C.J. Wilson had trouble finding the plate all afternoon in Anaheim, so much so that manager Mike Scioscia pulled the lefty from the L.A. Angels’ game against the Chicago White Sox in the fourth inning—but not before the damage had been done.
Charged with four runs over 3 2/3 innings, C.J. Wilson had his worst start of the season on Thursday, and it couldn’t have come at a tougher time. With the under-.500 White Sox in town, the Angels had a chance to kickstart the season with a big “W” at the Big A.
Unfortunately for them, the game didn't unfold his way. But despite his control troubles—six walks and a nearly equal number of balls and strikes in just 88 pitches—C.J. Wilson cannot fairly be singled out for blame in the team's loss.
That dishonor falls on the Angels’ defense.
The fourth inning rally that powered the White Sox to victory would never have taken place had Mike Trout only held onto a routine fly ball. But with Torii Hunter injured and Trout filling his place in right field, the rookie dropped an easy catch—a second chance that allowed the Sox to score three runs with two out in the fourth.
Though the scoreboard listed that as the game’s only error, viewers and fans in attendance know different.
Howie Kendrick misplayed not one but two pop-ups at second base, allowing both to fall at his feet for free base hits. Not to be outdone, shortstop Maicer Izturis joined the Stooge-like cavalcade by squeezing still another erstwhile White Sox pop-out from his glove, allowing yet another White Sox batter a free trip to the bags. Even left fielder Vernon Wells’ Gold Glove-quality grab hanging from the outfield fence, robbing the Sox of a sure insurance run-homer, couldn’t stanch the tide.
The Angels' one run came on Albert Pujols’ solo shot in the sixth—his third of the year and perhaps a portent of improved output from the slugger—and Mark Trumbo went 4-for-4, proving that he, along with David Ortiz and the White Sox’ own Paul Konerko, is one of the top DHs in the league and a likely All-Star. But it wasn't nearly enough to dig the team out of the trench that its poor defense had surveyed and laid.
The loss leaves the Angels with a win-loss record of 17-22, seven games back of the Texas Rangers in the AL West division race. From here, the Angels go on a ten day road swing through San Diego, Oakland and Seattle before returning home to close out the month hosting the New York Yankees.