortunate 6-5 loss to the Yankees, despite entering the bottom of the 8th inning with a 5-2 lead.
Games like this one show us exactly why wins and losses are a poor way to judge pitchers. CJ Wilson tossed a gem for the Halos, letting just seven Yankees reach base throughout seven strong innings. When he left, Wilson had allowed only a pair of runs and gave the Angels a great chance to win.
The top of the order helped build the lead for Wilson. Mike Trout did Mike Trout things, Albert Pujols came up with two big hits, and Mark Trumbo seriously damaged a baseball. I think Trumbo’s home run ball ended up flying over the Bermuda Triangle; it was instantly gone.
The team as a whole wasn’t perfect, but five runs should have been more than enough. Scott Downs, who entered the game with a 0.30 ERA, came on for the 8th inning, and it was just about over for the Yankees. Derek Jeter led off the inning with a double into the gap in right center field and Curtis Granderson followed him with a walk.
Downs got ahead against the next batter, Mark Teixeira, then tossed him a breaking ball in the 1-2 count. Fortunately for Teixeira, Downs left the ball up, and the Yankees’ first baseman planted it in the seats in left field, tying the game at five.
The next two outs came in order, but then Downs walked Nick Swisher and Mike Scioscia had seen enough, deciding to put the game in the hands of Kevin Jepsen, which is almost always a bad decision.
Dewayne Wise pinch ran for Swisher, and promptly took second on Jepsen to put himself in scoring position. After the steal, the Halos intentionally walked Raul Ibanez (who, by the way, continues to look like Voldemort) to bring up Russell Martin, who boasted just a .555 OPS against righthanders entering tonight’s action. Ibanez’s OPS against righties, .796, was good enough to somewhat justify the intentional walk.
The typical righthander that gets Martin out, however, is good and Kevin Jepsen is not. Martin promptly singled to give the New York the lead, 6-5.
Rafael Soriano picked up the save, with only a small hiccup coming when he allowed a one-out single to Howie Kendrick. The Angels failed to come back and open up the second half of the season on a positive note.
Hudson Belinsky can be followed on Twitter at @hudsonbelinsky.
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