Angels’ backs against the wall

first_img “We’re absolutely not doing anything to get any rallies started. We’re not pressuring the defense,” Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy said. “They’re pretty much cruising through games. The fact that their manager is letting them pitch into the ninth is a sign they’re dominating. “Each guy has to go home tonight and figure something out and bring it tomorrow, because whatever we’re doing at the plate is absolutely not working.” The Angels’ most important hitters continue to slump through the series. Vladimir Guerrero was 0-for-4 Saturday, failing to hit the ball out of the infield. He is 1-for-16 in the series and is without an extra-base hit in the postseason. Leadoff hitter Chone Figgins was 0-for-4 Saturday and is 1-for-14 in the series. Guerrero said through an interpreter after Saturday’s game that he is not frustrated. Scioscia disagreed. “He’s almost frustrated to a point where he’s beating his head against the wall and doesn’t realize if he steps back, the doorway is just a couple feet to the right,” Scioscia said. And then there were the umpires and more disputed calls, all of which went against the Angels. The White Sox had two on and one out in the top of the first with the count 2-2 to Konerko. Angels starter Ervin Santana threw a breaking ball out of the strike zone, and Konerko tried to check his swing. Home plate umpire Ron Kulpa appealed to first base ump Ed Rapuano, who ruled no swing even though replays appeared to show that Konerko did not check his swing. On the next pitch, Konerko connected for a three-run home run. In the second inning, the Angels had scored a run to cut their deficit to 3-1 and had runners on first and third with one out. Steve Finley hit into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play, but Finley pointed to Kulpa as he ran toward first and again after he was thrown out. Replays showed Finley’s bat hit catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s glove on the swing, which is catcher’s interference. Had Kulpa made the correct call, Finley would have been awarded first base and the Angels would have had the bases loaded with one out and Adam Kennedy due up. Even without the correct call, Finley probably would have beaten the throw to first had he not turned to look at Kulpa on his way, costing the Angels a run. “I’ve never had catcher’s interference before,” Finley said. “I swung and I felt something grab the end of my bat. I probably should have taken off running, I would have beaten the play at first. But I’ve never had it happen before, and my reaction was to turn and look at the ump.” In the fifth inning, replays showed that Angels releiver Scot Shields picked off Scott Podsednik at first base. Rapuano, however, missed the call and Podsednik eventually stole second and scored on a single by Carl Everett. “You’re not going to get calls at times,” Scioscia said. “Some calls tonight might’ve put us in better position to be where we wanted to be. But the bottom line is they got some hits with runners in scoring position and they beat us.” Angels starter Ervin Santana, the hero in the Game 5 victory against the Yankees five days earlier, showed he’s still prone to rookie moments as he gave up six runs (five earned) in 4 1/3 innings. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ANAHEIM – The Angels are sick and tired, dazed and confused. Confident a few days ago that they were on their way to a second World Series appearance in four seasons, the Angels have been hit hard from all angles and find themselves on the brink of elimination. An 8-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday night left the Angels down 3-1 with Game 5 of the best-of-seven series set for tonight at Angel Stadium. The Angels’ clubhouse oozes exasperation and frustration, which comes from more than just losing, but how they are losing. They lost Game 2 in part because of an umpire’s disputed call. They lost Game 3 because of superb pitching by the White Sox, combined with poor Angels hitting. In Game 4, it was a little of everything. center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Angels manager Mike Scioscia gathered his team after the game and told them to look ahead. “If I told them in spring training they’d have four days to win three games and you go to the World Series, they’d say, `Let’s go for it,’ ” Scioscia said. “There’s no need for a gut check. To get to this point, they’ve spilled blood and body parts on that field. This is a team that has battled as much as any I’ve been around. We need a three-game winning streak in the next four days to reach our goal.” Paul Konerko, just like he did Friday in Game 3, hit a home run in the first inning that gave the White Sox a 3-0 lead. White Sox starting pitcher Freddy Garcia, like Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland did in Games 2 and 3, threw a complete game and made the Angels’ offense look feeble. The three consecutive complete games were a first in a league championship series since the Mets’ Tom Seaver, Jon Matlack and Jerry Koosman did it in 1973. The Angels had five hits, all singles except for a Casey Kotchman double. No Angels base runner got as far as third base after the fourth inning. The Angels are hitting .177 as a team in the series. last_img