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.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Hell?

I missed today's game due to a golf tournament in Michigan. What the hell happened? Figgins with two hits? Escobar in a game that lasted less than three hours? Has the whole world gone crazy?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Angels turn the tables on Indians....and me

I'd love to say the previous post was reverse psychology, but I was actually pretty convinced that the Angels were going to lose tonight. Of course, I became convinced sometime last night, but that's another story.

As mentioned before, I missed the top of the first because I was at the Michael Penn show. He was at Schuba's, and I assume he was promoting his new compilation CD. And he played with the Last Town Chorus, which is essentially made up of Megan Hickey and whoever she brings along to play with her. And she's very attractive, and really cool (we had a nice chat after the show). It's not too often you see a woman on slide guitar, and she really makes it sing. Very glad I made it to the opening set. But I digress.

Anyway, Jered looked fairly solid, if not completely sharp for the following five innings, holding the Indians at bay, even though he may have needed a Houdini routine in the sixth inning.

Moseley entered from there to keep the Tribe down in the top of the seventh before Kendry Morales, replacing the heretofore worthless Shea Hillenbrand, provided the fireworks, crushing a pitch into the right field seats, tying the game at two. Following another excellent inning from Moseley (2 IP, 1H, only 16 pitches), Gary Matthews provided the winning margin in the bottom of the eighth, even though FSN may not have wanted you to see it. Frankie worked a 1-2-3 ninth for the save, and temporary stem to the bleeding.

I'll gladly take the win, and it keeps the Angels above .500. But there's still not a whole lot to get excited about. On the plus side, they pounded out 11 hits, including a double from Kotchman. Perhaps more exciting than the Morales home run was the simple fact that he was in the lineup over Hillenbrand. It's a start.

Moseley dropped his ERA to 1.77 and earned his first win. The longer the offense continues to flounder, the more you have to think that Moseley's future is in another uniform. You can say what you will about his ceiling, but he's proving he can get major league hitters out, and he can do it as a starter or as a reliever.

Enjoy the victory, but this team is going to have to start scoring more than three runs per game if they hope to go on the type of May or June run that opens up a lead in the division that holds up the rest of the way.

Here's LTC doing David Bowie's Modern Love.

Indians something; Angels less than the Indians also something, for now

Just walked in the door after returning from the Michael Penn concert. Flipped on the TV and saw that the Angels gave up two runs in the top of the first.

At least it was nice of them to go ahead and lose tonight's game early. Now I've got time to do some cleaning, watch something else, etc.

It's unbelievable how much this team sucks.

Update: Will wonders never cease? Kendry Morales with an absolute bomb to right field and the game is tied. That's two more runs than I expected them to score.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

This team is awful

Bottom of the third inning, and from the swings they're getting against Cliff Lee, we may very well be in for a no-hitter tonight. I'm serious.

Fourth inning, now 3-0 Indians, and the game is officially over. See you tomorrow night.

Eighth inning. 3-1. Scioscia officially gives up on this game and brings in Darren Oliver.

Physioc just mentioned that, with Speier on the DL, Carrasco will pitch in more high pressure situations in the next two weeks. Umm, don't you have to be able to score enough runs to get a lead before you can be in a high pressure situation? I don't think Pipo will be in too many high pressure situations in the next two weeks.

It wasn't a fluke, folks. The Royals didn't get lucky to take two of four games from the Angels. This team is honestly no better than the Kansas City Royals. They're that bad.

Drew Gordon to Westwood

Huge get for Ben Howland and the Bruins. Considered to be the best power forward (6'9") in the West, the Bruins have landed for 2008 three of the top 42 players according to Scout. Joining Gordon are guards Malcolm Lee (6'4") and Jerime Anderson (6'1"). That's a power forward, a combo guard, and a point guard. Nice combination of recruits, especially with a center already coming in next year.

On the one hand, the first thing that comes to mind is if Love stays two years, and dare I say it, even three, they're going to be scary good. On the other hand, even if Love goes, does anyone think Howland won't find a replacement? The guy is getting almost everyone he wants. Two final fours will do that.

Best of all, the haters have been saying all along that the UCLA style of play will turn off recruits. High school kids want to run and gun and have fun. They don't want to hunker down on the defensive end. So why has Gordon verbally committed to UCLA?
Gordon felt the Bruins, with their defensive-oriented style, fit his all-around capabilities best.

"I had to think about the style of play," said Gordon, who has both sets of grandparents living in the L.A. area. "What it comes down to is being an all-around good player. You have to be able to pick up the pace, slow down the pace. In this case, UCLA, I'll slow down the pace a little bit, learn and get better slowing myself down, focusing on defense instead of run and gun.
Sounds like a smart kid. Sounds like a kid who wants to work hard at both ends of the floor. And with Ryan Wright's departure, the Bruins still have a scholarship to offer Jrue Holliday, Scout's #3 ranked player in the 2008 class. Nab him, and the Bruins likely have a top 3, if not top overall, recruiting class in 2008.

Only six months until basketball season.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

White Sox 4; Angels 3 - Shields blows it Again

Scot Shields continues to just be awful this year, and he can't be too far from becoming the seventh inning guy. His ERA isn't awful, it will be somewhere around 4.00 after today's game, but add this to the Cleveland game as losses that are completely on him. He inherited the tying run at the plate, and it took all of about two pitches to bring that run in as AJ Piershlsadkjf drilled one into what used to be the right field bullpen. And to top it off, the cocksucker drove in the winning run in the tenth.

We'll wait for news on Bart, but he looked excellent through seven innings before leaving in the eighth with what I can only assume is an arm problem. He had thrown fewer than 90 pitches to that point and hadn't allowed a run, though he left the game with runners on the corners. Shields did his best to make sure they came home.

It must have been a hell of a sun up there today, because everyone seemed to be having problems with it. The Angels dropped two balls, neither which came back to hurt them, as Crede would have scored on the home run anyway.

Offense was as blah as ever. Sure, they provided a lead, but three runs every night is not going to get it done. As I've said before, thank God they're in the AL West, because in any other division, they'd be nowhere near first place, and in the central, they'd be darn near third.

This is not a very good baseball team. This is an average team in a bad division.

On the plus side, it's been a team effort. Just about everyone is contributing to their crappiness.