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A's 14, Angels 0: Three Up, Three Down

5/18/2011

The Angels lost their third straight game Tuesday, putting up only scant resistance against the Oakland A's and their good left-hander Gio Gonzalez, falling all the way to third place after a 14-0 loss in Oakland. It was the Angels' most lopsided loss of the season.

The Good:

Slightly less-foul weather. This time, it only sprinkled and the game was delayed by less than 30 minutes. The good news is the Angels are headed to Seattle and it never rains there... right?

The matchups. The Angels at least can fall back on the fact their top two starting pitchers, Jered Weaver and Dan Haren, are pitching in Seattle this week. Anything less than a sweep would be disappointing, and could stick the Angels firmly in a familiar spot -- third place -- where they finished last season.

Howie. Hey, it wasn't a dazzling performance for Howie Kendrick, but his fifth-inning single meant the Angels wouldn't have to deal with being on the wrong end of a no-hitter by Gonzalez. They managed to come up with a whopping two hits against Gonzalez and two relievers.

The Bad:

The kid. It's easy to forget that Tyler Chatwood would be on the young end if he were at Double-A. Instead, he's in the major leagues, pitching to well-paid grown men. His charmed streak finally ended. For most of his starts, Chatwood was able to gut his way through difficult innings, with lots of base runners. Not Tuesday, when the 21-year-old couldn't get out of the third inning, allowing nine base runners and seven runs (five earned).

"Hot" corner. For a while, Alberto Callaspo played fine defense at third base, but his resume suggests he can be error-prone -- he booted 17 balls in 2009 for Kansas City -- and that tendency has come back. Callaspo made an error to usher in a couple of unearned runs. It was his sixth of the year. That's too high for mid-May.

Hitting. Make no mistake, Gonzalez is tough to hit. He's got a a mid-90s fastball, a nasty slider, a brilliant, sub-2.50 ERA and he's in a rotation of up-and-coming aces. But the Angels have some serious offensive issues right now. They're desperately short of power and they go through long stretches of futility with runners on base. The shutout loss was their fifth this season. They had nine all of last year, which wasn't exactly a slugfest.