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Tyler Chatwood helps Angels with arm and bat

Pitcher throws seven scoreless innings in a 7-3 victory over the New York Mets and executes two sacrifice bunts and has a single.

June 19, 2011|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels rookie Tyler Chatwood follows through on a pitch during the seventh inning of an interleague game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on Sunday.
Angels rookie Tyler Chatwood follows through on a pitch during the seventh… (Bill Kostroun / Associated…)

Reporting from New York — It wasn't as impressive as that Aug. 18, 2009, shot of the Cleveland scoreboard showing nine Angels starters hitting .300 or better, but for Tyler Chatwood it was a picture worth 1.000 words.

Sitting atop Chatwood's travel bag after Sunday's 7-3 victory over the New York Mets was a picture of the Citi Field scoreboard, taken after the sixth inning, showing Chatwood hitting 1.000.

As if throwing seven scoreless innings wasn't enough for a 21-year-old pitching his first game in New York, Chatwood also executed sacrifice bunts in his first two at-bats and singled to center field in the sixth inning.

Before Chatwood, a .521 hitter in his senior year at Redlands East Valley High, was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, teammate Russell Branyan had someone snap a photo of the scoreboard so he could give the picture to Chatwood.

"It's neat to see, but it's one swing," Chatwood said. "Everybody gets lucky."

Chatwood was wiped out on a double play after, but he made a significant contribution with his bat in the second inning.

Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos opened with singles, and Jeff Mathis struck out. Fully expecting a bunt, the Mets employed the "wheel" play, in which third baseman Justin Turner charged hard and shortstop Jose Reyes covered third.

But Chatwood beat the strategy by bunting to first instead of third, advancing both runners. Maicer Izturis was hit by a pitch and Erick Aybar hit a three-run triple for a 4-0 lead.

"It's not easy to bunt against a wheel," Manager Mike Scioscia said, "but he got it down the first base side."

That wasn't so much by design.

"I was just trying to get a bunt down, and I was lucky to get it to first," Chatwood said. "But it was good to actually feel like you're helping the team out offensively."

Get well soon

A huge card for Gary Carter, the former Montreal Expos and Mets catcher who was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer, was put in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda of Citi Field on Friday night. The card filled so quickly with well wishes from fans it was removed Saturday.

Scioscia, a teammate of Carter on the 1991 Dodgers, did not get a chance to sign the card, "but needless to say, we all want to get word to him that he is in our thoughts and prayers," Scioscia said.

Carter, 57, was rushed to a hospital Thursday after experiencing a serious coughing attack. The Hall of Fame member and former three-sport star at Fullerton Sunny Hills High was treated for bronchitis and released.

Carter hit .255 with 24 home runs and 105 runs batted in 1986 to help the Mets win the World Series.

"Some of his years in Montreal might have slid under the radar of the media and fans, but what he did there was exceptional," Scioscia said. "And he was a force in New York. He'd catch 150 games a year, he hit in the middle of the lineup. He was just a terrific baseball player."

Mendoza Line crossing

There was no parade down Broadway, but Vernon Wells reached a milestone of sorts with a three-hit, three-RBI Sunday that pushed his average to .202, the first time the left fielder has been above .200 since he went one for four in the season opener.

"That's nowhere near where I want to be, but there are plenty of at-bats and games to go," Wells said. "I don't really care what happened before. I just have to move on. Today, I was just trying to take good swings."

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