Friday, May 18, 2007

Two out of Three

Solid series in Seattle, after coming off a solid series in Texas. The Angels are now 10-12 on the road, which is pretty good following their 1-7 start. The most satisfying moments from this series? Jose Guillen striking out with the bases load and two out in a 2-0 game in game 2, and watching the ball go right between his legs on a base hit to right field last night. That was pretty sweet.

The Revs got a post up over at the mother ship about what's been good and bad so far. I'll say that I've been wrong on Matthews to this point, though I still think five years is way too long of a deal. However, I have been right about Willits. I maintained that Willits would outproduce Matthews this season, based partly on high expectations I had for Willits, and low expectations for Matthews. Reggie hasn't disappointed.

So after a quarter of the season, the hold a three game lead over the Mariners and A's. They've had Garret Anderson miss a ton of time (no big loss), and they've have Howie Kendrick miss a ton of time (big loss). In addition, Colon appears to be back and healthy, and Weaver has been solid, save for one unfortunate outing. The looming issues right now are Scot Shields, who has been good, but unreliable, and Justin Speier, who seems to have disappeared for some reason. And then there's Sheam Hillenbrand, who has been awful. He's either going to head back towards the mean and be decent the rest of the way, or he's history once Garret Anderson comes back. I'm guessing the latter.

I'm not particularly concerned about Kotchman or Napoli. Napoli has showed signs of breaking out of his slump a little bit. Kotchman is going to be up and down all season. He's a streaky hitter at this point, and a lot of that is probably due to his youth. I think he'll find that consistency as his career moves on.

So I could be happier right now, but all in all, things look pretty good. They've got room to improve, and they'll need to play better if they hope to win the division, but there's not a whole lot to complain about right now.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Get used to this

Maybe not the final. Maybe not the horrendous defense. Maybe not the bad outing.

But get used to the Angels losing every game started by Felix Hernandez for probably the next 15 years or so.

Say what you will about Escobar, but if Figgins isn't a moron, he goes into the third tied, and if not for Ztu, it's a tie game with one out in the third. Kelvim didn't have his good stuff, but his defense killed him.

Just archiving, don't mind me

Suburban Lawns

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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.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


If the Angels lose a game, chances are it has Hillenbrand's fingerprints all over it. Today, he may have homered, but he also left five guys on base, three in scoring position, in his last two at bats.

The guy sucks. Everyone knew he sucked before the Angels signed him, except possibly Bill Stoneman.

His failure to drive in a run in either at bat meant that Scot Shields was pitching the ninth, instead of Frankie, and Shields has more or less been about as reliable as a Trabant this season, and once again, he didn't even give his fielders a chance, serving up a game ending gopher ball to Nelson Cruz. Erick Aybar wasn't any better, going 0-5 and leaving six men on base. The difference, however, between Aybar and Hillenbrand is that Aybar can contribute defensively, and has played to a level that has warranted more playing time. Shea hasn't.

Santana was not good, but he kept his team in the game, though he continuously blew leads. Then again, if you expected Santana, against the Rangers offense, on the road, during the day, to even come close to pitching a good game, you're a moron.

On the plus side, Kotchman and HGHMJ each had three hits, and Napoli is up over .200. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Alfonso Maquez is a fucking idiot, not only screwing up a tag up play (in the Angels' favor), but also booting Carrasco for "throwing at" Ian a tie game....with no one the seventh inning....with a curve ball. Kinsler, of course, did nothing to move out of the way of the pitch, but that no longer matters to major league umps. Scioscia, for his part, got tossed while telling Marquez he's a fucking idiot.

It's looking like the Royals series. Weaver goes tomorrow, and don't be surprised if the Angels turn a good opportunity into a pile of crap yet again.