CHICAGO – Only once in Mike Scioscia's seven seasons managing the Los Angeles Angels had he experienced a meltdown like the one he witnessed Sunday. His bullpen, usually the Angels' pillar, blew a six-run lead and lost the game on Jim Thome's 500th home run. It was grim, demoralizing and illuminating too, because it reinforced that the Angels, the team nobody wants to play because of their pitching, might have some chinks in it.
Really, it had been seven years since the Angels' bullpen had frittered away a lead of six runs. Sept. 1, 2000, in Chicago. Alan Levine and Shigetoshi Hasegawa spoil a good Scott Schoeneweis start. Ah, such halcyon days.
Since then, Scioscia and Angels general manager Bill Stoneman have built teams centered around pitching – particularly the bullpen – and have won three American League West titles and a World Series. Since 2000, the Angels have finished the season with a bullpen earned-run average no worse than seventh in the major leagues and four times haveRead More »from Playoff Pulse: Broken Halos?