Game 35: Angels-White Sox …
SP: RH Barry Enright (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
White Sox (14-18)
SP: RH Dylan Axelrod (0-2, 3.60 ERA)
- Umpire Fieldin Culbreth, the crew chief who inexplicably allowed Astros skipper Bo Porter to make two pitching substitutions without having the first guy face a batter, was suspended two games on Friday, representing some rare punishment from Major League Baseball. Mike Scioscia said he never had any doubt that he was right. In fact, after he officially protested the game in the seventh, he told his team: “I’m 99.9 percent sure that we have two free innings here, so let’s just try and go win the game, and if we don’t, we’ll get a second crack at it here next month.”
- At one point, though, there was some doubt. “I will admit that after we were sitting there talking about it and we were so adamant, I was thinking, ‘God, am I think that screwed up?’” Scioscia said, laughing.
- Scioscia took the high road with regards to Major League umpires, though, and didn’t egg on. Asked about accountability issues, he said: “One thing I have found is that in the course of, especially with Joe Torre and Major Leauge Baseball, I think there is accountability that is there. It might not always show its face, but I know behind the scenes it’s there, and this is one example.”
- Tommy Hanson, originally scheduled to start tonight’s game, was officially placed on the restricted list, which he can be placed on for pretty much as long as he needs. There’s no gauge as to when Hanson will return. He’s back in Georgia, continuing to console with family members over the recent death of his step brother — the same situation that had him on the bereavement list from April 22-27. “We wish Tommy well and we fully support him,” assistant GM Matt Klentack said. “He has the full support of the entire Angels organization.”
- It doesn’t look like Erick Aybar (right hamstring) or Scott Downs (right foot) will go on the DL, but both remain day-to-day and are currently unavailable. Aybar rode the bike today and hopes he’s out for only a couple days. Downs’ foot is “still a little tender,” Scioscia said.
- Kevin Jepsen (strained lat) is slated to throw his first bullpen session on Saturday.
- Peter Bourjos continues to receive treatment in Arizona and will rejoin the team when they return home on Monday. It doesn’t look like he’ll return any sooner than early June, but you never know with these ailments, especially with speed guys.
- Asked if Scioscia needs a vote of confidence from owner Arte Moreno, the Angels’ skipper said: “Not for what I do, not for my benefit. I think in the clubhouse, these guys are playing hard, they’re preparing hard. I think they understand the need for us to get better in some areas. … There’s always going to be chatter out there that happens, but I don’ thtink it’s anything that’s affecting what I do with these guys.”