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With bad bounce, Angels lose finale to Mariners: A fan’s reaction
The Los Angeles Angels road trip continued June 15 with a pitcher's duel in Seattle between two unlikely pitchers, but was lost on a terrible bounce. Ervin Santana(notes) and Erik Bedard(notes) hooked up in a scoreless game into the late innings. Both pitchers were dominant and both deserved to get the win, but in the end, fate was on the Mariners' side in their 3-1 victory.
Ervin Santana's shutout came to an end with two outs in the seventh and the bases loaded. On a play that symbolizes the Angels' season, Santana got Carlos Peguero(notes) to ground the ball to second, and the ball hit directly on the bag at second as Erick Aybar(notes) watched helplessly as the ball soared over his head into center field. The odd hit resulted in two runs scored and Santana's exit from the game after pitching a season-high 121 pitches.
The Mariners added one more run with a solo home run off Rich Thompson(notes) by Greg Halman(notes) hitting the first dinger of his career to put the game out of reach for the Angels. The Angels did have a good outing from recent call-up Bobby Cassevah(notes), who faced two batters and retired them both in his first appearance of the 2011 season.
The Scott Kazmir(notes) experiment is over in Anaheim, as the Los Angeles finally sever ties with former ace pitcher. Kazmir has struggled since spring training and has only gone backwards since arriving for his rehab stint in Salt Lake City. Kazmir posted an ERA of 17.02 in his five games with the Bees.
Kazmir has suffered lower back problems and has not been able to regain his form when he was one of the most dominant pitchers in the game. Kazmir will leave the Angels with a nice severance package of $9.5 million, which includes a $2.5 million buyout.
Tyler Chatwood's(notes) emergence as a starter allowed the Angels' Tony Reagins to send Kazmir packing. Although Chatwood struggled in some games, he is more than adequate as a No. 5 starter on this Angels' pitching staff. Chatwood does give up the long ball on a regular basis but he has been strong.
The Angels will now embark on their interleague stretch with nine games against National League teams, beginning with a three-game set against the New York Mets. It will be the Angels' first trip to play in Citi Field, and they will lead off with Joel Pineiro(notes) (2-3) facing Chris Capuano(notes) (5-6) on June 17.
Dan Haren(notes) has also been moved up in the rotation with an extra day off. Haren (6-4) will pitch June 18 against Jonathon Niese(notes) (6-5). Chatwood (3-4) moves back a game in the rotation and will pitch the final game of the series June 19 against Mike Pelfrey(notes) (3-5). The move of Haren was made to give Chatwood another day off and give the 21-year-old a look at the Mets' hitters for two days before he faces them.
The Angels can win two of three in this series, and if they do this will give them an opportunity to return from this road trip with winning record. If the Angels can muster eight wins on this road trip it would be a huge success. The hitters must cooperate against National League pitching, and if they can just hit .300, they can turn this dismal season around.
*Todd Jacobs is a native Anaheim resident and long time Los Angeles Angels fan.
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