Friday, May 11, 2007

Angels 6; Rangers 3

I've been hard on John Lackey for the last couple of seasons because of his seeming refusal to put hitters away when he's ahead in the count. Time after time, he'll be ahead early, and let hitters off the hook, and even if he does get the out, he ends throwing 2-4 more pitches than he should have. Well, not tonight. Tonight he challenged guys, he got ahead, and he put them away. And guess what? He still struck out seven.

The proof is in the pitch count. He threw 95 pitches tonight, working eight and a third innings, and almost 73% of those pitches were strikes. That's efficiency, and that's not only going to allow John to work later into games, but it's going to help him enter his next start with similar sharpness.

Offensively, the Angels benefited greatly from an Ian Kinsler error, which would have started an inning ending double play, and instead allowed two Angels runners to cross the plate. As it was, the Angels still grounded into four double plays, with Kendry accounting for two of those, one on a shot back up the middle which took a fortuitous bounce off of Vicente Padilla right to Michael Young, or else it would have been an RBI single. Kendry was 1-4 and accounted for five outs, but still, he hit the ball hard every time up, which is more than you can say for the man he replaced.

Three straight wins, and just like that, the Angels seem to have turned it around a bit. It falls to big Bart tomorrow. I won't see this one, because a) I'll be playing golf, and b) it's a Fox regional broadcast, so I'd be blacked out anyway. Oh well.

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