Well, that was fun. On what should’ve been Jered Weaver night, the Angels got a solid performance from 26 year-old, Matt Shoemaker. Making his Major League debut, Shoemaker went five innings, struck out six and allowed no runs. He would end up taking a no decision, but his split finger fastball impressed this blogger. Will it be enough for him to earn one off the rotation spots that may be vacated by Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton before next season? Only time will tell.
Unfortunately for Shoemaker, Erasmo Ramirez was equally as stifling as headed the Angels scoreless into the seventh inning before being removed for an injury concern.
The Mariners drew blood first in the seventh when Dustin Ackley drove in the game’s first two runs with ad single to right field off of Michael Kohn. But he never would have had the opportunity had Kohn covered first in time on the previous play. That one play could have made Kohn the goat of the evening, and he should thank Andrew Romine for bailing him out.
With two, and men on second third, Romine looped a double to right field to drive in both runners and tie the game up at two apiece. For an all-glove, no-stick prospect, that’s two three-hit games for Romine this season. Does he make Erick Aybar expendable? Maybe. Probably not, but, maybe.
The game stayed tied into extra innings, and in huge tenth, the Angels were primed to end it. J.B. Shuck led the inning off with a basehit. But instead off letting the .300-hitting Howie Kendrick swing away, Mike Scioscia called for a sacrifice bunt. The bunt worked, but Scioscia took the bat out of both Kendrick’s and Mike Trout‘s hands. The Mariners walked Trout intentionally for the second time, brought Ina lefty for the following hitter, Josh Hamilton, and got an inning-ending double play.
I’m not hip to all of the “stop bleeping bunting” mess, but, there are moments when it’s necessary. Using it to effectively take the bat out of the hands of your two best hitters, is most assuredly not one off those moments. But Chris Iannetta bailed out Scioscia the following inning when drove in Kole Calhoun to secure the win and draw the Angels to within three games of the .500 mark. Ahhhhhh, the .500 mark. Sweet, sweet mediocrity.
Game two of the series goes off tonight at 6:05 PM PST when the Angels send Jerome Williams to the mound to face off against former Angel, Joe Saunders. Light that baby up. I’m guessing that the electric bill has been pretty high this month.