A funny thing happened on the way to the forum: yesterday, my Super came by and let us know we'd be getting new windows. Good news, but with a couple cats and a kid, the logistics became tough and all of a sudden, I realized I'd be doing a boxscore recap. I was sad because of Trout and because a Burnett-Richards matchup was a fairly intriguing one, but you have to do what you have to do. I figured I'd catch whatever I could between the chaos and enjoy it from afar.
Or, you know, not enjoy it from afar.
I know that the term "heartbreaker" refers to a game that looked like a win and metamorphosed into a loss, and I get why. That's kind of heartbreaking. But when you anticipate a lovely little afternoon game and the first three innings get you a 3-0 deficit, there's something equally heartbreaking about that. Especially when a pitcher like Garrett Richards is dealing, and a lineup like the Phils' is falling down like professional...falling...down guys. Ahem.
Anyway, Richards was the real story of today's game, despite RAAAUUUUL's RBI and Trout's Trout-y triple. Richards was a solid prospect in the Angels' system for years, only to put up meh results in the majors. He was shelled in his first cup of coffee in 2011 and pitched mostly out of the bullpen in 2012 and 2013, with a few fairly okay spot starts in between. This year, he's been a full season starter, and his fastball has ratcheted up a few clicks and got a lot less straight, leading to his breakout 2.42 ERA and 2.48 FIP. His skills were on display today, as he went seven scoreless innings, allowing only 5 hits and striking out 8. Oh and no walks, natch.
This shouldn't take away from AJ Burnett's outing, which was somewhere between post-hernia-diagnosis world-beating Burnett and pre-hernia-diagnosis bad pitcher Burnett. He was effectively wild, giving up 5 walks over five innings, but he limited the damage, as he only allowed 7 hits total and put up 6 strikeouts which led to three runs over five innings. The bullpen actually held the line this time around, but even when the law firm of Manship, Adams, Hollands, & Bastardo holds a relatively potent Angels lineup to zero runs, you aren't going to win many games if you don't hit.
Outside of Richard's impressive outing, the Angels also threw their weird closer committee of Ernesto Frieri and Joe Smith against the Phillies to great success. This is unfortunate as it puts the Phillies in the unenviable position of having a save notched by Joe Smith against their ledger. Thank massively unneccessary aggressiveness for that one.
Either way, this was a dull, torpid affair befitting the nature and general melange of the home team. The Phillies are not a fun team to watch (Chase Utley -- who has seventeen doubles -- and Cliff Lee notwithstanding) and it doesn't look like they're going to snap out of anything anytime soon. This is what the window looks like when it closes.
Fangraph of *yaaaaaawn* below.
And in case you wanna get weird with me and j reed