"Matt is really sensitive to commanding counts; he's really sensitive to locating his fastball," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "When he does, he pitches great. When it's not there, in these two starts in particular, he's had a little trouble righting his ship and getting back to where he needs to be. It's something he's going to have to figure out. It's all right to bend, but you can't implode like he has in those two games."
Shoemaker put five of his first seven hitters on base, walking Norichika Aoki, then giving up a line-drive single to Seth Smith, an infield single to Nelson Cruz and a three-run homer to Kyle Seager, on a 2-0, down-the-middle, 77-mph offering that PITCHf/x registered as a knuckle curve.
In the fourth, Shoemaker walked Steve Clevenger, served up a two-run homer to Leonys Martin -- this time on a 2-1, chest-high fastball -- and exited after seeing the next two hitters reach base.
"One of those really bad days," Shoemaker said. "Pitches were up, and I was behind in the count again."
Shoemaker fell behind in the count to seven of the 12 hitters he faced in those fateful first and fourth innings. He gave up six hits and issued three walks, ballooning his ERA to 6.87. And he called the difference between his two home starts and his two road starts "very, very minimal."
"It really comes down to execution," Shoemaker said. "If you execute pitches where you want, how you want, with good movement, you're going to be really successful."
Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.