ANAHEIM, Calif. There had to be a level of frustration late Wednesday night in the Angels clubhouse. They let a game get away from them, a game they could have won in so many ways but a game they lost in so many ways.
So rather than end a productive homestand with a win, they dropped an 8-6 game to the underachieving Seattle Mariners. It must have left a sour taste in their mouths.
The Angels took two of three games from two of the best teams in the American League, the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers. Losing two of three to Seattle isn’t the kind of thing they want to take on a six-game road trip.
They had a chance to close to within 3 games of the Rangers in the AL West, but they wasted 4-2 and 6-4 leads. How? Count the ways:
– The Mariners scored all of their runs with two outs. That’s painful, no?
“I don’t know about being painful,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “You have to close out innings, and we cracked the door for them. We tried to absorb a little on the offensive side, but we couldn’t quite get it done.”
Angels starter Jerome Williams admitted his culpability, although it wasn’t entirely his fault. But he gave up a two-out, two-run double to Mike Carp in the second inning and a two-run double in the fifth to Kyle Seager.
– The two runs in the fifth were unearned because shortstop Erick Aybar booted a grounder by Ichiro Suzuki, setting up the rest of the inning.
“In crucial moments, I had to make a pitch and I didn’t make it,” Williams said. “I had to bear down and they got me.”
Aybar won a Gold Glove for his work last season, but he’s hardly been golden this year. He’s made eight errors in 55 games, some on routine balls.
“He’s made some incredible plays,” Scioscia said in defense of his shortstop. “There’s a couple of balls that got away from him, but that can be a part of any shortstop’s game. You’re not going to make them all.”
– The Angels were 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.
They grounded into two double plays, each time with runners in scoring position. On the first one, Maicer Izturis hit a bouncer to first baseman Justin Smoak, who made a difficult throw to short, but the relay from Brendan Ryan to pitcher Stephen Pryor was in time to catch Izturis, who seemed not to be running at full speed.
Albert Pujols almost got the Angels even in the seventh inning, but his drive to left-center field struck the wall, leaving him with a double. Pujols thought he hit it out, watching the ball during its entire flight.
His aggressive running allowed him to tag and reach third on a fly ball to left by Kendrys Morales, but after Mark Trumbo was intentionally walked, Howie Kendrick bounced into an inning-ending double play.
And so it went. So many opportunities, so many lost chances.
“The only thing we can do is continue to set the table and do the things we can do,” Scioscia said. “We scored six runs in a couple of games and lost the series. There’s more we could’ve done offensively, but I don’t know if you could look at this game and say it was an offensive letdown. We definitely had leads and couldn’t hold them.”
And so they take Thursday off before resuming inter-league play at Colorado. No doubt they’ll need a full day off to forget this game.