Angels Unravel in the Bronx

By Saxon Baird

Like so many games this season, things started strongly for the Los Angeles Angels tonight. Mark Trumbo momentarily broke out of his slump with a two-run home run. Jason Vargas was mostly solid in his first start since June, scattering hits through the first four innings with his only blemish a solo shot by Vernon Wells. But in the fourth innings, things unraveled for the Angels.

Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With the bases loaded and one out against a struggling CC Sabathia, the Angels were only able to score a single run. Then in the next inning, Erick Aybar left the game with a stiff ankle as perhaps a sign of things to come. Two batters into the fourth and Alfonso Soriano went yard with a man on knocking Jason Vargas out of the game. The Angels almost answered in the fifth, loading the bases again but once against were unable to capitalize. However, this time, it was less the Angels fault but more the cause of a terrible call by the home plate umpire who claimed that Chris Nelson had left too early from third base after a sac-fly off the bat of Tommy Field.

Then Mike Scioscia went a bit crazy.

After a brief tirade between innings, Scioscia continued his trolling of the home plate umpire with a pitching change in the 6th. Instead of the usual pitching change made when the coach walks out to the mound, Scioscia decided to wait until he was on the mound. Then he waited some more. In fact, Scioscia waited for the ump to come all the way out to the hill before making the pitching change. A batter later, Scioscia did the exact same thing when bringing in Michael Kohn.

Call it #SoshTroll. It’s a new trend.

No amount of #soshtroll could fix the bullpen though. After Kohn came in and walked the first batter he faced, he then gave up an infield SAC-RBI. With an ineffective breaking ball, Kohn went to the fastball against a good fastball hitter in Alfonso Soriano and paid the price as Soriano smacked a ball into left for an RBI. Then Alex Rodriguez knocked one off the right field wall in the next at-bat. When the inning was all said and done, the Yankees had seen three Angels pitchers and scored four runs putting them up by five.

There wasn’t much else to write home about after that. There was a rain delay. Joe Blanton gave up some runs. The home plate umpire blew another call which lead one Yankees announcer to admit, “This has been a wacky game. Poor Mike Scioscia must be pulling his hair out.”

And that ladies and gentlemen, is the Angels season in nutshell. Early promises unfilled, injuries, terrible bullpen pitching, crappy luck, Josh Hamilton leaving five men on base, and Joe Blanton being terrible.

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