10/05/08 4:39 PM ET
Kendrick moved to eighth spot in lineup
Second baseman's struggles reflect bottom part of order
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
He was 0-for-9 with five strikeouts in the first two games. He was also hitless in four at-bats with runners in scoring position."I've come up in some situations with men on base and haven't come through," Kendrick said. "I've swung at some pitches I should have let go. Sometimes you just want it too much, maybe. We had a lot of opportunities to win that game. Now it's just a matter of execution, doing the things we've done all year." Kendrick was on the disabled list from Aug. 28 to Sept. 22 with a strained left hamstring and was 4-for-15 -- all singles -- in six games after being activated for the final week. "Howie swung the bat very well in the last week of the season," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's hit a little soft spot now as a couple of guys in our lineup have. But this guy can hit. He needs to plow through this if we're going to get to be where we want to be." Scioscia started Mike Napoli at catcher and had him in the seventh spot. Shortstop Erick Aybar remained in the ninth spot. The bottom three spots in the Angels order were a combined 2-for-24 in the first two games in Anaheim. "They've struggled," Scioscia said. "We haven't found that continuity. We really feel it's a deep lineup but hasn't surfaced yet in these playoffs. We certainly need a deep lineup for us to get where we need to be."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.