It is part of a strange trend for the Angels against pitchers making their Major League debuts as they fell to 0-3 in just the past two months against pitchers making their first start. Atlanta's Charlie Morton held the Angels to three runs in six innings on June 14 and Texas' Matt Harrison allowed just two earned runs in seven innings against the Angels on July 8.
"It's kind of weird," said Torii Hunter, who went 0-for-4 to snap his 15-game hit streak. "I guess most of the guys who come up are the best in their organization and they show it against us every time."
At least this time the Angels actually had video on Waters, but it didn't help much as the Angels managed to get just five runners on base against Waters despite the fact he never even reached 90 mph on the radar gun.
"We knew a little bit," Hunter said. "It's totally different when you step in the box. I don't care how much you know about a guy, when you step in the box the arm angles are different and the ball is moving different than words [on a scouting report]."
Waters' outing impressed Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who was expecting his team to make adjustments after Waters' first go-round through the lineup.
"He's a lefty that looked like he knew what he was doing out there," Scioscia said. "He had the ball sinking away and he changed speeds. I thought we'd get better looks as we went along but we really didn't."
Waters' performance overshadowed a good outing by right-hander Jon Garland, who overcame a rough first inning and settled down to toss seven innings, allowing three runs on nine hits. Garland opened the game by allowing four consecutive hits, yielding two runs. Garland, though, minimized the damage by getting Ramon Hernandez to ground into a double play and Kevin Millar to fly out to center field to end the inning.
"I feel I did a good job managing the first inning with two guys on with no outs and still giving our boys a chance to get back in the game," Garland said. "I'm definitely upset about losing, but it's just one of those days."
Garland settled down until the sixth inning, when he allowed back-to-back one-out singles to Nick Markakis and Melvin Mora. But first baseman Mark Teixeira turned a nice double play to get Garland out of the jam unscathed. Garland gave up his third and final run on a solo home run by Luke Scott on a 3-1 changeup with two outs in the seventh inning.
The only hit allowed by Waters was a second-inning single by Vladimir Guerrero, but he quickly got Hunter to ground into a double play to squash any potential rally. The Angels only threatened to score in the third inning, when they had runners on second and third with two outs before Erick Aybar grounded out to short to end the inning.
There wasn't much the Angels could do against Waters, who seemingly had his best stuff in the biggest start of his career.
"It was probably the game of his life," Hunter said. "It was his first Major League game and he won't ever forget it."