The LA Daily News’ Doug Padilla on a key moment from the Angels’ 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay last night.
Devil Rays leadoff hitter Julio Lugo had walked to lead off the game and was attempting a steal of second base when Crawford walked. Since the pitch appeared to be a strike, Angels catcher Mike Napoli got to his feet and threw to second base.
When he was about to release the ball, he heard home-plate umpire Paul Schrieber call the pitch ball four, but continues with his throw.
The ball sailed into center field and when Figgins came in to take the ball on the run and possibly throw out Lugo at third base, he ran past it. But that isn’t want bothered Scioscia.
With Crawford sprinting around the bases, Figgins hardly seemed in a hurry to track down the ball rolling toward the center-field wall. Lugo scored on the play and Crawford ended up at third. He scored on Jonny Gomes’ fly ball to leftfield.
“The physical errors in the first inning compounded with Figgy not really busting it to get that ball put us in a tough situation,” Scioscia said. “We talked about it and that’s not the way we need to go about it.”
Earlier this season Adam Kennedy voiced his displeasure over Figgins’ late jump from second base on a sacrifice-bunt attempt. Figgins was thrown out at third. The incident escalated into postgame shouting which was halted by a Darin Erstad plea for unity.
On the last road trip, Figgins failed to move over from center to backup Vladimir Guerrero on a drive to right field. The ball bounced off the wall and back toward the infield leading to an extra base.
Scioscia downplayed those incidents but not this one.
“That’s not like Figgy but it’s something we need to clean up and it’s been addressed,” Scioscia said. “The backup play at Texas was a lack of a guy at a position experiencing a lot of things. We’ve had those plays again and he was where he needed to be.
“Missing the ball was a physical error but the guy (Crawford) should have never ended up at third base. It could have obviously saved a run.”