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Angels Manager Mike Scioscia under fire? Not after Friday night

September 08, 2012|By Bill Dwyre
  • Angels Manager Mike Scioscia checks his lineup card during a game earlier this season.
Angels Manager Mike Scioscia checks his lineup card during a game earlier… (Jeff Kowalsky / EPA )

Those calling for Mike Scioscia's job as Angels manager in this season of underachieving might make note of Friday's night's 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

With the speedy Peter Bourjos in scoring position at second base and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning, power-hitting Mark Trumbo was next to bat. Trumbo, one of the more productive Angels all season but currently in a slump, would normally be exactly who you want at the plate in that situation.

But the combination of his slump and a right-handed pitcher on the mound against the right-handed-hitting Trumbo prompted Scioscia to make one of those moves only a seasoned, confident manager would make.

He pinch-hit for one of his stars.

In came switch-hitting Albert Callaspo, whose compact swing from the left side got a ground ball to squirt past the shortstop and into left field. Bourjos was off and running and the best throwing arm in the majors would have had no chance to cut him down. 

Bourjos scored standing up. The Angels, who almost cannot afford to lose any game at this juncture of the season in their bid for a playoff spot, had salvaged the 3-2 victory, and the manager on the hot seat had pulled the right strings at the right time.

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