As if Chris Iannetta’s season wasn’t going bad enough, his .091 batting average pushing him to the brink of losing his starting job, the Angels catcher had a pair of base-running glitches that may have cost the Angels a run in the eighth inning of Thursday night’s 3-2 loss to the Houston Astros.
Kole Calhoun’s RBI single had given the Angels a 2-0 lead and put runners on first and second with one out, Iannetta being the runner at second. Mike Trout flied to deep center, but Iannetta, thinking the ball might go over outfielder Jake Marisnick’s head, went half way to third instead of tagging up and taking third.
“He didn’t really camp under it,” Iannetta said of Marisnick. “He kept drifting back and drifting back and drifting back. I didn’t know if it was going to go over his head. No outs, I’m tagging no matter what. One out, I’m going halfway. I just played that one by the book.”
Albert Pujols followed with a low laser that hit Iannetta in the leg before he could get out of the way. The play was ruled a hit, but Iannetta was called out automatically to end the inning.
Had Iannetta avoided the ball, Pujols’ shot would have gone into center field a hit, probably scoring Iannetta from second. Had Iannetta tagged on Trout’s fly ball and taken third, he would have scored easily on Pujols’ hit.
“I just couldn’t get out of the way,” Iannetta said. “I did whatever I can. I was in mid-stride and I just tried to move my foot over and my leg over and I couldn’t get over it. It just felt like the ball was following me. I thought it was going to get by me, and then it was right at me.”