10/21/09 12:55 AM ET
Stagnant Halos bats meet irresistible force
Lack of timely hits, running game not helped by CC
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
In Game 4 on Tuesday night, Sabathia was working on short rest and the Angels were desperate to even the best-of-seven set. Yet Sabathia was as dominant as ever, allowing just Kendry Morales' home run in eight otherwise sparkling innings to hand the Angels a 10-1 loss. The Halos now trail, 3-1, in the ALCS, one defeat from elimination, and Sabathia is a big -- 6-foot-7, 290 pounds, to be exact -- reason why. Short rest is supposed to hinder a pitcher's performance, as is facing the same lineup twice in less than a week. Not so for Sabathia.
WAY OFF BASE
"We were hoping [his pitches] would be a little bit up or his velocity would be down to 91-92 [mph]," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said. "Sike! It didn't happen."When the Angels fell to Sabathia in Game 1 and Hunter was asked about the cold weather, he had said, "CC was the cold weather." In Game 4, the weather was fine, but the Angels' bats were still ice-cold. And while the heroics from the likes of Jeff Mathis, Vladimir Guerrero and Howard Kendrick produced a feel-good buzz in the Angels' clubhouse after Game 3, the fact remains that, by and large, this is a ballclub that has struggled mightily in the clutch all series. The Angels went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position against Sabathia in Game 4, and they are now 4-for-29 (.138) with RISP in the series. They've left 33 men on base. "We have to score some runs and produce," Bobby Abreu said. This is what the Angels' Nos. 2-4 hitters have done this series: Abreu is 2-for-16 with no RBIs, four walks and six strikeouts; Hunter is 4-for-17 with no RBIs, three walks and three strikeouts; and Guerrero is 5-for-19 with a homer, two RBIs, one strikeout and one walk. And while those guys have had their opportunities, the chances haven't been quite as prevalent as one would have expected from an Angels lineup that thrived all season on creating scoring threats with their speed.
A GAME TO FOUR-GET
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.