Saturday, May 28, 2005


Who are these guys wearing Angels uniforms, and what have they done with the regulars?

More to come on this and the USA vs. England game (which I attended) when the guests leave.

Angels 9; Royals 8

Lots of runs. Lots of errors. Another one I didn't see (I have guests, dammit, and a very small apartment).

Garret - something ain't right.

Dallas - they shouldn't send him down. I know that's probably an unpopular opinion right now, but dammit, I'm sticking by it.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Angels 3, White Sox 2

Didn't see it. Caught the last two innings at a bar down the street. Got guests in town, so I don't gots a lot 'o time.

Nice blast by Dallas. He apparently hit it a little harder than last night. Donnelly looked like he lost his release point. Good job by Scioscia to make the move. Nice work by Shields in the ninth.

I don't know if they mentioned this in the broadcast, but they didn't need to throw down to first for the last out in the eighth. First base was occupied, so the batter was automatically out. Doesn't matter anyway. We hold first for another night. Now we get the easy team. Hopefully the Sox can't knock the Rangers down a peg or two.

Anyway, I missed a lot of stuff. Someone comment and tell me how Lackey looked. Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

White Sox 4; Angels 2

Offense - Bad. Very bad.
Pitching - Not awful, but not great.
Peralta - Looks pretty good
Four word phrase I hope I never hear again - "Pinch hitter Bengie Molina"
Blogging - lite
Apartment - cleaner (I have guests coming to town for the USA vs. England game this weekend)
Outlook for tomorrow - solid effort from Lackey, quality start, not enough to overcome anemic offense
First place - will belong exclusively to Texas after tomorrow's game
Bright side - Hermanson got me some fantasy points tonight

Questions may be directed to the comments section.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

White Sox 2; Minor Leauge Caliber Offense 1

A wise man once said "Evil always wins, because Good is dumb." He was right. Tonight, dumb brought Estaban Yan into a tie game, and Evil took advantage.

Pitcher's duel, just like we all expected. Bartolo was dealing, but a long at bat or two got his pitch count up. Silly batters. The Angels hitters care not for long at bats, and would rather go down early in the count, the better to allow the opposing pitcher to go deeper into the game. Buerhle was excellent through nine, Damaso Marte picked him up for an inning in the tenth, and the Sox pushed one across again Yan in the top of the 11th on a Tadohito Iguchi double.

Honestly, I was having some serious computer issues during this game, so I wasn't able to soak as much up as I would have liked. Probably a good thing.

Freddie Garcia versus J-dub tomorrow in what should be another fine matchup, assuming good (but not dumb) Washburn pitches.

To add insult to tonight's injury, Marte stayed in to pick up the save, going two innings in the process. Meanwhile, Hermanson stayed on the bench, and could only dream of the fantasy points that he wasn't allowed to pick up for me tonight.

Ugh, this one sucked all around. And not to take anything away from Buerhle, but it's tough to listen to the Sox anouncers lavish praise on him. I'm putting this one down as 35% Buerhle goodness, 65% Angels offensive crapiness.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Angels - 4; White Sox - Santana's bitches

Welcome to the big leagues, kid. You just shut-out the team with the best record in baseball. That was nothing but flat-out domination. The great thing about this game is that there's plenty of credit to go around. Normally when you see a game like this, you think one of two things: 1) It was a shut-out because of dominant pitching, or 2) It was a shut-out because the defense brought him off the wire a few times. But tonight was a little bit of both.

Santana struck out seven, walked only one, and gave just four hits (maybe five, depending on what they gave Konerko on that penultimate at bat). But the defense, or more accurately Erstad, shined as well. Erstad stole two outs on balls that should have gone foul into the Sox dugout. But tremendous concentration and athleticism shortened the game by two batters. He also started an excellent tag-the-bag/tag-the-runner double play

Aggresive baserunning led to two runs when D-Mac went first to third on a single to left center by Cabrera. If Crede had held on to the throw, McPherson would have been out easily and the inning would have been over. But Crede didn't hold on, Cabrera waltzed into second, and Kennedy drove in two with a double to the gap in left center.

Bengie provided some power and finesse, driving in a run on a blooper over the drawn in infield in the sixth, then blasting one to dead center for a solo homer in the eighth that sort of put a capper on things.

But the real story was Santana. That performance, for me, will rank right up there with some of the best outings I've actually seen in person (obviously I wasn't in Anaheim for this one, but the others stick out because I was there on those nights). One was Jason Dickson's five hit masterpiece that beat Tim Wakefield and the Red Sox 2-0 on day two of the 1997 season. We had the good seats, three rows from the front, right behind home plate, and it was a great spot from which to witness his mastery. Another was Ramon Ortiz's two hit, one run performance that beat Pedro Martinez and the Red Sox 2-1 (it should have been a shutout, but the ump blew a call at second on what should have been a single by Troy O'Leary).

