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Ernesto Frieri has gone from unhittable to untrustworthy for the Angels

Sep 21, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

Ernesto Frieri Getty Images

Ernesto Frieri was absurdly good for the Angels after they acquired him from the Padres on May 3, allowing zero runs in his first 26 appearances while some people asked things like “how can someone with a 0.00 ERA not make the All-Star team?!”

In those first 26 shutout appearances for the Angels he had a ridiculous .096 opponents’ batting average and 45 strikeouts in 26.1 innings.

Since then Frieri has made 23 appearances with a still-great .206 opponents’ batting average and 12.9 strikeouts per nine innings, but his ERA is an ugly 5.79 because he’s served up seven homers in 21.2 innings.

That includes a pair of homers to blow the save and take the loss Sunday and a two-run homer to Adrian Beltre to take the loss last night. The latter bomb came after Zack Greinke tossed eight innings of one-run ball and all but killed the Angels’ playoff chances.

Frieri’s great strikeout rate and low batting average against show that he’s still been dominant much of the time, but as one of baseball’s most extreme fly-ball pitchers he’s always going to be susceptible to serving up homers in bunches and unfortunately for the Angels those bunches are coming at the worst possible time.

  1. jarathen - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Every game matters, and it’s not Frieri’s fault his overall numbers are regressing to a sustainable level, but these two recent losses are backbreakers.

    What a wasted year in Anaheim. Arte can’t be happy.

  2. drakosm - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    He also walks a ton of people which really hurts if you’re then going to give up a homerun.

  3. geoknows - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Fun new word, “untrustyworthy.”

    • Jeremy T - Sep 21, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Looks like he fixed it, but it’s still there in the url!

  4. icanspeel - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    That’s always been the knock on Frieri, control issues and tends to give up the long ball. So it answers the question why the Padres never used him as their closer. He is a solid reliever, but until he can overcome his flaws probably doesn’t make the best pitcher in close games.

  5. hushbrother - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Frieri is to Greinke what Jeff Reardon was to Roger Clemens in 1991.

    • schlom - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      Tough crowd here. I guess that was too obscure for everyone.

      • jarathen - Sep 21, 2012 at 3:41 PM

        Which is so weird. Baseball is where obscure trivia thrives like those mushrooms in the shower.

  6. chumthumper - Sep 21, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Has anyone heard from Pujols lately?

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