Saturday, April 18, 2009

Angels 2; Twins 9

Once again an Angels starter gave a good effort. Once again, Torii Hunter provided the Angels with offense, giving them an early lead. And once again, a complete meltdown by the bullpen undid their efforts, as the Angels fell to Twins yet again.

Hunter’s team leading 4th home in the second inning put the Angels in front early, but it was all the Angels offense could muster. Bobby Abreu and Juan Rivera, the only other regulars besides Hunter hitting over .300, each delivered two hits.

Darren Oliver allowed one run, but after a long outing earlier in the week, and a spring spent preparing for a relief role, he was pulled after four innings. That’s where the trouble started. Kevin Jepsen was again unable to throw strikes consistently, walking the first two batters he faced before allowing three straight hits and three runs. He wasn’t done. He allowed a fourth run on a wild pitch, and was credited with a fifth run allowed (four earned) when Rafael Rodriguez threw a wild pitch. Rodriguez went on to allow three runs of his own in the sixth inning, one earned.

Thoughts on the game:

  • The bullpen, everyone but Jose Arredondo and Darren Oliver, has been awful. With starters hurt, and with pitches limited in the young season, that’s a recipe for disaster.
  • I look at this offense, and I don’t know where runs are going to come from. Torii Hunter can’t do it forever.

Friday, April 17, 2009

This Is A Bad Baseball Team

Look at the bright side, folks. You won't be losing the float on those playoff deposits.

I'm not sold on the idea that an offense needs to walk and hit homers to score, but you also can't rely on stringing a ton singles together. Don't let the nine runs fool you. This is not a good offense.

As for the pitching, well, the front line guys are fucking head cases. They give up one hit and refuse to ever go back to the zone. You guys wanted Frankie gone, and you got your wish. Now we have no one, outside of Speiere (believe it or not) who can get anyone out.

No one in the minors to take over outside of Wood and Rodriguez. Crippling contracts to Matthews and now, apparently, Rivera. The run is over. This team will not return to the post-season until 2014 at the earliest.

Vlad, out for more than a month.

Season. Over.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Your Last Place Angels: Angels 3; Mariners 11

The Angels fell behind early, held a brief one run lead, then proceeded to get stomped by the Mariners in a seven run seventh inning that put the game out of reach. After yet another gamed marred by poor relief pitching and a lack of timely hitting, the Angels find themselves 3-5 on the season, 3.5 games back of the Mariners, and in last place in the AL West.

Torii Hunter’s fifth inning two run home run erased an early deficit and gave the Angels a one run lead. But Jered Weaver served up back to back gopher balls to Endy Chavez and Ken Griffey Jr. in the bottom of the fifth to regain a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. The M’s added a run in the sixth when Jered Weaver couldn’t handle a squeeze bunt. Kevin Jepsen worked out of the mess that Weaver left, but he allowed three runs in the seventh before turning it over to Jason Bulger, who allowed a single and two walks before giving up a grand slam to Ichiro.

In the seventh inning, trailing by two runs, the Angels strung together a Hunter double, a strike-out/wild-pitch to Kendry Morales, and a Juan Rivera single to cut the deficit to one. But after Jeff Mathis sacrificed the tying and go-ahead runs into scoring position, Erick Aybar and Chone Figgins struck out to end the threat, and the M’s explosion a half inning later erased any doubt.

Thoughts from the game:

  • Jered Weaver didn’t look very sharp. He threw a lot of strikes (60 in 89 pitches), but he got knocked around pretty well, giving up 10 hits. Not a surprise in an early game, but as their second best active starter, he really needs to pick up the slack.
  • Erick Aybar looks lost at the plate. His 0-4 performance dropped his average to .150, and he left three men on base. With the Angels offense struggling, and with Brandon Wood’s hot start (.333/.333/1.067 - three homers and a triple in 15 at bats) and terrific spring training, you have to wonder how long the Angels can afford to keep him in Salt Lake.
  • Last night’s game looked like a flash back to last October. The 8-9-1-2 hitters combined to go 0-15. Tough to get anything going with a big black hole like that in your lineup.

Quick Site Note

I think I mentioned last year that I was cross-posting some things at SoCal Sports Hub, a site that covers pretty much all professional and college sports for Southern California. I'm doing the same thing this year, and it looks like I'll be writing anywhere from 2-5 game recaps per week. I'm going to post them here as well, so whatever you see here will probably coincide with the games I'm doing for that site.

That's pretty much just related to Angels content. All of the other stupid stuff I write here will still be here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Just One More Reason to Hate the Red Sox

I'm not really in a writey mood tonight, despite today's actions, so here are just some quick thoughts.
  • Josh Beckett is a little bitch, and there's no doubt in my mind that he intentionally threw at Abreu. It was a goddamned fastball and it was nowhere near the target, or at least, nowhere near the target that had been set by Varitek. I'm sure it was very close to the target that Beckett selected.
  • Not only did Beckett get things rolling with his pitch, but escalated the situation. Abreu had a right to be pissed and I'm sure he made that known. But Beckett walked in from the mound, pointing and yelling, and THAT'S when the benches emptied. Somehow, Beckett gets this rolling, escalates the situation, and four Angels get kicked out.
  • Then again, maybe the umpires delivered the proper punishment by leaving Beckett in the game to get slapped around, finishing with a big fat L next to his name.
  • If Beckett thinks the time out call came a little late, then here's a solution. DON'T WAIT A FREAKING HOUR TO THROW THE PITCH! He was taking a ridiculous amount of time to deliver the ball.
  • There's simply no excuse for this: "Obviously, there's a lot of emotion in this series. Not only facing us, but the tragedy." Those were Beckett's post-game comments. So you throw at someone's head. Then you charge that guy running your mouth. Then you run your mouth to the opposing manager, and you blame their reactions on the death of their teammate. I'd call Beckett a total piece of shit, but I've taken shits that deserve more respect than him.
  • Howie Kendrick parlayed yesterday's long at bat into some nice at bats in this game. He's really squaring the ball up well, and hitting it hard. I think he'll hit 10-15 homers this year if he stays healthy, and 35-40 doubles. But that's a big if with Howie.
  • Another nice outing from Dustin Moseley, who's really a sixth starter who has been thrust into this role. He didn't lose his composure after the back to back home runs.
  • I'm not concerned about the bullpen, but I'm probably at the level that comes right before concerned. For now.
  • Now they go on the road, and hopefully this is a time to get away from all of the distractions. They're already a game and half back of Seattle, so it's actually kind of a big series.