ANAHEIM -- The fifth inning wasn't completed, and Hector Santiago was called off work early. It has been the worst performance he'd seen since over the course of the season, and there was some concern over whether he was healthy when lifted from the game.
At 83 pitches, Santiago had given up back-to-back doubles, the fourth and fifth extra-base hits of the game against the southpaw, and allowed three runs. After being replaced, the baserunner he was responsible for came home on a home run.
"You do all that work and come into today and it was really bad," said Santiago. "My part, it was a terrible outing."
It all started with a 27-pitch first inning, with 16 pitches missing the strike zone. The damage was limited to just one run - a leadoff home run from Cardinals' Matt Carpenter - but a pair of two outs walks were not the desirable beginning to a game any pitcher would like to see.
"That first inning was tough for sure, fastball command was honestly just bad."
The team is now looking at their season worst record of six games under .500, with the mixture of a weak offensive output and starting pitching not finishing their work load to the max.
"I think the frustration is in the results, but we have to focus on the process," said Angels' manager, Mike Scioscia.
Possibly the biggest concern of the night was a decline in Santiago's fastball velocity. According to Brooks Baseball, Santiago was averaging 93.6 MPH on his fastball and Tuesday night, saw it decline to an average of 89.6 MPH.
"It's definitely down," Santiago said. "I don't think anything changed, I've noticed guys fouling off pitches that are [usually] swing and misses. I feel fine, there's nothing physically wrong with me."
Scioscia believes it's just part of the Santiago's delivery, and the process in which his mechanics allow him to pitch.
"He feels good," said Scioscia. "His delivery adds a lot of deception. He's across his body, he closes off, and when it's not quite in sync the ball might not be coming out as crisply as it would when he has things together."
Santiago is set to pitch in five days, on Sunday, and rid any demons of Tuesday's game out of his head immediately with a quick nine or 18 holes in the morning.
"[I'll] Play golf in the morning, try to forget about it," said Santiago. "You don't wanna dwell on it too much because it carries over to tomorrow's playing catch."
As for the velocity, Santiago isn't concerned in the least.
"Last year I made the All-Star team with the same velocity I had tonight, 89-91."