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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Frankie Ties MLB Saves Record With 57: Angels 7, Mariners 4

Jered Weaver pitched his best game in a long while, going six shutout innings; the bullpen tried mightily to lose it for him, especially Justin Speier, who had his worst game since another three-run implosion against the M's on August 13. That included a leadoff homer to Ichiro and a couple more runs as well. Maybe it's just age, but this decline is so sudden that I wonder whether he hasn't been pitching injured the whole year. For sure, he's not on the postseason roster.

That brought in Scot Shields, who got one out on one pitch to end the eighth, and was left in to finish the game but gave up singles to Kenji Johjima and newcomer Luis Valbuena. With the tying run in the on-deck circle, Mike took no chances and called in Frankie to slam the door shut, and while he nicked Shields' ERA by allowing Reed Johnson to score (he pinch-ran for Johjima), the damage wasn't terrible. Frankie ran off the mound at first in case he was needed to take the grounder, but a step or two later in a victory celebration.

Offensively, it was a patchwork lineup, with Gary Matthews, Jr. at leadoff, Kendry Morales at first (with Mark Teixeira still down with the flu), Robb Quinlan at third, Brandon Wood at short, Sean Rodriguez at second, and Jeff Mathis starting behind the dish. Aside from Garrret Anderson, whose three RBIs from the two-hole paced the team, most of the damage came from the bottom of the order, with Morales, Wood, and S-Rod each owning a multi-hit game, and Mathis even cashing in two on a clutch RBI bloop single that started the scoring in a big five-run sixth.

Brandon Morrow took the loss despite only giving up two runs over five innings; the real culprit for the M's was Sean Green, on the mound for four of the five runs in the Angels' fifth.

Yahoo boxAngels recap

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I wouldn't include Mathis as part of the patch work line-up. He splits catching duties (Nap isn't the full time starter.

I'm not sure the pen was trying to lose it for Weave as much as just giving Frankie another save opportunity. Same can be said about Mike bringing Frankie in.

And wasn't that Game #2000 for GA? A notable thing, but even the Times missed it, and the fact you're about the only baseball writer in the country who didn't try to diminish Frankie's accomplishments (ESPN and Joe Sheehan yesterday), kudos for overall another good write up.

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