Monday, May 14, 2007

Angels 7; Rangers 2

This being a day game, I had to sort of watch while "working". Missed Kotch's grand slam, and since most of the fireworks came in that at bat (shout out to Napoli's double as well, and the two run single from Murphy), there wasn't a whole lot left to see on the offensive end.

That's seven safe trips to first base for Kotchman in the last two games. He's establishing himself as a somewhat streaky hitter, which isn't all that surprising for a guy who's only 24. Consistency should come with more experience and at bats.

Little Weav was strong again, pitching through a rain delay, and going seven innings with only 87 pitches, striking out five while allowing eight to reach safely. This was Weaver's 25th start, and maybe that's a good time to make a comparison to his brother. There's another guy out there who likes this comparison a lot, so let's see where we're at.

Jeff: 25 starts, 8-10, 5.23 ERA, 144.2 IP, 101 K, 1.304 WHIP, 22 Homers
Jered: 25 starts, 13-5, 2.79 ERA, 155.1 IP, 135 K, 1.127 WHIP, 18 Homers

If you follow those links, click on the red numbers on the right to get cumulative career stats through that particular game. Granted, the Tigers sucked when Jeff played for them, so pay as little attention to that record as you'd like. And in the interest of full disclosure, Jeff was a year younger (so you could make the case that Jered is MUCH better at this age than his brother), and those starts came over the course of one season, as opposed to two. But the rest of the numbers speak for themselves. Granted, Jeff had great numbers through 14 starts. We're now 11 starts past that, and Jered is still kicking ass, and if you take away his one awful start this year (a true anomaly through his first 25), his numbers get even more impressive.

Additionally, if we dig a little deeper, we find that Jeff was 6-3 with a 2.93 ERA after 14 starts. Jered was 9-2 with a 2.33 ERA. Both look pretty damn good. But one of the main cries of the skeptics has been "wait 'til the league sees Jered twice". Assuming that MLB teams actually have an advanced scouting budget, I'm guessing that most teams are prepared for Jered at this point. So let's see how each fared over his next 11 starts.

Jered: 66.1 IP, 3.26 ERA, 9 HR, 61 K
Jeff: 58.2 IP, 8.59 ERA, 16 HR, 40 K

So at what point do we stop making the "Jeff had a great start, too" argument? 30 starts? 50 starts? I'm serious, I wanna know.

Anyway, the Angels are now 8-11 on the road, which isn't that great, but consider they're 7-4 since that awful start, and they seem to have righted the ship somewhat. Aside from Santana's road woes (nice perspective given by the Chronicler over here), the starters have been fantastic. The bullpen has been spotty, or rather, most of the bullpen has been great, Darren Oliver sucks, and Scot Shields has not been reliable. The offense should get a jolt when Howie Kendrick returns, but all we can do is hope that it's not negated by Garret Anderson's return, which may very well lead to less time for Reggie Willits. Hopefully that's a net positive. And pending the eventual DFA of Shea Hillenbrand, the offense may improve from "terrible" to simply "not very good". With their pitching, that might be enough.

On to Seattle to hopefully open some ground on the M's. The good news? Santana's misses the series and his next start is on friendly ground.

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