I missed the first five innings or so of last night's game due to a friend of mine coming up with free Cubs tickets. I hate the Cubs, and I couldn't really care less about the Marlins, but the tickets were pretty good (first row of the upper deck, about even with the bullpen), and it was a nice night. First game I've been to at Wrigley this year, which is fun to go to, but doesn't really hold the allure for me that it does for most people. It was neat the first couple of times, but it kind of feels like a glorified high school stadium to me. For me, major league parks are giant monoliths surrounded by parking lots. At least the Cubs didn't disappoint, getting hammered more than most of the people in the stands for once.
I was in a cab on the way home when Vlad hit the three run homer off of King Felix to put the Angels in front for good. Weaver was already gone by the time I got home, but it sounds like he really struggled with his command. While I don't want to see him struggle, games like last night's don't bother me. First, they still won. Second, it wasn't an issue of him getting so much as he just had a hard time finding the strike zone. Only two of the nine hits he allowed went for extra bases, and none of them left the yard. Sometimes guys just don't have it.
Just ask King Felix, who got drilled for seven runs on nine hits, including three homers and a double. It was the second time the Angels got to him this season, and he could still be struggling coming back from his injury. His big mistake came against Vlad in the fifth, when his high fast ball got crushed over the right center field wall for the Angels third homer of the night.
Reggie Willits was on base three times again, while Cabrera continued his scorching pace with three more hits. While Napoli has cooled a little, Casey Kotchman stayed hot, hitting his fifth home run, and pushing his average comfortably back up over .300 to .309. Meanwhile, Howie Kendrick has yet to find a consistent stroke since returning to the lineup. He was 0-4, dropping his average to .256. He's now 0 for his last nine, and has just four hits in 25 at bats since his return.
Scot Shields has quietly gone from the unreliable Scot Shields to the once again dominant Scot Shields. He pitched a perfect eighth, striking out two, and his ERA is down to 2.83. Frankie was a little shaky in the ninth, starting it off with a walk before striking out the side. His slider must have been really breaking hard, because it appeared that he couldn't control it, and they were taking some pretty awful swings at it. But hey, sometimes that's to a pitcher's advantage. I mean, if he doesn't know where it's going, chances are the hitter doesn't either.
The Mariners were a hot team entering Anaheim before the Angels cooled them off. Now Baltimore comes in having won five straight, moving all the way up to second place, still 10.5 games behind the Red Sox. Escobar, Lackey, Saunders, and Santana will work the series for the Angels.