Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Angels 7; Orioles 6

So this is what is was like for the 1997 Mariners, a team whose bullpen singlehandedly (or, I guess, multihandedly) kept the Angels in the race for much of late summer. Wonder if Heathcliff Slocumb has cleared waivers.

Fine effort by Wash, going 7+ and getting out of trouble a few times. The starters continue to be excellent. That's a lot of consecutive quality starts. Too many for me to go back and look up. And once again, the bullpen was pretty crappy, this time with Kevin Gregg and Frankie combining to give up four in the ninth. Good thing they were up by five.

As the A's continue their slide, it becomes very important for the Angels to capitalize. High expectations, sure, but I think the Angels really need to take 3 of the next 5, if not 4. Of course, it was this stretch in 2002 that thrust the Angels toward the wild card while the A's were winning 20 in a row (the Angels went 18-2 in that stretch).

Juan Rivera is making his case for the every day DH if GA can play the field, and for the every day left fielder if GA can't. The good news is that such a move could force Erstad to center, instead of left field, as has been discussed. That's good news, because it means Kotchman for Finley as opposed to Kotchman for Rivera. It also means a much better fielder in center, even if Erstad has lost a step.

Big Bart on the mound tomorrow against Bedard, who got shelled in his last outing against the Angels. Let's hope that trend continues.

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