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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Angels Lose First Game On Road Trip: Nationals 5, Angels 4

Lost by Scot Shields, which surprised me, though the pitching was pretty uneven the whole game; Ervin Santana barely held it together through six innings, walking five and giving up four runs, all earned, with his defining moment of the game a bases-loaded walk in the sixth to Ronnie Belliard. The Vlad-less offense (he was benched from lingering flu-like symptoms) didn't do a whole lot against the Nats' pitching, either; just one of those games, I guess, but it's really hard to complain considering how well they've played on this road trip.

At least you could say the Angels were beaten by some of the Nats' good young players, like Elijah Dukes (who went 2-for-3 with two walks, making a fine defensive play to nail Garret Anderson at the plate and scoring the game-winning run) and Lastings Milledge (2-for-4 with two RBIs).

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Santana was probably better than you're giving him credit for; he was pretty much cruising through 5, having only walked two while striking out eight. He only gave up two hits through the first 5 as well - a WHIP of 0.80. Something happened in the 6th, though, and he just fell apart (one of the free passes was intentional). End result is the same, but saying he barely held it together is misleading. It's not as if he was leaking baserunners all game.

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