Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Mariners 3, Angels 1: Three Up, Three Down
By Mark Saxon
The Angels couldn't pull off the sweep they so badly needed in Seattle.
Carlos Peguero came up with a two-out, two-run single off Ervin Santana to give Seattle a 3-1 win at Safeco Field Wednesday, handing the Angels their ninth loss in their last 13 games.
Texas. It seemed as if the Rangers, having gotten back sluggers Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz, were going to take off and bury the rest of the mediocre AL West. Instead, they've hit their coldest stretch of the season and been pounded for a few days in New York. The Rangers have lost a season-high four straight games, keeping the division tightly bunched, at least until they hit a softer spot in the schedule.
Peter rabbit. The only way to look at Peter Bourjos is to consider any offense he contributes to be a bonus. The reason he plays everyday is he's the best center fielder in the American League. Wednesday was one of those bonus days. Bourjos went 2-for-2 and drew a walk -- a walk! -- something he rarely does.
Ervin Santana. When the Mariners finally rallied for a couple runs off Santana in the seventh inning, it was a long time coming. He had allowed six hits and a walk while managing to skirt danger up to then. Still, Santana looked in command striking out seven batters and he felt the sting other Angels' starters have lately, no run support.
Lack of caution. The reason teams routinely monitor pitch counts is because studies show that the greatest risk factor for major arm injuries is... you've got it, throwing a lot of pitches in games. The Angels have allowed their ace, Jered Weaver, to throw 1,735 pitches this season, most in the major leagues. It's weeks before the All-Star break. If this team does stay in a pennant race, will Weaver's arm be healthy and fresh by August?
Torii's numbers. Torii Hunter is hitting some balls hard, sure, but the results haven't been there lately. Hunter has one hit in his last 19 at-bats, his batting average slipping to a season low .225. This guy is too important to be routinely falling into slumps like this. The move to the No. 2 spot hasn't helped.
Role playing. Doesn't it seem like every time Rich Thompson comes into a tight game, something goes wrong? He's wonderful as long as the Angels are behind by three or winning by four. But in situations like Wednesday's, a one-run game, he tends to have trouble. He gave up a crucial home run to Greg Halman that let the Mariners ice away the final innings with less stress.