4/22-Angels Cough up Lead, Rally Falls Short in 12-10 Loss

grandersonSurprise, surprise. The bullpen is at it again. But this time, they didn’t blow a stellar outing from the starting pitcher.

Joe Saunders was no bueno tonight, after being a dominant force in April last year. Saunders would go 5 innings, his shortest outing so far this year, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits, and striking out only 1 Tiger batter.

And if Saunders was no bueno, the Justin Verlander for the Tigers was muy malo. Verlander continued his horrid start to 2009 by completing 5 innings, but gave up 7 runs on 9 hits while also striking out 5. Verlander’s ERA is now up to 9 (I would kill for some Angel relievers to have their ERA be 9 at this point but I’ll get to that later).

The Angels’ offense came to play, though, putting up 10 runs on 16 hits, a pretty rare feat for the Halo offensive given their slow start to the year and now the absence of the Big Daddy.

The Tiger lineup one-upped the Angels though, however, putting up 12 runs on 18 hits, and the Angels just couldn’t quite hang with ’em in the end of the game.

Up 2 runs going in to the 7th inning, Scot Shields came in for some bullpen duty. Not much more needs to be said here really, but I guess I need to say it. Shields would face 4 batters in the inning, going hit, walk, hit, walk. 1 run would score on that final batter. Shields would record no outs officially. Just great.

Then Jose Arredondo would come in and proceed to give up 4 hits, allowing 3 more runs to be charged to Shields, and would give up another one, this one charged to himself. 5 runs in 1 inning.

Shields’ ERA is now 14.40. SWEET JESUS WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS BULLPEN?!?!????!?!?!!?!?

What has happened to the formerly feared Halo bullpen. After 6 or 7 innings, if the Angels had the lead, they had those games clamped down for the past 3 or 4 seasons! Not even K-Rod could have solved this issue. It’s not just the closer. It’s the set-up men, the middle relievers, somewhat the closer… basically everyone except Darren Oliver (who is now technically a starter but whatever).

And then Jason Bulger comes in in the 8th, and mows down the Tigers 1-2-3. Seriously? This is a guy who lowered his ERA to 13.50. LOWERED. What is wrong with this picture… Scot Shields has a higher ERA than Jason Bulger, and Jason Bulger entered the game giving up 6 runs in 5 innings. Oh boy. My rant is over. I can’t take much more of this.

The Angels entered the 9th inning down 4 runs, but would cut the lead in half to 12-10 on a Juan Rivera 2-run double, but that score would be the final.

Every Angel would have at least 1 hit tonight, with 5 of the 9 Angel hitters accounting for 2 or more hits apiece.

Kendry Morales provided the offensive spark, driving in half of the runs for the Halos tonight. KMo would go 2-for-5 with a 3-run homer and 5 RBI on the night, no doubt his best night of the year considering that he came in to tonight’s game with 4 RBI in 13 games.

Torii Hunter and Maicer Izturis would each have 3 hits and an RBI in the game, and would hit 3 doubles between them (2 from Izturis). Hunter now has an 8-game hitting streak.

Curtis Granderson would hit his 3rd home run of the series, and his 5th on the year, going 3-for-4 on the night for the Tigers.

Brandon Inge would also pitch in with a home run in the 9th, a solo shot for his 5th of the year.

Juan Rincon (1-0) would pick up the win for the Tigers, and for the Halos, Scot Shields (0-2) would get the loss.

The Angels slip to 5-9, whereas the Tigers improve to 8-6 on the season.

Halo of the Game Review and Pick

4/22 Halo of the Game Pick: Mike Napoli

Stat Line: 1-3, 0 RBI, 1 R, 1 K, 2 BB, 1 LOB

Napoli was about to be “that guy” in the lineup, meaning that he was going to be “that guy” that didn’t get a hit for the Angels when everyone else did for the game. Thankfully he got his chance in the 9th and hit a single to extend the hitting streak to a 3-spot. Yippee.

Current Halo of the Game Hit Streak: 3

Halo of the Game Season Hitting Statistics

14 G – .315 avg. (17-54), 2 HR, 8 RBI, 9 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 9 K, 7 BB, 3 SB

Tomorrow’s Halo of the Game Pick: Bobby Abreu

Tomorrow’s Probables

The Tigers will be sending out former Dodger blue-chip prospect Edwin Jackson (3 starts – 1-0, 2.14 ERA) for the final game of the 3-game set.

The Halos will throw out… Matt Palmer? Uhhhh, well he pitched for the Giants last year, going 0-2 with a 8.53 ERA. God help us all.

Go Halos!

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