Los Angeles Angels (33-41) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (45-30)
It’s no secret – the Angels are hovering around 10.5 games back and they desperately need wins. And they need wins now if there is going to be any hope of a wildcard berth at the end of the 2013 regular season.
Interleague play is (usually) beneficial to the Angels’ overall record. Friday night was an exception, however, as Jered Weaver (1-4, 4.65 ERA) ran into a hot Pirates lineup that has posted the second best record in the National League at 45-30.
Jerome Williams (5-3, 3.36) took the hill in game two of a three game series Saturday night. He would face Pirates veteran Francisco Liriano (6-3, 2.30 ERA). Williams wouldn’t get too far into it before running into trouble in the second inning. With one out and no one on base, Pedro Alvarez launched his 18th home run of the season. Alvarez has been hitting well as of late- this was his third straight game with a home run.
Needless to say, Williams was off to a less than stellar start. Jordy Mercer singled to left scoring Gaby Sanchez, and Travis Snider would advance to second on the play. The Pirates continued to put pressure on the Angels as they loaded the bases with two outs. Williams managed to escape to the third inning after getting Andrew McCutchen to ground into a fielders choice to third base.
Jordy. Gaby. Really?! Oh, nevermind.
The Angels’ offense would threaten in the third after a bunt base hit by JB Shuck and a single to left off the bat of Peter Bourjos. Mike Trout came up with one out and runners on first and second. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be as Trout and Pujols both grounded out to end the inning.
Pirates poster boy Andrew “Don’t call me Andy” McCutchen belted his eighth home run of the year in the top of the fifth making it 5-0. This clearly wasn’t Jerome’s night as Williams allowed five runs on eight hits (including two home runs) before turning the ball over to the Angels’ bullpen. And we all know the Angels’ bullpen isn’t the most reliable in the majors.
The Angels would finally get on the board in the bottom of the seventh as J.B. Shuck hit a ground rule double to right and would score on a Mike Trout base hit to center giving the Angels their only run in the contest.
Gaby Sanchez would take Michael Kohn deep in the top of the eighth propelling the Pirates to an eventual 6-1 victory over the halos. As my editor would say: “Light that Fail-O up.” Just when many thought this club had turned things around they drop the first two in the series against the Pirates.