By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
JUNE 22, 2002-GAME 71
ANGELS AT BREWERS
MILWAUKEE -- A masterpiece it wasn't, but Jarrod Washburn's paint-by-numbers pitching performance Saturday night was all about the results.
The Angels' starter needed 122 pitches to work his way through six innings, but when he was finished the Milwaukee Brewers had scored only two runs. The Angels offense did the rest, pounding out 16 hits in an 8-2 win before 28,765 at Miller Park.
Washburn found himself in trouble in nearly every inning but managed a way to escape any serious trouble by striking batters out. He finished with a career-high 10 strikeouts while winning his seventh consecutive decision.
Washburn, who gave up eight hits and walked four, hasn't lost since April 13. In the 12 starts since then, he's 7-0 with a 3.13 ERA. And the Wisconsin native did it with dozens of friends and family attending the game.
``We won and I pitched good enough to win, so I guess you can say it's one of my dreams come true,'' Washburn (7-2) said of pitching in his home state. ``But I wasn't any more excited than any other start.''
The Brewers got three hits and a walk in the first inning but scored only once, getting help from right fielder Tim Salmon, who threw out a runner at the plate. In the fourth they had three hits and a walk and again scored only once. In the fifth they had a leadoff triple and couldn't score.
Washburn got key strikeouts in those innings, including four with a runner on third and less than two outs.
``The only thing I can think of is they were surprised I was throwing strikes,'' Washburn said. ``I'm not a strikeout pitcher. When you give up a leadoff triple, most of the time they're going to score. I was conceding the run and just trying to get an out.''
Instead, Washburn struck out Richie Sexson, Alex Ochoa and Ryan Thompson to get out of the fifth-inning jam.
``That's Jarrod,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``It seems like he gets it done, whether it's hard or easy. Any pitcher likes to get first- or second-pitch outs. But when he needed a strikeout he knew how to get it.''
Likewise, the Angels offense is getting hits when it needs them. Of their 16 on Saturday, Darin Erstad had four, raising his season average to .305. Adam Kennedy had three and David Eckstein and Salmon each had two.
The Angels had baserunners all night, and even though they stranded 13, they put pressure on the Brewers pitchers in nearly every inning. They had at least one baserunner in scoring position in every inning but the eighth.
``Top to bottom, we've got different guys helping out on any given night,'' Erstad said. ``The thing we're doing now is putting a lot of guys on base. We've got our situational hitting going good and guys haven't been trying to do too much. That's a good combination.''
With more than enough offense on Saturday, it didn't matter that catcher Bengie Molina was robbed of extra-bases in the third inning, first by Brewers center fielder Jeffrey Hammonds and then by second-base umpire Bill Hohn.
Molina hit a pitch from Brewers starter Jose Cabrera (3-5) to deep center field. Hammonds leaped and caught the ball after it bounced off the top of the fence. Hammonds' play denied Molina his first homer of the season, and Hohn denied Molina of a double because the ball hit the fence first.
``Almost ... It broke my heart,'' Molina said. ``The umpire got mad too because they're not supposed to show the replay (on the ballpark's video scoreboard). One day it's going to be mine.''
With the victory, the Angels moved to within two games of first place in the American League West behind the Seattle Mariners, who lost on Saturday.
MILWAUKEE -- Only one Angel player had ever been a teammate of St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Darryl Kile, who died in his Chicago hotel room on Saturday.
Second baseman Adam Kennedy spent most of spring training with the Cardinals in 2000 before he was traded to the Angels on March 23 of that year. It was Kile's first season with the Cardinals after being traded from the Rockies.
``With both of us being from Riverside, I always followed his career,'' Kennedy said. ``When he was traded to the Cardinals before spring training, that's when I got to know him a little bit. He was pretty much the leader of that team. You had that impression right away.
``He was pretty special. He was a dad and a husband. He was a real good teammate and a real good guy.''
Kennedy said Kile asked him to sign a baseball for him when the Angels were in St. Louis earlier this week.
Kile's last game came against the Angels, and he got the victory, giving up one run and six hits in 7 2/3 innings. Kile came out of the game with two outs in the eighth inning after giving up a single to Garret Anderson.
``It's something that always goes through our minds as much as we travel and are away from home,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``Anytime you hear something like this, obviously it's a shock. You have to feel for the family. He had three kids.''
Four members of the Brewers are former teammates of Kile's -- infielder Lenny Harris and pitchers Curtis Leskanic, Jamey Wright and Mike DeJean.
The Angels will call up pitcher John Lackey from Triple-A Salt Lake after the first game of Monday's doubleheader so Lackey can start the second game. The other possibility was Matt Wise.
Lackey, 23, is 8-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 16 starts for the Stingers this season, including two complete games and one shutout. At 6-foot-6, 205 pounds, Lackey throws a fastball, cut fastball, curveball and changeup.
``There are a lot of things to like about him,'' Scioscia said. ``There's such an upside to his potential, it's what we all see and are excited about. This year he's started to realize it.''
Lackey will have plenty of friends and family at the game. He grew up in Abilene, Texas and went to the University of Texas-Arlington for one year. He still makes his offseason home in Abilene.
Scioscia said he was happy to hear his former teammate with the Dodgers, Orel Hershiser, was named pitching coach of the Texas Rangers.
``He has excellent knowledge and he's a great communicator,'' Scioscia said. ``That's a good combination for a pitching coach.''
Third baseman Troy Glaus' throwing error in the fourth inning Saturday snapped a streak of 98 consecutive errorless innings by the Angels defense, spanning 11-plus games. ... Shortstop David Eckstein struck out in the fourth inning Saturday, ending a streak of 77 consecutive plate appearances without a strikeout. It had been the longest such streak in the majors.