Again, I refuse to call them the Los Angeles Angels. They’re in Anaheim. Sorry Moreno.
I think pretty much everyone figured that John Lackey was going to last more than two pitches, and he’d be the good pitcher he really is. Last night was certainly the chase there. At least for awhile. Through the first four and two thirds, Lackey was putting up zeroes. We had a few chances, but he always danced his way out of trouble. Then came the fifth inning.
Elvis Andrus tried bunting for a single, but hit it poorly, it went straight towards the pitcher, so he was thrown out. After that, Ian Kinsler struck out swinging. Looked like another Lackey style inning. Then, as Josh Lewin said, the wheels came completely off. Seven straight Rangers reached base. After two outs! Here’s a rundown:
- Single by Michael Young
- Single by Josh Hamilton
- Home Run by Andruw Jones (on a two strike count, if I remember right)
- Double by Hank Blalock
- Walk by Marlon Byrd
- Walk by David Murphy
- Wild Pitch, scoring Blalock
- Single by Saltamaccha, scoring Byrd & Murphy
After that, John Lackey was pulled from the game. He was relieved by Mark Bulger who stopped the bleeding in that inning. That was a six run outburst, all after two outs in that inning. Most impressive.
Overall, our offense managed fourteen hits. Only one guy took an ofer, that being David Murphy. But even David managed a walk, and scored, too.
Pitching for us was led by Dustin Nippert, who looked quite different with that beard. Also, he appeared to be wearing a rather thick necklace, which may have been new. The reason I think that is that he had a big tag of some sort on his left shoulder. It was either from his uniform, or the necklace. It was gone after the first inning. :) Anyway, Nippert was making his 2009 debut, and wasn’t terribly great. He didn’t survive the fourth inning. Gave up seven hits and a walk for three runs overall. The run output wasn’t horrible, but seven hits in less than four innings is not. He was “meh”. I’ve seen worse lines, but was really far away from even “just good”.
That forced our pen into action early. Derek Holland threw two innings of relief, and allowed just a single hit. He also allowed a run, but it was unearned. In what would have been his final batter, Saltamacchia dropped an easy popup in front of the plate. Holland was relieved, and Jason Jennings had some issues getting guys out (he walked two more, loading the bases before getting out of it). Anyway, Holland was quite good. Two innings, 19 pitches, no runs. The rest of the pen only allowed a single run, and that was from Frank Francisco, who gave up a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth. While Jennings didn’t allow any runs, he had some major control problems, and probably should have had a few runs on his book the way he pitched. Darren O’Day & CJ Wilson looked good, too.
The first game of the formal second half of the season put us back into a tie for first place with Anaheim.