ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 18: Manager Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim relieves pitcher Jordan Walden #51 in the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 18, 2012 in Anaheim, California. Oakland won 6-0. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Gosh, it seems like just a few hours ago that we engaged in idle speculation about how the Angels might "fix" their bullpen; the Orange County relief corps enters Friday night's action with a 4.96 ERA, third-worst in the American League. Thursday, the 6-12 Angels became the 6-13 Angels when closer Jordan Walden gave up a walkoff homer to pinch-hitter Brandon Allen.
It was all quite dramatic. And gave Mike Scioscia an excuse to demote Walden, who set some sort of record last season, blowing 10 saves despite otherwise impressive numbers (and a spot on the All-Star team). Walden's not going to the minors -- not yet, anyway -- but it might be a while before he gets a chance to redeem himself in the ninth inning.
Downs is 36, but don't let that fool you. The left-hander has blossomed in his 30s; since turning 31 in 2007, Downs has compiled a 2.12 ERA with solid peripherals. But while he's too good to be pigeonholed as a situational lefty, he does have significant platoon splits and it's not apparent that he's got the stuff to thrive against hitters of every stripe.