Friday, June 17, 2011
Preview: 2011 Regular Season Game 70 - Angels at Mets
Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - Joel Pineiro (2-3, 4.03) New York Mets - Chris Capuano (5-6, 4.40)
The bounces continue to go against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Nobody knows that as well as starting pitcher Joel Pineiro.
Pineiro takes another crack at the 100th victory of his career this evening as the Angels visit Citi Field for the first time to take on the New York Mets in the first of three straight encounters.
In position to post a three-game sweep over the rival Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, the Angels instead saw the game slip away on a odd bounce in the seventh inning. Locked in a scoreless game, Seattle's Carlos Peguero hit a ball up the middle with two outs that looked to be an easy force play. However, the ball hit the corner of second base and bounced into the outfield, scoring two runs.
Los Angeles couldn't recover and lost a 3-1 decision, falling for the 10th time in 14 games.
"It was unfortunate. We had the out, but the ball hit the bag and that's all part of the game," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "If we're doing some of the things that we can do on the offensive end, then it's something you absorb and move on, but right now the margin between winning or losing is very tight and if you don't get a break, you're going to pay a big price for it."
Erick Aybar knocked in the lone run for the Angels, who opened a 12-game road trip with the series, and Ervin Santana took a tough loss after yielding two runs over 6 2/3 innings.
It has also been a tough go of it for Pineiro, who is 0-3 with a 5.50 earned run average over his last six outings. The Angels had lost each of the right- hander's last five starts before breaking through with a 7-5 victory over Kansas City on Saturday. Pineiro himself got a no-decision, yielding five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings.
Though Pineiro remains winless since May 10, he insists the win milestone is not influencing his pitching.
"I wanted a win, but for the team," Pineiro told Los Angeles' website. "I don't care if it's 300, 100, whatever. Just so I could get back on track and do what I'm supposed to be doing -- going out there and giving the team a chance to win and keeping them in there. Honestly, that 100 [milestone] has nothing to do with the situation that's going on."
The 32-year-old, who is now 2-3 with a 4.03 ERA in nine starts this season, could break through against the Mets, a club he is 3-0 with a 4.15 ERA against over six starts in his career.
New York also failed to secure a three-game sweep on Thursday in odd fashion, losing a 9-8 game to Atlanta after D.J. Carrasco balked in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning. That came just one inning after closer Francisco Rodriguez had his string of 19 straight save conversions snapped when he gave up a pinch-hit two-run homer.
"We battled the whole night, and you've got to let somebody at least hit the ball or do something else, rather than just balk in the winning run," Carrasco said. "This is going to be a tough night for me."
Scott Hairston hit a game-tying three-run homer for New York in the fifth inning, Carlos Beltran scored on a wild pitch in the seventh and Angel Pagan gave the Mets a short-lived two-run margin when he scored on a throwing error in the following frame.
Jose Reyes had three hits, including his MLB-leading 12th triple, to reach 100 hits in a club-record 66 games. That broke Lance Johnson's 1996 team mark of 72 games.
Reyes leads the majors with a .348 average and is hitting .420 over his last 22 games. He also has four three-hit contests in his last seven outings.
Mets hurler Chris Capuano will try to win a third straight start this evening and has allowed just a run over 13 innings over his brief win streak.
The 32-year-old southpaw bested Pittsburgh in his most recent appearance on Sunday, scattering three hits and two walks over seven scoreless innings for his longest stint since a seven-inning victory against Houston on April 21. Capuano improved to 5-6 with a 4.40 ERA in 14 games, including 12 starts, this year.
Set to face the Angels for the first time in his career, Capuano is 5-5 with a 5.71 ERA in 13 career interleague games, all but one of those starts.
The Angels haven't visited the Mets since taking two of three at Shea Stadium from June 10-12, 2005. New York prevailed twice in a three-game series when the teams last met at Anaheim in 2008.