Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 7/2/12
Scott Downs didn't make the American League All-Star team and wasn't picked as a candidate for the fans' final vote to select the last member of the American League squad. That went to his Angels bullpen mate, Ernesto Frieri. In a way, that's a shame. Downs could make a good case for himself based on the season he's having. Downs is one of those guys who works in relative anonymity in the bullpen. He's played for four teams in 11 years (including the long-deceased Montreal Expos) and has never approached All-Star status. Closers become stars. Downs, 36, is just a left-handed reliever, a situational pitcher whose primary job is to get out left-handed hitters. He's done that and more this season. In the Angels' 3-0 win over the Cleveland Indians, Downs picked up the final six outs to save the game for starter Jered Weaver, whose seven shutout innings lowered his ERA to an American League-leading 2.13. Downs did it impressively, coming into the game after Weaver gave up leadoff singles to Jack Hannahan and Shin-Soo Choo to open the eighth. First batter: switch-hitter Asdrubal Cabrera. Downs, a sinkerball specialist, got Cabrera to hit his second pitch on the ground for a 6-4-3 double play. Second batter: left-handed-hitter Jason Kipnis. Downs retired the Indians second baseman on a fly ball to center, preserving the shutout. He retired the side in order in the ninth, including catching a line-drive off the bat of Carlos Santana for the second out. "Downs has been getting it done for us all year, and every year he's been with us," Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick told FOX Sports West after the game. "He's easy to play behind." This is Downs' second season in Anaheim. Last season, he went 6-3, had one save and finished with a career-best 1.34 ERA. This season, he's been even better, going 7 for 7 in save opportunities and giving up just one earned run in 28 13 innings, an absurdly low 0.32 ERA. The fact Frieri has yet to allow a run since the trade that brought him to the Angels on May 3 from San Diego is the reason he's a candidate for the last spot on the AL All-Star team. But Downs shouldn't be dismissed. In fact, he and Frieri pretty much share the closer's role on the Angels. They have the best combined ERA for any two relief pitchers in the majors, a 0.17 mark in 52 13 innings. Certainly, manager Mike Scioscia took notice. In a game in which Weaver worked himself out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the seventh and rookie Mike Trout caused ripples of concern after injuring his right pinky Sunday in Toronto and missing his first start in 49 games, he still remembered his left-hander. "Scott Downs was as important as anything that happened tonight," Scioscia told reporters. That's a nice pat on the back for a pitcher who doesn't get the big money and may never win a roster spot in an All-Star Game. But this season, he's proving he deserves a nod.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Report: Colts' Jones suspended four games for PED use

Report: Royals have interest in Nick Markakis

Ezekiel Elliott domestic violence 911 call released

Manu Ginobili talks interest in 76ers before sticking with Spurs


Lakers reportedly have ‘unnamed trade target in mind

Report: Rodman a 'person of interest' in hit-and-run

Draymond Green reaches plea deal in assault case

Evander Kane arrested after turning himself in

Former NFL coach Dennis Green passes away

Michael Vick says he would only sign with contender

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

Report: Rangers pushing trade efforts for Sale

Russell Martin day-to-day after sauna-related mishap

Celtics reportedly unwilling to give up much for Jahlil Okafor

Report: Jay Bruce drawing trade interest

Vitale: Trump’s speech “filled with lies,” might write in Coach K

Report: Nationals ‘want in’ on Chapman sweepstakes

Hornets co-owner blasts NBA, city for taking away All-Star Game

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

Vikings installing massive horn in new stadium

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker