The Angels opened the week by taking three of four from arguably the worst team that MLB has seen in the last forty years. Of course, that's one fewer loss than the Royals handed the A's, but I digress.
On the positive side, the pitching was fairly solid, although it's tough to judge just how good they were considering it was the Royals offense that they were facing. Then again, considering the defense they had behind them, the fact that they only allowed 10 runs in four games is downright amazing, but I'll get to that. Both Mike Napoli and Dallas McPherson are showing a nice approach at the plate, actually willing to take a walk. Napoli's 10th inning walk last night spurred the Angels on to their third victory in the series. Orlando Cabrera has absolutely been on fire, reaching base in something like 46 games straight. He was 7/16 in the series, extending the streak last night with a single in what should have been his last at bat, then piling on with the game winning hit in the bottom of the 10th.
On the negative side, Vlad (4/16) and GA (2/15) are slumping, though in Vlad's defense (when you read that, try not to actually think about Vlad's defense), he did hit a homer last night that looked to be the difference until....what else? Crappy defense was their undoing on Wednesday, and it almost did them in last night as well. Ya know, it's one thing to be a poor team defensively. Some guys just aren't skilled with the glove, and no matter how much they practice, they just don't get much better. It's another thing to be stupid and lazy, and too many of the errors lately have been of the stupid and lazy variety. Between Vlad's dropped pop-ups (lazy), Figgins' chucks into right field (stupid) and Jose Molina's ill-advised and unneccesary fling into center field last night (galactically stupid), they're playing like a bunch of little leaguers in teh field. They've already allowed more unearned runs this season than they allowed all of last season. A month into the season, it was a sample size thing. We weren't all that concerned because any team can have a bad month, and if you pull a random month out of any season, even the best defensive teams probably would look less than adequate at some point. But it's mid-June, and the mistakes almost seem to be increasing.
Credit Frankie Rodriguez for getting the job done last night in the 8th inning (and ninth, FWIW). But Jose Molina really needs a brain transplant. His idiotic throw into center field cost the Angels the lead, and very nearly the game. I was pretty sure that Matt Stairs was going to come through for the Royals again, just as he had twice earlier in the previous 10 innings.
So the Angels sit five games behind the first place and surging A's. Interleague starts up again tonight with a three game set against the Padres. Two of three would be nice, but at some point, this team needs to put a streak together. As we saw last weekend, those houses of cards are easily knocked down by a quick Marine breeze.