Saturday, August 26, 2006

Yankees 5; Angels 6

Nice win. Looks like Dino got some religion after last night's game. Anyway, can't really say much more. Missed this one. The Fat Man and I were at the ChiSox-Twins tilt. Always nice to walk out of the Cell with a bunch of upset Sox fans. And boy, can he dish the dirt on Matt Welch?!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Red Sox 2; Angels 1

This team is, for lack of a better word, dumb. Maybe this year, while the pitchers and catchers are going through early spring training, they can send the position players to Baseball 101 classes, because these are the stupidest mothefuckers I've ever seen on a baseball field. Stick Orlando Cabrera in the front of the room, because he needs the most help. He essentially salted the game away for the Red Sox in the top of the 7th when he tried to beat Alex Cora to second base on what should have been an inning ending double play. With the catcher at the plate, a simple flip to Kennedy would have started an easy double play which would have ended the inning and kept the Angels within one run. But Cabrera was beaten to the bag, Cora was called safe, and the Sox doubled their lead.

Of course, it probably wouldn't have mattered anyway, because these guys decided about half way through last night's game that they were no longer going to try to score runs. One good chance came in the bottom of the sixth, with two runners on, one out, and Vlad at the plate. He promptly ended the threat with a 6-4-3 double play. Only slightly less dramatic than Tim Salmon's statue routine with the bases loaded last night.

But the coup de gras of stupidity came in the bottom of the seventh. With runners on second and third and none out, Howie Kendrick laced a single to left. I remind you, there were none out. Anderson scored, and despite the fact that there were none out, Rivera was sent, and was too stupid to understand the situation. He was promptly thrown out. Did I mention that there were no outs? Because it's important to know that there were no outs in order to guage the full moronitude of this play. No more runners would cross the plate, making the shithead play by Cabrera in the top of the sixth that much more painful.

This is without a doubt, the stupidest collection of players in professional baseball. They prove it again and again and again. With average intelligence, they'd be ten games up on the A's right now, but their utter contempt for knowledge, from the amateur psychologist in chief right on down the line, has doomed them to failure this year.

The bottom line is that they simply can't afford to lose close games in which they have opportunities to win. They don't have to cash in every runner, but they need to bring those guys home in the big situations. It's August 25th, and their down by a week. There aren't that many weeks left. Despite numerous opportunities, I haven't bailed on this season since May. I'm doing it now. The Angels are done for 2006. Even assuming they could mount a challenge the rest of the way, they're far to stupid to get over the hump.

Oh well, at least Oakland will choke it away in the first round again.

Ugh. Red Sox 5; Angels 4

11 runners left on base, a hell of a lot of them in scoring position. That's the main story of tonight's game. The secondary story line was Kelvim's inability to get off to a good start, which put the Angels in a hole that they should have been able to dig out from. But time after time after time they let golden opportunities go by the wayside, none worse than in the seventh inning. After loading the bases with one out on a Robb Quinlan single that couldn't get Cabrera home from second, Tim Salmon struck out on four pitches, never bothering to swing at any of them, and Howie Kendrick knocked the first pitch he saw back to the pitcher to end the threat. And that pretty much summed up the evening.

L - O - B

In his defense, Escobar was outstanding from the second third inning on, but damage was already done. Just can't afford to lose games in which they get that many chances to tie it up. I think the monkey's got a virus. Time for a new monkey.

Last night's gain in the standings is gone, and the Angels are back to -5.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Red Sox 3; Angels 4

How does this team win games? Seriously. They basically handed the Red Sox three runs tonight, and almost handed them a fourth in the ninth inning. Figgins misplayed a slightly tougher than routine fly ball into two runs. Garret Anderson misplayed a blooper into another run (only after gross mismangagement by Mike Scioscia), and Maicer Izturis just about blew in the top of the ninth inning. Twice.

But somehow, the Angels scratched out just enough runs to win the game, thanks to another clutch two out RBI single from Garret Anderson, coming on the heels of Orlando Cabrera's GIDP to take the leadoff hitter off the bases. Props to GA and Juan Rivera for their RBIs, and Figgins should be recognized from getting one of the gift runs he handed the Red Sox back, and for the nice catch he made on Manny Ramirez's deep drive to center to lead off the ninth.

But special ire is reserved for Mike Scioscia tonight, who made the inexplicable (I've used that word a lot this year) decision to remove Brendan Donnelly with two outs in the seventh. He had retired all three hitters he faced, and there was no reason to take him out mid-inning. It reeked of amateur psychology on Scioscia's part. The only explanation is that he ran Shields out there to exorcise his Papi demons, which include two homers, one that preceeded a complete collapse last month. There was absolutely no baseball purpose behind that move, and it almost cost them the game. Fortunately GA came through in the clutch, Shields turned it around, the Angels pulled it out.

Another game picked up on Oakland tonght, and the Angels are back within four. That's five straight wins, and they need to keep this pace to hang with the A's who have an easier schedule this week. I don't know how they're doing it, but just imagine if they actually start playing the mistake free baseball that a lot of thought they were capable of playing.