Thursday, August 2, 2012
Rangers rally trumps Pujols power
By ESPN Stats & Information
AP Photo/John F. RhodesThe Los Angeles Angels missed a huge opportunity to pull within two games of the Texas Rangers in the AL West.
The Rangers celebrated a come-from-behind victory after Elvin Adrus’ third career walk-off it.
Leading 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth, the game seemed in the bag with Ernesto Frieri on the mound. He hadn’t blown a save all season with the Angels (or in his career for that matter).
But there’s a first for everything.
Frieri allowed Ian Kinsler’s third career game-tying home run in the 9th inning or later and the game went to extras.
Then came the continued resurgence of Albert Pujols, whose second homer of the game gave the Angels a three-run lead.
It may be surprising for a power hitter of his caliber, but it’s the first time in Pujols' career that he's hit multiple home runs in consecutive games.
Finally, there was the dagger. The Rangers battled back once again with an Elvis Andrus walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th, the third walk-off hit of his career.
It’s the first time the Rangers had a game-tying home run in the ninth inning and then a walk-off hit in the 10th since September 14, 2005 against the Orioles, when David Dellucci hit a game-tying homer in the 9th and Kevin Mench hit a walk-off single in the 10th.
It's the second time in franchise history that the Rangers came back from a three-run deficit in extra innings, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The only other time was May 18, 1975 against the Detroit Tigers.
PUJOLS vs FASTBALLS
Pujols has been crushing fastballs lately, as he hit a pair of homers against heaters on Wednesday.
His slugging percentage against fastballs since the All-Star break has more than doubled what it was before the break. And he has as many homers off fastballs in the last three weeks as he had in the entire first half of the season. Pujols leads the Majors in homers, slugging percentage and OPS against fastballs since the All-Star break.
WHAT HAPPENED TO FRIERI?
Since being acquired by the Angels, Frieri had a flawless 0.00 ERA before the All-Star break and converted all 11 save opportunities. He hadn't allowed a single run in 26 ⅓ innings. But since the break, he's allowed seven earned runs in six innings.
OPPONENTS CATCHING ON TO DARVISH?
The Rangers won despite a poor outing from Yu Darvish, who matched career highs with seven earned runs and six walks allowed.
Darvish is very effective the first time around but not so great the next time opponents face him.
In starts against teams he had already faced at least once, Darvish is 3-5 with a 6.45 ERA. In his first start against teams, he’s 8-2 with a 2.91 ERA.