For the first time since July 21, 2011, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim won a game by the final score of 1-0, tonight’s victim was the Seattle Mariners.
The two-hour, twenty-seven minute affair only had one run, coming off of an outstanding individual performance in the sixth inning from the one, the only, Mike Trout. Trout lead the inning off with a speedy double to right center, and when I say speedy, I’m talking really stinkin’ fast. Albert Pujols was able to move Trout to third on a fly ball to right, then the nitty gritty action came through. With Mark Trumbo at the plate, Mariners hurler Joe Saunders threw a ball about two feet in front of the mound, and it bounced away from the scrambling rookie catcher, Mike Zunino. By the time Zunino had recovered the ball, Trout was sliding feet-first through home plate, for what would be the games winning and loan run.
You can’t help but feel for Mariners starter Joe Saunders in second return to Angel Stadium since leaving the organization. You can say that a pitcher can’t lose a game just on one pitch alone, but sadly tonight, that was the case, as Saunders was spectacular in his eight innings of work, despite the one wild pitch. Over the eight innings of work, Saunders sent three back to the bench on strikes, all swinging, and missing strike three on sliders. He only had two walks, and allowed just six hits. He attained the loss, but you really can’t say that the guy didn’t work his butt off the entire night on the mound.
Opposite of Saunders was C.J. Wilson, who did just fine himself, allowing just two hits, one that was a little flukey in the second inning, and the other at the hands of Kyle Seager. Wilson went to the stretch (seven full innings), striking out three and giving two a free pass to first. Wilson’s had a quick chit chat with pitching coach Mike Butcher with one out in the sevent, and was able to strikeout the next batter (Raul Ibanez), and then had Mike Zunino send a long fly ball to the warning track, where Mike Trout made the play of the night, putting the crowd on their feet early for the seventh inning stretch with a leaping catch at the wall, robbing Zunino of not only extra bases, but possibly a home run.
Peter Bourjos also had a great catch to rob Brendan Ryan of a potential home run in the third, but also was the only Angels batter to have multiple hits over the night, one being a double. Bourjos was moved to the leadoff slot for the Angels, and the statistics might be the reason why. After tonight’s game, Bourjos is batting .328 (22-for-67) while batting first, and is batting .500 (8-for-16) in the first inning alone. Scoscia potentially has a very serious, hidden threat in his lineup, and also batting right in front of Mike Trout.
Although he didn’t play tonight, Angels manager Mike Scoscia had this to say about Angels catcher Hank Conger, and his newly found defensive skills; “There’s no doubt Hank has put a lot of hard work into the defensive side of his game. I think the last couple of years he [has shown] a big improvement on his ability to receive pitches, and work with pitchers, and do all the things you need to do in that part of it, and he’s starting to throw the ball more consistently too, which is important.
Just one more important note about tonight’s game. It was only the seventh time in the history of the Angels that they have won a game 1-0, on a wild pitch.
Final from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California:
Mariners, 0 Angels, 1
W – C.J. Wilson (6-5, 3.61)
L – Joe Saunders (5-7,4.48)
S – Ernesto Frieri (13, 2.61)
For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, follow me on Twitter by clicking the “follow” button on the side link, or find me @taylorblakeward. Don’t forget to also follow ValleyBayNews as well (@ValleyBayNews).