Last night’s game had one enduring image for me, and it looked like this:
The Angels rally consisted almost exclusively of singles up the middle. This one is pulled from Juan Rivera’s base hit that made the score 4-1, but I really could have grabbed a screen shot from a number of at-bats.
The ball wasn’t hit all that hard, and Betancourt didn’t even get within 10 feet of it. We saw that over and over in the sixth inning. Abreu hit his ball hard, but again, Yuni didn’t really even have a chance to make a play on it as it scooted in to left center field. Abreu is even a LH hitter, so Yuni should have been shifted more up the middle than usual.
I don’t know if Yuni was just trying to stand closer to Beltre in an attempt to try to obtain some range by osmosis or what, but he wasn’t playing shortstop in the sixth inning. He was playing some kind of 3B-SS hybrid position that allowed him to gather up anything to Beltre’s left but not have a prayer on balls hit up the middle. So the Angels peppered the ball up the middle, and it led to a loss.
Hopefully, the coaching staff will fix this. This wasn’t a lack of range issue. This was a standing in the wrong spot issue.