Thursday, August 03, 2006

What goes up.....

The Angels offense returned to earth, then kept going, against the A's the past couple of days, dropping two of three in an important, yet not particularly critical home series. Next up is four straight against the Rangers. This is no time for a letdown, and the Angels probably need to step up and take three out of four in this series, or at least split 2-2. This thing isn't going to be decided until the final two weeks of the season, but it's important that they don't spend a lot of time playing catch-up heading into those final two weeks.

As the Angels offense has morphed from that was good to one that is bad, it's no surprise that the monkey days of old are more or less out the window, which of course puts more pressure on the bullpen. If someone like Shields comes in and can't get the job done, there's really no chance that the offense is going to come through and pick him up. The Angels are now something like 1-44 when trailing after eight innings. I think we need a new monkey.

Finally, I held the belief for a while that all the errors were pretty much just small sample size. I mean, the defense isn't all that different from last year, and any team can go through a tough few months. But the fact of the matter is, they aren't getting better. They continue to make errors, and that extends innings, and that means more pitches, and that means we get to the bullpen quicker. That's not a good thing with a bullpen as shaky as the Angels' bullpen has been. I don't know what the fix is, and I don't know if they can overcome it, but for the most part, the team is roughly in line with what we expected them to do aside from the defensive miscues. And after watching them put the contact play on with the A's infield in, I still maintain that the Angels are the dumbest team in baseball. They may be able to overcome that, but it sure makes the road tougher.

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