White Sox 4, Angels 2
Somewhere in the back of your mind exists the definition of a perfect baseball player. If it’s a pitcher, maybe he has some combination of good velocity, command, stuff, and poise. If it’s a pitcher, there’s hitting for contact, hitting for power, solid fundamentals, range, arm…
You missed something. Effort. Or extended from that, the brainpower that controls your every action, and through that, your effort.
The Angels played with empty heads tonight. They didn’t care at all. It was 100% an example of going through the motions.
In the first inning, Andrelton Simmons made the stupidest decision he could possibly make; he went for too much. On a slow grounder to short, Simmons tried to do the heroic thing, the thing he’s done all year—go for two. He misfired, and the White Sox started an early rally that led to two White Sox runs.
It wasn’t the worst decision in the world, it’s just that Simba calculates all these decisions in his mind before he makes the right one 99% of the time. For him to misfire like that meant his mind was a hair off. And that was the difference in a 2-run White Sox lead in the first.
The bodies on the field played on, and then Avisail Garcia smoked a ball into left that Justin Upton had a 41% chance of catching (per Fletcher). So naturally, he went into an unnecessary slide and allowed the ball to roll past him for a three-bagger. 3-1 White Sox.
I can’t get over how bad that play was. Whenever you go to ground in the outfield, you’re taught to keep the baseball in front of you. Upton was sliding to his left, which meant that had he not caught the ball, the ball would’ve kept rolling all the way to the wall. That’s what happened here. An average runner (aka not Garcia or Pujols) would’ve scored.
Mike Trout homered. It was a no-doubter. That was fun.
After Ricky Nolasco (no dingerz) allowed two men to reach in the sixth, Mike Scioscia called for Jose Alvarez, who induced a bunt popout to CJ Cron. If you’re keeping score at home, this was a 3-unassisted putout, and it happened on the THIRD BASE SIDE of home. What Cron did was sprint over at least 40 feet of ground, knock Jose Alvarez off his feet, and barely catch a ball that, had it landed, meant disaster. In an alternate universe, Cron knocks out Alvarez with a concussion, tears his own ACL, and the ball rolls away. That’s seriously what I was thinking as I was watching this play. I don’t know how something didn’t go wrong.
You see, here Cron is trying to play hero ball. He does this at the plate too, hacking wildly for 3 strikeouts, but as he’s running over to steal the popup from Alvarez, he’s not trusting the pitcher at all. Baseball is not basketball or football or soccer. One man cannot take over a game. In fact, if you try to do so, you come out worse.
Need more evidence that the Angels were trying hero ball? James
‘Big Game’ ‘lol did this guy really pitch 7 innings and give up just 2 runs against us?’ Shields recorded 8 (EIGHT) strikeouts against us, his season high. The man is a terrible pitcher, and all we did was go fishing 8 (EIGHT) times. Unacceptable. Casey Kotchman never hit more than 14 homers a year. He never struck out more than 66 times in a season. I’d see him at first, DH, and even third (where as a lefty he would have a very hard time making plays) in a heartbeat. The strikeout epidemic is becoming terrible.
I digress. Scioscia pulls Alvarez and puts in the #1 righty out of the pen. This man is Blake Wood.
I wanted to skip over that inning and leave it as “**chaos,” but I realized that Luis Valbuena also made an incredibly boneheaded play as well. With the bags loaded and one out, down by a run, Valbuena fields a grounder and inexplicably doesn’t come home. I guess we like giving Chicago free runs.
I didn’t even skewer Scioscia for Blake Wood. Everyone knows what a terrible decision that was. I have no idea why he is the #1 righty out of the pen in a one-run game.
Maybe it’s Yunel Escobar. He never swung for the fences. And now he’s gone.