Mike Scioscia’s frustration boils over after Angels’ fall in extra innings for fifth straight loss

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Mike Scioscia was so frustrated following the Angels’ extra-inning loss to the Rays last night that Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times describes how “his voice filled with ire … the longer the postgame interview went on.”

In losing for the fifth straight game and falling to 30-34 overall the Angels struck out 11 times and went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position, which caused Scioscia to remark that having today off wasn’t even a positive thing:

I wish we were playing tomorrow, because we need to put our nose to the grindstone and start getting after it. We need to get those tough at-bats, to put the barrel on the ball and play better baseball. This has gone far too long. We need to right this ship. It doesn’t matter if we have Salt Lake coming in, Altoona coming in, or Orem coming in; we’ve got to play better baseball, that’s the bottom line. These guys are better players than this.

Scioscia’s criticism was aimed mostly at the offense, and rightfully so, as the Angels’ pitching staff ranks third in ERA while the lineup ranks 11th in runs. Howie Kendick is the only hitter on the team with an OPS above .800 and the Angels uncharacteristically lead the league in strikeouts after ranking no higher than eighth in any of the previous 10 seasons. And right now they’re on pace for back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1993 and 1994.

Anthony DeSclafani crushed a grand slam for his first career home run

Anthony DeSclafani
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Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani put on a show during Saturday’s matinee against the Cubs. Up 2-1 in the third inning, the hurler hooked a Brian Duensing fastball over the left field fence for his first career home run — and first career grand slam:

Grand slams are impressive no matter the player or situation, but they’re made all the more special in rare circumstances like this one. Not only is DeSclafani the first pitcher to deliver a grand slam in 2018, but he’s the first Reds hurler to do so in nearly 60 years. Per MLB.com’s Brian Scott Rippee, right-hander Bob Purkey was the last to hit a slam for the Reds in 1959, when he took Cubs reliever John Buzhardt deep in the third inning of a 12-3 drubbing.

The 28-year-old righty had a decent outing on the mound as well, holding the Cubs to two runs, four walks, and three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings before passing the ball to reliever Michael Lorenzen. Entering Saturday, he carried a 2-1 record in three games, with a 4.60 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 across 15 2/3 innings — not too shabby for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016.

The Reds currently lead 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh.