Saturday, June 25, 2005

39 out; 35 in - 74

I don't often toot my own horn on this blog, unless I'm being facetious, but allow me to say "toot-toot". Cog Hill #2 is certainly no Cog Hill #4. It's about 700 yards shorter, and if you look at the course rating, it's about 5 shots easier. However, that doesn't diminish the fact that I shot two over on the front, and even on the back for a two over 74. Probably one of my best rounds in a while (the 81 I shot from the tips at Purdue's Kampen Course is still one of the best ball striking rounds I've ever had, and the 76 at Foxford Hills was mighty fine).

Snaked in a 15 footer for birdie on 2, fell apart on 3 for bogey, three putted 5 for par and 6 for bogey to go one over. Got it together on 7 and 8 for par, and blew a golden oppotunity on 9 after a great drive, and made bogey to go two over.

Drove the tenth green and missed a 12 foot eagle putt to settle for birdie. Bogeyed 12 to drop back to two over, and parred in, with a good birdie opp on 13, routine pars on 14 and 15, hit a tremendous 4-iron punch under the trees onto the green to par 16, got up and down on 17 for par, and snaked in a 8-10 footer on 18 to save a two putt par for the even 35 and 74 overall. 13 greens in regulation, which has got to be somewhere near a career high.

The rough was very playable, which was fortunate, because I didn't exactly light up the fairways (8 of 14). Greens rolled well, and weren't brutally fast. The course played pretty easy, but still, seeing 74 on the card is nice confidence builder. And while the putting wasn't great, it was light years better than it's been. The Scotty Cameron Caliente will be staying in the bag for a while.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that my buddy shot 75, his failure to get up and down on 17 being the difference between our two scores. He shot an 81 or 82 last week on Dubsdread, so he still has bragging rights on the big course. The fact that we really pushed each other to play better made for a great round.

No rounds booked for now, but I imagine I'll try to walk on somewhere next weekend, especially if there's an opportunity to play well again.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Angels 7; Dodgers 0

It's always nice to beat those guys.

Lackey was excellent through seven innings, throwing his curveball for strikes in the zone and out of the zone. He finished with 9 strikeouts to one walk. I think it's safe to say that he's putting it together this year. This is the guy we expected to have in the rotation after game 7 of the 2002 World Series. He's 6-2, his ERA is down to 3.50, and he's really been racking up the strikeouts lately. I'm getting the feeling now that we have two pitchers with whom we should win, two with whom we have a good shot to win, and then the fifth spot rotating between Escobar (solid when healthy) and Santan (feast or famine).

I'm with Sean. The pitching has really been unbelievable and unexpected this season. On the nights when the offense shows up, these guys look like world beaters.

Weaver bested Lackey for the first four+ innings, not allowing a hit. He didn't allow his first 'hit', and I use that term loosely, until Jeff (not Jerry, Vin) Davanon knocked one back up the middle under the glove of a very serious Jeff Kent, who wasn't quite serious enough about selling out to save the run. That plated D-Mac, who'd hit one to the moon that eventually fell to earth and went through Cesar Izturis' glove. Heads up baserunning got him into scoring position. A couple of hits later, and the lead was 2-0. The Angels would add single runs in the sixth and seventh, before D-Mac put it out of reach with a three run bomb to dead center. Shields and Donnelly pitched solid 8th and 9th innings respectively to close it out.

Texas dropped another one in Houston. That makes five straight, coming on the heels of five straight wins. The Angels have now picked up four games in five nights, and have increased their lead to 5.5 games. Suddenly, they've got a really nice cushion. Not that I expect sweeps, but if they hold their lead before heading down to Kelo v. New London Stadium for four against the Rangers, they've put them into position where a sweep at the hands of the Rangers would still find them in first place, and a sweep in the other direction could push their lead to double digits. Not a bad situation to be in.

Nice surprise getting Vin Scully on FSN tonight via the Extra Innings package. No offense, Steve, in case you stop by again. Looks like it should be more of the same tonight. And with the girl out of town this weekend (for those of you who believe in her existence), I'll be back in front of the TV tomorrow night, recovering from a round at Cog Hill #2 played in 95 degree heat.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

What you learn from Sitemeter

Sitemeter is that little thing on the bottom that tracks blog hits. If you're cheap, like me, you get the free version that tells you all kinds of neat things (but not as many neat things as the pay version) like how many hits you've had, what pages people are clicking through from, the ISP of visitors, what time zone they're in (shout out to those of you in Cental Europe), etc. For example, it tells me that today I received my 2,100th hit since I got a Sitemeter account a little less than two months ago, right about the time I restarted this here blog.

One of the interesting things is the referral listing. It shows you where people have clicked over from. If you type the URL into the address bar, it just turns up as "unknown". But if you click the link on the sidebar of BHW's site, it shows the URL for his site. It's really not enough information to tell me who any of you are, although I suppose if I was really that interested, I could figure out a few of you. Some of you, like some guy in Atlanta, post really predictable comments, so I already know who you are.

Which leads me to the point of this post. I recently received a visitor who clicked through from a google search, which isn't all that rare. For example, Brian Carlwell's recent commit to Illinois brought a few people to the site who did searches on his name. But tonight, I got a hit from someone who who searched for 'steve physioc angels'. Now this isn't really a big deal. I'd imagine that given enough time in front of a computer, I too would run similar searches which would seem pointless to everyone else. This person had their reasons to search for information on Physioc (I'm giving the benefit of the doubt).

Now I don't know about you, but I when do a google search, I look through the first ten results, maybe the next ten, and on those rare occasions, I'll even click over to page 3. If I don't find what I'm looking for, I alter the search a little bit to see if I can pull up what I seek. But who in the world does a Steve Physioc search and clicks NINE PAGES THROUGH and is still clicking on the result links at that point? I can't imagine doing a search for Physioc and not finding what I needed in, oh, say the first few results, let alone 9 pages worth. Of course, if it's actually Steve Physioc (or members of the Physioc family), I guess that's understandable, and let me just say, Steve, thanks for visiting.

Sitemeter: Sometimes raising more questions than it answers.

Now even you can be a little more like me

I stole this from Richard over at Pearly Gates, but if you look over at the sidebar underneath all of those band links, you'll see a list of the last ten songs I've listened to on my trusty old Windows Media Player. It's a work in progress, because I usually listen to stuff on Rhapsody, but with the bigger hard drive on the new work computer, I'm letting Rhapsody download tracks to my hard drive to be listened to on WMP. Can't burn them, because they've got some crazy copy protection, but oh well. I think this is pretty cool, and yes, now you, lucky reader, can keep track of every song I listen to. I know you've been thinking 'I wish I knew exactly what Seitz was listening to so that I could listen to the same stuff and become almost as cool as him.' Well, your prayers have been answered.

And for Matt, Rhapsody has the Corvids' CD available, so some of those fine tunes may just turn up once in a while.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Angels 4, wait no, make that 5 so far; Rangers none so far

I'm only recapping the first inning and a half tonight. I have been called away to do research on local entertainment establishments. I suspect the game will be over before I return.

For all intents and purposes, Rivera replaces Finley in tonight's lineup. So far, I like the results.

That is all.

**Update** - Bengie. Yardball. I like it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Angels 8; Rangers 6

Mike Scioscia is a dumbass. And so is any other manager who brings the closer into the game in a non-save situation.* There was absolutely no reason to remove Shields after the way he tore through the 8th inning. I'd love to see numbers on what Percival's ERA was in non-save situations compared to save situations. There's just a concentration issue or something. They amost lost this game when Scioscia made that move, and while Frankie didn't pitch well, this loss would have been completely on Scioscia's shoulders.

This one should have been out of hand after the first inning. Great job of picking up four runs with two outs after a Vlad rocket got to the wall too fast to allow Erstad to fo first to third. That kept the double play in order, and GA hit one right off the Rangers menu. They recovered, though, and picked up four more in the next inning, sending Chan Ho to an early shower. Hey, look on the bright side, Chan Ho. It's not like you gave up two grand slams to the same guy in the same inning or anything.

Bartolo was a little off. I'm not sure if it was Merriweather's strike zone or what (computer tonight - no extra innings because of the KCAL broadcast), but he wasn't getting strikes in bunches of quite the same size as he has been lately, which led to a lot of baserunners in the early innings. But he pitched well enough to win, and he pitched to the score, to the extent that's possible, and reasonable people can and do disagree.

Couple more hits for Dallas, as he is hopefully coming out of his slump. That's three hits in the last two games. Erstad remains red hot, with three hits. He's not hitting for power, but he's racking up base hits by the ton, and he's even walking.

Jeff Davanon could use a trip to the brain specialist. Guy comes in with the bases juiced, throws six straight balls, and what does Davanon do? Swings away and pops up. Honestly, make the dude throw you a strike in that situation. Please. If only for my sanity.

Had a tooth pulled tonight. First time I've ever done that. It was a wisdom tooth that was pretty much all the way in, but had a pretty big cavity, so the doc just yanked it. The novacaine has worn off, and it doesn't even hurt. I'll be throwing back a vicodin all the same, ya know, just in case. After the pain I went through a week and half ago, any discomfort this procedure may cause can't be anything more than child's play.

*Disclaimer - as the Idiot points out in the comments, there are exceptions, the most obvious being at some point late in a tie game. I should have been clearer. I was referring generally to games where the lead is too big to earn a save, like last night's game.

Mid Morning Round Up

I've been noticing that I get a fair amount of non-unique hits throughout the day, or in other words, the same people seem to be checking in for new content. Now, most of the time, my stuff tends to be limited to a loose collection of comments and thoughts built around game recaps, which means that there usually isn't going to be any new stuff until after the game (or during, if the urge to live-blog grabs me). There are a couple of things to talk about today, though, so I figure I'll do some bonus material. I don't know if this will become a regular feature. Rob McMillin already has his "Pickoff Moves", so I don't want to step on any toes. Also, I lack creativity, so I'm not sure I could come up with a cool name for a regular feature. Anyway....

Cabrera's hurt: I was going to take the opportunity to rip Cabrera last night, prompted by the solid play of Maicer Izturis, who was ripping up the PCL in his rehab stint. I mean, honestly, could any of us say right now that Cabrera is THAT much better than Izturis? But if he's hurt, I'll refrain. I say DL him. Can't take the chance of being down to 23 men while Donnelly (possibly) serves his suspension. Call up Bootcheck, and shorten the bench by one player. I mean seriously, it's the freaking American League. We can do without a bench player for two weeks.

Nice article on Ryan Tucker: For those that don't know, Ryan Tucker was the 34th overall pick, selected in the supplemental round by the Florida Marlins. Ryan Tucker is also a (soon to be) graduate of Temple City High School. Us T.C. grads don't get too many baseball players going high in the draft. I think Warren Busick, whom none of you have ever heard of (his brother Steve played linebacker at U$C and for the Broncos), was the last good one we had, and I think he ran into arm problems before he had a chance to get to the majors. I also don't think he went as high as Tucker. Our greatest active athletes are Rocky Biddle, and U$C running back/special teams player Desmond Reed. Good luck, Ryan, and make the Rams proud. I'm so generous, I'm not even going to hold the fact that you played for Temple City American against you.

Brian Carlwell commits to the Illini: Good news for Illinois fans. First Dee takes his name out of the draft, then Bruce lands his second quality big man for 2006, to go along with Richard Semrau. This is the bump that we're supposed to get out the tremendous season that the Illini just had. Let's hope this puts to rest some of the "He can only win with Self's players, and he can't recruit" B.S. that the naysayers have flung at coach Weber. As for Dee, I think circumstances have led him to make what was the right decision all along, although I feel bad for the way it happened. It's his dream to play in the NBA, and he's seeing his best friend get a ton of pub as the draft approaches, and I think most people knew that going pro now was the wrong move. It's a shame it had to happen the way it did, but I think he'll be better off. And I KNOW the Illini will be better off.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Angels 5; Rangers 1

Paul Freaking Byrd. What a performance. Complete game with 91 pitches against probably the best offensive team in the league. Wow. That was a very impressive performance, marred only by the home run by David Delluci, who appears to be about three times the size I remember him being from seasons past. Byrd had the Rangers beffudled all night, in true Jamie Moyer/Doug Jones fashion, with a fastball approaching 90 mixed in. Games like this are why they signed him, and now they're guaranteed to go into the Dodgers series with a lead in the division.

Vlad, well, there's not really much you can say about him anymore. He absolutely demolished the first pitch he saw from Chris Young in the first, and that turned out to be all Byrd needed. A sac fly and an RBI double completed a 4 RBI night for the reigning MVP. Up and down the lineup, the Angels hit tonight. Well, except for Finley, but I consider him to be somewhere other than up or down the lineup, and I wish Scioscia would, too. Anyway we can Sebestyen* him? Kennedy with three hits, Figgins with three hits, Erstad stays hot with two hits... If those three get on base like that, this team can score some runs.

It appears that the Angels will also pick up a game on the Mariners. I know, I know, why do I care about the Mariners. Well, they're as close to Angels as anyone is to the White Sox, and I think we've learned the hard way that you never count them out. Any steps the Angels can put between them are good things.

Chan Ho vs. Big Bart tomorrow. Park has apparently been picking up secrets from Bartolo, which is the only way to explain a 7-1 record with an ERA over 5.00. Not that this series is make or break, but it sure would be nice to wrap up a series win tomorrow, and set up the sweep for Wednesday (unlikely with the Gambler on the mound).

*Mike Sebestyen is a friend of a friend here in Chicago (or more accurately, a friend whom I met through another friend). High school football coach, and former high school athlete. Great guy. Teased often because he was, from what I understand, he's one of the few (if not only) position players in Fenwick High School history to be DH'd so that the pitcher could hit. Perhaps this isn't a rare occurence at other schools, but among the crew of Fenwick grads that I hang out with in Chicago, the practice of DH'ing for a position player has come to be known as being "Sebestyened".

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Marlins 7; Angels 5

The big number put up by the Marlins really doesn't surprise me. The kid is going to be inconsistent. He struggled with his location today and got knocked around a bit. Shake it off and get ready for your next start.

What bothers me is the anemic offense. Once again, the Angels offense proves to be the cure for what ails a struggling pitcher. I can't remember how many times over the years the Angels have faced someone who has come into the game on an awful streak, only to have him leave looking like Cy Young. It doesn't help when your big RBI guy strikes out on a pitch over his head with two on. This is twice in two series' in which the opponent has been more or lessed forced to start a guy who sucks because they simply didn't have anything better, and the Angels have looked like a Little League team at the plate. Very frustrating.

Dallas in a big slump. 0 for his last 13. Not good. Hopefully it's just a little downturn, and doesn't represent something that the league has picked up on him.

Congratulations to the Maori Man on a fantastically played US Open. What a great birdie on 17 that was. A perfect answer for Tiger's birdie on 18. Tough day for Jason Gore. Would have been nice to see the big guy from Pepperdine make some noise on the last day. And Goosen! Yikes! What happened to that dude? Mr. U.S. Open really threw up all over himself today.