Tonight Santana changed speeds, located his fast ball, and threw the right pitches at the right time. Credit Bengie for calling a great game behind the plate. By the late innings, the kid was getting the benefit of the doubt from the plate ump, and he deserved it.

I imagine that when Escobar comes off the DL, Santana will return to the minors, but I'm guessing he's done with double A. He'll most likely go down to Salt Lake and face more experienced hitters. He'll also probably option number one should another starter hit the DL. I'm not 100% familiar with the organizational moves that will need to be made to send him to Salt Lake instead of Arkansas, so I could be wrong, but I'm guessing they'll find a way to make it happen.

Good start to the homestand. They need to take at least two of these four from the White Sox, and they can pitch with this team, so I wouldn't be surprised if the starters carry them to three of four. They also must take two from KC. Anything less will be unacceptable. And with the stretch that lies ahead, they need to get some wins under their belt before the next road trip.

When crappy broadcasters collide

Tonight presents a rare occasion for Angels fans in Southern California. It isn't often that the Physioc/Hudler experience is markedly better than their counterparts on the opposing team. But as is the case a few times every season, the Angels meet the White Sox in the battle of the awful broadcasters. Let's take a look:

Physioc vs. Harrelson

Steve Physioc is not good. Let's just get that out of the way now. He's not awful, but he does the types of things that slowly get on your nerves. It's creeping homerism. And to his credit, you do hear the excitement in his voice rise when the opposing team does something good. He gives the appearance of professionalism, and for the untrained viewer, it may take a good week or two to come to the realization that he sucks. Whether it's the Pollyana attitude, the refusal to say "damn" when referring to the "Best Damn Sports Show" when in fact, it's the word "Best" that he should be refusing to say, he just bugs after a while.

Harrelson, on the other hand, is just plain awful from the get go. There's no two ways about it. I'll admit, he has some clever catch phrases (right size, wrong shape is a good one), and I'm even willing to look beyond much of the outright blatant homerism that he brings to the table. But it's the rooting for the Sox that I can't take. "Put it on the boarrrrd, YES!" I can take. I can even live with the way he sounds like his dog just got run over whenever the opposing team scores a run. It's the "C'mon, Mark, take him right here, put him away right here" that I can't take. It's natural to get excited when a guy with whom you spend 150 days a year does something good. It's simply not professional to openly root for that to happen from the press box. Then there's whole "kind of a dick" thing. That's mitigated by the "often a dick to Marriotti" thing, which is a redeeming quality.

Edge: Physioc

Hud vs. DJ

I'll be honest, as truly awful as Hud is as an "analyst", I find him to be entertaining in much the same way I find Rip Taylor to be entertaining. Sure, it's campy and juvenile, but sometimes you just gotta stick with what got ya there. I mean, the dude once ate a bug in the dugout on a dare. While it's funny in small doses, however, the verbal confetti that spews from Hud's mouth starts to grate after a while And I know for some of my fellow fans, it's a sore subject when fans of other teams rip on him. To be honest, I'd written a bunch of other stuff here, but blogger ate it. You'll just have to trust me.

Darin Jackson is actually pretty not awful. He knows his role and he plays his part. Sure, he doens't tell me anything that I couldn't have figured out on my own, but that's the job of the modern color commentator. Call it the McCarverization of the broadcast booth. What's infuriating about DJ is his tendency to challenge the alpha male status of Harrelson. Don't get me wrong, that's when he's at his best. But it usually isn't long until he slinks back to the toady role, enthusistically yelling "He-gone!" just when he starts earning some respect. But bottom line, objectively speaking, if I had to take him for 162 games with a competent play by play guy, I could live with it. Pair him with John Rooney and the Sox would have a great pair.

Edge: DJ, by a strrrretchhh.

Sometime over the next few days, I may have try the old "synch the TiVo with the radio feed" and see if it works. But it has the be the Rory and Terry feed, and not the Sox feed. As much as I like John Rooney, man, that Ed Rooney is a real condescending cocksucker.


Game 1 is Darin Jackson and Don Pall. I'm not sure if this is a blessing or a curse.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Dodger 5; Angels 2

This might not end up being the final score, but I quit caring after it got to this point. It didn't take long, Vlad or no Vlad, for the offense to get back to their old tricks. First and second with no one out and they can't even move a freaking runner up 90 feet. The signature moment? Backward K (>|) for D-Mac on a two seam fastball right down the middle of the plate. The game was pretty much over at that exact moment.

Hey, two out of three ain't bad, I guess, although it would have been nice to sweep the Dodgers. They lose ground to the Rangers, and let's face it, chances are this is the beginning of a long, slow, Vlad-less slide into second place (or worse).

Not looking forward to the next month. They need to make some hay against KC when they meet up, because those series against the White Sox, Red Sox, and Braves are gonna be ugly.