Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Bats Stay Santana's Stumble: Angels 9, Rangers 6
And a mighty good thing that was, too, as Nippert was damned good. He's been not much of a pitcher most of his career, posting ERA+ numbers well under 100 every year of his major league career, most of them with the Diamondbacks. But every tall starter will get a chance, and sometimes two, and so Nippert found a way to mow down the Angels.
But back to Mendoza: the Angels' early offense was just batting practice, with Vlad's homer ending up in the upper deck in left, and Torii Hunter ripping a tape-measure blast. So ridiculous was the outburst, that Jeff Mathis' two-run jack got lost in the flurry.
One of the odder moments in the game was Mike Scioscia getting ejected from the game for arguing a hit-by-pitch call on Howie Kendrick in the top of the fifth. According to the radio crew, it was pretty obvious from the front.
K-Rod came in and nailed down a save that was scarier at the time than it really was in retrospect, simply because the winning run never came to the plate. A Texas attempt at a double steal got chalked up to defensive indifference, and David Murphy — who had earlier homered against Santana — lined out hard to Casey Kotchman. With the save, Frankie beat John Smoltz' record for saves before the All-Star break, and how about that.