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Big League Stew

Wild! Intentional walk attempt turns costly for Angels’ Jepsen

David Brown
Big League Stew

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On Wednesday night, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Kevin Jepsen delivered a shocking wild pitch that not only handed the game to the opponent, but also defied explanation.

The Chicago White Sox scored the tie-breaking run in the 10th inning after Jepsen — during an intentional walk sequence to Paul Konkero — comically sailed the first pitch well over the head of catcher Hank Conger and back to the screen.

Alexei Ramirez scored easily from third base and the White Sox were on their way to an unlikely and madcap 6-4 victory in Anaheim — thanks in part to their hosts, who squandered what had been a three-run lead in the eighth.

Watch the extremely wild one

Jepsen, whom the Angels recalled from the minors before the game as an injury replacement, had control problems during his first major league stint of the season in April — four walks and three wild pitches in four innings.

Make it four wild pitches. Jepsen tried to explain himself afterward:

The veteran reliever leaned back in his chair and sighed when asked about the wildest of wild pitches.

"I threw it about 10 feet too high," Jepsen said. "Just sailed it. Sometimes on an intentional walk, you can take it too easy, I guess. That shouldn't happen. That's the first time I've ever done that."

Well, thank heaven for that. Hopefully it's the first and only time. Halos skipper Mike Scioscia, a major league catcher back in the day, found himself at a loss. {YSP:MORE}

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As his face bemusedly shows.

"I can't remember the last time I've seen that," manager Mike Scioscia said. "It might be the first time I've seen that."

The White Sox will take it, especially after their gosh-awful start to the season. They're still eight games under .500 and 9 1/2 games out of first place in the AL Central, but the victory could be a turning point.

Adam Dunn had four hits, including a long home run, and right-hander Jake Peavy returned — pitching well, despite a misleading line — after spending 10 months on the disabled list.

And then there was Konerko, who finished off the Angels with two great defensive plays, including a final out that's hard to believe even if seen. A lumbering fellow, Konerko also had an infield hit and a stolen base — both firsts, and possibly lasts, this season.

And yet, his best contribution might have been simply getting out of the way and letting Ramirez score after Jepsen unleashed heck on what was supposed to be a routine intentional pass.

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