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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Lackey Pitches Well, Angels Win Despite The Bullpen: Angels 6, Blue Jays 5

I've been pretty annoyed with John Lackey lately because of his sloppiness, but I'm in a forgiving mood mainly because I tend to blame the Angels on rushing him back. Today was his second good outing of the year (of six total); holding the Jays to two runs over seven innings, he had a couple nail biting moments. In particular, he put two on in the third with one out, and more ominously, men on second and third with two out in the bottom of the seventh facing Alex Rios. He got out of the first jam with a conveniently placed DP ball, and in the second by striking out Rios. Rios finished the day with a golden sombrero, so he has something to think about.

The Angels jumped on Brian Tallet early for three in the first, and tacked on single runs in the fourth and sixth. The big surprise was, once Darren Oliver had a rare collapse (and Justin Speier, a not-so-rare collapse) to tie the game in the eighth, Howie Kendrick getting aboard on a bunt single, and eventually scoring by way of Erick Aybar's bases-loaded DP ball. Unfortunately, according to the radio call, it sounded like Kendrick's head was, once again, not in the game, as Dino Ebel had to shout at Howie to get going on the play, since Kendrick remained stationary at third. It recalled Kendrick's baserunning blunder in the opening game of the series, in which he erased himself on a routine pop to shallow left. He almost got to be a goat again.

And as Steve Bisheff blogged earlier today,

Come on, all those fans clamoring for Brandon Wood or Sean Rodriguez have to know that if Howie Kendrick is benched, Mike Scioscia's first option is always going to be Maicer Izturis...."
Apparently Scioscia still hates home runs.

Somehow the Angels survived a near-second implosion, this time from Brian Fuentes, who gave up a double and a walk with one out, but struck out the last two batters he faced to get the save.

Yahoo boxAngels recap

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