Found September 20, 2012 on Fox Sports West:
ANAHEIM, Calif. In the closing weeks of the season, with a playoff spot on the line, little things can make a big difference. One mistake can cost a game. One base-running error can stop a big inning. One loss can sink a season. The Angels spent Wednesday night lamenting all the little things that went wrong against the Texas Rangers. They lost a game, lost a day in their season and lost ground in the American League wild card race. The silver lining: It could have been worse. Despite their 6-2 defeat to the Rangers at Angel Stadium, they lost only a half-game in the wild card scramble. The Oakland A's loss to the Detroit Tigers dropped the A's into the second wild card spot, leaving the Angels 3 games out. That's not a comfortable distance, but it's not impossible either. With only 13 games left in the regular season, the Angels have put themselves in an unenviable position, needing to win and hope the A's or the Baltimore Orioles or both -- lose. "We have a couple of weeks left or a month and a half left," pitcher CJ Wilson said. "It depends on how well we play." But they can't win unless they can avoid the kind of mistakes they made Wednesday. Wilson struggled finding the strike zone and never made it out of the third inning, and Albert Pujols committed a regrettable base-running error that took the Angels out of a potential big inning. How big was Pujols' miscue? At the time, the Angels were behind 3-2 in the sixth. He could have represented the tying run at third base. But his attempt to stretch a single to center field into a double was questionable. He was thrown out by 10 feet by Rangers center fielder Craig Gentry. The next batter, Torii Hunter, lined a ground-rule double to left-center. The Angels would have had runners at third and third with one out. Instead, they had a runner at second with two outs. "Albert he plays baseball; that's why he's successful," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Gentry showed some real range out there and got to that ball and made a play. There's no doubt getting to second base was big. "We trust Albert's instincts, he trusts his instincts. It just didn't work out." Wilson had exited the game long before then, giving up three runs in the third after walking the bases loaded in the first but escaping. Of the 66 pitches he threw, only 35 were strikes. "It was more of an execution issue than a game-plan issue," Scioscia said. Wilson said his two-seam fastball was running too much in the first inning, causing him to fall behind early. But in the third, after a run-scoring triple by Elvis Andrus, an RBI double by Michael Young and a double by Mike Napoli for another run, Scioscia pulled the left-hander. He couldn't afford to let the game get out of hand. "I wasn't happy to get pulled out of the game," Wilson said, "but I wasn't doing well either, so it's my own fault. "We're trying to win the game, so I understand. We have to do what we have to do, I guess, but as a starter you never want to get pulled early. How are you going to be happy after that?" It wasn't a game to be happy about. The Angels needed a win and suffered a loss. The days are running short, and every mistake suddenly looks enormous. "All we can is come out and win tomorrow," Scioscia said. It's all they have.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Wilson has closed-door meeting with Scioscia

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A closed-door meeting in the manager's office is never a good sign, so the fact CJ Wilson spent a considerable amount of time with Angels manager Mike Scioscia on Thursday afternoon probably indicated they had lots to talk about. It can be assumed Scioscia did most of the talking. Discounting a start in Texas that was shortened to one-third of an inning because...

Pujols to miss Tuesday's Angels-Rangers game

Angels slugger Albert Pujols is not in the starting lineup for Tuesday nights game in Anaheim against the Texas Rangers because he remained in the Midwest to be with his wife, Deidre, who delivered the couples fifth child in a Kansas City-area hospital early Sunday morning. Pujols, who is hitting .282 with 30 home runs and a team-leading 96 runs batted in, played in Sundays game...

Angels OF Vernon Wells falls over outfield wall trying to catch home run (Video)

Los Angeles Angels left fielder Vernon Wells went head over heels over the outfield wall, but failed to catch a home run ball hit by Texas Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler during Tuesday night's MLB game at Anaheim. It happened in the top of the third inning as Kinsler hit the ball to deep left field. Wells timed his jump well, but realized he had no chance as the ball reached the...

Vernon Wells Jumps Over Left Field Wall, Tumbles into the Stands (Video)

Vernon Wells earned hustle points. But that's about it. In the third inning of Tuesday's game against the Rangers, the Angels outfielder aggressively chased Ian Kinsler's fly ball and leaped into the left-field stands, hoping to make a spectacular catch. But Kinsler's blast ultimately cleared the wall, resulting in an embarrassing tumble for Wells. Wells then needed...

Vernon Wells jumps over wall chasing home run

In a hilarious attempt to make what would have been an unbelievable play, Angels outfielder Vernon Wells went head first over the outfield wall. The Angels are trying to get back into the wild card race and efforts like this is what manager Mike Scioscia has to love. I have a feeling this will be on all the bloopers videos of the 2012 MLB season. Check it out! The post Vernon Wells...

Dempster blasted by Angels in loss

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Jered Weaver earned his 100th victory, Chris Iannetta had a two-run single and scored on a wild pitch during a crazy eight-run rally in the fourth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels moved up in the AL playoff race with an 11-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night. Erick Aybar had three hits and scored two runs for the Angels (81-67), who moved...

Wild inning helps Angels beat Rangers

Jered Weaver earned his 100th victory, Chris Iannetta had a two-run single and scored on a wild pitch during a crazy eight-run rally in the fourth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels moved up in the AL playoff race with an 11-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night. Erick Aybar had three hits and scored two runs for the Angels (81-67), who moved within 3 1/2 games of wild...

Angels 11, Rangers 3

Jered Weaver earned his 100th victory, Chris Iannetta had a two-run single and scored on a wild pitch during a crazy eight-run rally in the fourth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels moved up in the AL playoff race with an 11-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night. Erick Aybar had three hits and scored two runs for the Angels (81-67), who moved within 3 1/2 games of wild...

Rangers 3, Angels 1

Adrian Beltre hit a tiebreaking two-run homer off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri in the ninth inning, and the Texas Rangers dealt yet another blow to Los Angeles' fading playoff hopes with a 3-1 victory Thursday night. Yu Darvish (16-9) held the Angels to four hits and struck out nine in a scintillating eight-inning duel with Zack Greinke, who gave up five hits and struck out...

Whether Trout or Cabrera wins AL MVP, prepare for outrage

Ask anyone who the AL MVP should be... OK, not anyone, that homeless guy that lives beneath the underpass near the freeway on-ramp you take to get to work probably doesn't have a ready answer, but ask any baseball fan who the AL MVP should be and you are certain to get a very definitive answer.  They will tell you that the answer is clear and not even remotely up for debate...

Game Recap 9/20/12: ErnestNOOO! - Rangers 3, Angels 1

To quote John McClane, "How can the same **** happen to the same guy twice?" Aside from the fact that this game might very well spell the end of the Angels' season, the only thing that anyone is going to remember this game for is Mike Scioscia once again pulling Zack Greinke during a great start in favor of Ernesto Frieri.  The same Ernesto Frieri who spoiled...
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!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.