Angels 2, Indians 1 (11): Three Up, Three Down
May, 6, 2011
By Blair Angulo | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Kelvin Kuo/US PresswireAngels players mob Torii Hunter after his 11th-inning single delivered a 2-1 win over Cleveland.
ANAHEIM -- Torii Hunter straightened out a hanging breaking ball to give the Los Angeles Angels a walk-off, 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians in 11 innings Friday. The first three batters singled to load the bases, setting up Hunter's heroics and the Angels' third walk-off win this season.
It was the Angels' eighth extra-inning affair this year, the most in club history through the first 33 games. Manager Mike Scioscia is now one win shy of 1,000 for his career.
Eight strong. Rookie Tyler Chatwood had the best outing of his young career -- giving up a run and two hits in eight innings -- but didn't factor in the decision. Perhaps it's an indication of the adjustments he has made since making his major league debut April 11 against these Indians (when he surrendered four runs in five innings and took the loss). "He committed to his pitches tonight," Scioscia said. "He had an idea of what he wanted to do."
Strategy. Scioscia took a peek at Cleveland's infield alignment and elected not to have Maicer Izturis bunt with runners on first and second and no outs in the 11th. The move worked; Izturis lined a single to right to load up the bases. Hunter stepped up to the plate and sent Justin Germano's second pitch to the left field corner.
Shortstop. One can only wonder what Erick Aybar's numbers would look like had he not missed 14 games because of an oblique injury. He is 7-for-11 in his last two games, raising his average to .371 (23-for-62) in 13 games since the DL stint. Despite the 17-day absence, Aybar is tied for fourth in the American League with eight stolen bases.
Baserunning. Izturis tested right fielder Shin-soo Choo, the AL's leader in outfield assists, and didn't fare too well. In the sixth, immediately after the Angels tied it at 1-1, Choo caught a fly ball by Hunter and fired a missile to gun down Izturis at third. Can't really blame the effort; the Angels were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position at that point.
Whiffing. Just when it seemed as if Vernon Wells had found a semblance of rhythm in Boston, he strikes out three times and grounds into a rally-killing double play Friday. The boos at Angel Stadium are growing louder by the game. Wells, the second highest paid player in baseball, is hitting .113 (6-for-53) at home.
Short straw. Peter Bourjos wasn't in the starting lineup with Cleveland right-hander Justin Masterson on the mound, but he didn't necessarily have the night off. Bourjos participated in the Angels' 37th-annual pregame milking contest, beating Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin in an awkward, four-minute race.