The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hosted the Texas Rangers last night for opening day at the Big A.
Pitching for the Rangers was 25 year old Kason Gabbard, who ended last season with a 4.65 ERA. Gabbard was equally matched with the Angels Dustin Moseley, 26, who ended last season with a 4.40 ERA.
Upon hearing that Moseley would pitch for opening day, I must admit that I did not feel extremely confident. I personally have always seen Moseley as a middle reliever whose arm can only stay strong for two or three innings. This belief was further bolstered after last night's showing.
Moseley started the game with two strikeouts and looked strong going into the second inning. Murphy hit a double and moved to third base on Byrd's sacrifice fly. Moseley then threw a wild pitch over catcher Mike Napoli’s head, allowing Murphy to score.
The fourth inning began with the Angels still scoreless and Moseley gave up a one-out single to Milton Bradley. Moseley subsequently walked Murphy and then hit Marlon Byrd with a pitch, loading the bases.
Having bought tickets next to the bullpen, I was surprised to see no one up at or before this point. Moseley was obviously in trouble, and yet the bullpen remained silent. The bullpen continued to remain silent even after Broussard hit his sixth career grand slam high up into the pavilion seats in right center field.
Moseley was finally taken out in the sixth inning and was replaced by Jason Bulger and later Rich Thompson.
The Angels went into the bottom of the ninth inning losing 0-11 and having over half the fans already gone from the stadium. Though Moseley’s pitching was weak, he received no offensive help by the Angels.
They had several hits during the game and had many opportunities to score, but had come up empty. Gary Matthews Jr. continued to swing for the fences all game despite being in the number two position in the lineup.
Torii Hunter got two hits in the ninth, and Chone Figgins also got his third hit of the evening. Howie Kendrick hit an amazing triple to send men home and a missed infield fly by the catcher and a missed scoop by the right fielder also allowed the Angels to get on base.
Beloved second-year Angel Reggie Willits came in for Vlady, to the stadium chanting his name. Reggie hit a double, sending the ball curving around third base which bumped the score to 6-11. Garret Anderson came up with two outs and swung on the first pitch which was surprising. The ball soared to the wall of right field but came up short and was caught to end the game.
Though scoring six runs in the ninth inning was both exciting and impressive, the Angels offensive really needs to come together to support the pitchers, especially with Lackey and Escobar still on the DL. I think a lot of the damage could also have been prevented had we been warming someone up when Moseley began to lose his grip in the fourth. Our big RP, Shields, Speier, Oliver, and K-Rod all remained on the bench for the evening.
Jered Weaver will go up against Kevin Milwood at 6:05 PDT, and hopefully we will be able to light up the halo tonight.
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