Tagged: Blue Jays

Oh Canada!

I’m not a fan of day games during the week.  I have this thing called a job that gets in the way of being able to watch or listen to a live day game.  And I just really like knowing that, after a mentally exhausting day at work, I can go home and lose myself in an Angels game at night.  But a day game in the EST time zone?  In my world, that comes dangerously close to the crack of dawn.

             

For most of their season, the Angels need to be at their peak at 7:00 PM PST, their typical home game time.  Today, they had to be awake and alert to play their 3rd game in Toronto at 9:30 AM PST.  If any of them had taken the field without their glove (or cup), I certainly would’ve understood.  Yikes.  Much to my relief, they either got plenty of rest or one of these: 

                                      starbucks-IV.jpg coffee image by coffeehound1   

They got right to work and threw 3 runs up on the board in the first inning, just as they’d done the night before.  The Blue Jays were only able to piece together 2 runs out of the 7 hits John Lackey allowed them and the Angels had a 5-2 lead at the end of his 7 innings.  Okay, I’m sure you’re expecting me to let the bullpen have it right about now.

                        

But I won’t.  Darren Oliver has been one of the most reliable relievers the Angels have.  He just had a bad day, so the Jays took advantage and tied the game.  But the difference today was, Oliver’s teammates picked up the slack for him and held onto the game.  Howie Kendrick took the 9th inning as an opportunity to make up for an embarrassing base running error in Tuesday night’s game, when he lost count of the outs.  He executed a perfect bunt to get on base and then scored the winning run while the Jays were otherwise occupied with their double-play.  Nice.

                  Toronto Blue Jays catcher Rod Barajas (R) awaits the ball as Los Angeles Angels Howie Kendrick scores the game winning run during the ninth inning of their American League baseball game in Toronto on Thursday.

Don’t let the picture fool you.  I don’t think Overbay had even thrown the ball from first yet.  So, no extra innings, the Angels took two in Toronto, the Rangers lost another in New York and although I couldn’t watch all of the action until I got home from work, by lunch time today I had a smile on my face and the Angels had a win in the bag.  Now the Angels are on to Detroit while the Rangers have to take it to Boston.  The gap has closed by 1 game.  Onward and upward.

                       

Congratulations to Randy Johnson on his 300th win.  He becomes the 24th pitcher in baseball to record win #300 and only the 6th lefty to do so.  Baseball fans across the country are celebrating this amazing accomplishment.

 

Baseball…taking you to new heights.

 

 

A Dose of Doc’s Medicine

And tonight it was delivered by the Angels’ Jered Weaver.  At least the Jays got to feel what it was like for Angels batters at the plate on Tuesday.  Weaver put on his own pitching exhibition against the hottest hitting team in baseball.  When he’d completed 7 fantastic innings, giving up only 1 run on 3 hits, the bullpen had his back.  Bulger and Arredondo each allowed only 1 hit in the innng they pitched.  Weaver also had a career-high 10 strike-outs, but most importantly, he got the win.  He’s been a bit ripped-off in the win department due to a flat offense but, refreshingly, that wasn’t the case tonight.  The Angels had 3 runs on the board (including a 2 run homer by Bobby Abreu) before Weaver ever took the mound.  That has to feel good. 

                                

My Torii Hunter had his first night off of the season and it was nice to see the Angels could still pound out a win without him on the roster.  Chone Figgins has been so consistent in the lead-off spot, he could easily give Martha Stewart a run for her money when it comes to setting the table. 

                   

With his 60 hits and 26 walks, it’s unusual not to see Figgy make it over to first base.  He went 3 for 5 tonight and contributed his own RBI.  It was nice to see the Angels’ offense come together behind Weaver’s terrific outing.  While they may not have moved up in the standings, they showed tonight that they’re capable of rebounding in grand style from a loss.  The win also kept them above the .500 mark.  I’d love to see them take this series with another win in less than 8 hours, when Lackey takes the mound.  I’m crossing my fingers.

  mmyers.jpg picture by lafmyers

Tonight, I’ll just thank Canada for Mike Myers, Celine Dion, Canadian bacon and a much needed Angels win.

 

Baseball…for days like today.

 

 

What’s Up, Doc?

Well, not his ERA.  Yep, the doctor was in…and he was dealing.  Roy “Doc” Halladay looked like a man on a mission against my Angels in Toronto tonight.  As much as the Angels’ offense has been lacking lately, I can’t toss tonight’s game into the pile of “could’ve been wins”.  I don’t think there’s an offense out there that would’ve had better results against Halladay tonight, so I’ll just call the Angels’ 4 runs on 7 hits a respectable effort. 

                 

An Angels win sure would’ve been nice, especially given the Yankees’ trouncing of the Rangers, but I have to give credit where credit is due.  Halladay struck out a career-high 14 batters.  Even after wobbling a bit in the 6th and giving up those 4 runs, he got right back to throwing strikes again and kept throwing them, right to the end.  He delivered an amazing 133 pitches to claim his 42nd complete game.  Face it, he’s a regular pitching machine.

                   

Through the first two innings, Joe Saunders looked like he’d keep up with Halladay but he seemed to lose a bit of focus and after giving up runs 3 thru 6 in the 6th, he was done for the night.  Relievers Thompson and Bulger gave nothing to the Jays but the damage was done. 

                               

What are you gonna do?  It’s looking like Halladay’s year.  He’s had some tough breaks (literally) since his Cy Young Award in 2003.  There’s two more in Toronto to be won.  I would just like to think that a tape of Halladay’s performance tonight will be required viewing for Angels pitchers.  I hear it’s rated PG…for “Pitching Greatness”.

 

Baseball…just what the doctor ordered.

 

The Good, The Bad and The Really Ugly

The Bad:  I’ll start with the bad just to get it out of the way.  The Angels took a beating Wednesday night in the first of two with the red hot Blue Jays.  Rookie Anthony Ortega struggled to get four outs before being replaced by another rookie, Rafael Rodriguez, who served up a three run homer to Vernon Wells.  Roy Halladay kept the Angels bats quiet but at least it wasn’t a shut-out.  With a final score of 13-1, there’s no denying it was pretty ugly. 

 

                     uglymonkey.jpg picture by lafmyers

 

The Good:  Definitely tonight’s second game with the Blue Jays.  Jered Weaver pitched a complete game, his first in the majors!  He threw 103 pitches, 73 of them strikes.  He gave up only 3 hits with the lone Jays run coming from an Aaron Hill homer.  While the Jays may have held a batting clinic in last night’s game, tonight Weaver’s stellar performance showed the Angels’ bullpen precisely how to get the job done.  He was poetry in motion and had some nice offensive support from his team.  It was 80’s night at the Big A which added some light-hearted fun to the action.  Announcer Rex Hudler channeling Billy Idol, the players’ faces super-imposed on 80’s CD covers up on the big scoreboard and retro uniforms put everyone in a good mood.  I’m just glad we all could enjoy a flashback to the 80’s and a big Angels win!  

 

The Really Ugly

 manny.jpg picture by lafmyers

No surprises here.  Another disappointing day for baseball, but seriously, did we not see this coming?  He’s 37 years old, for pete’s sake!  There’s no denying he’s talented with a bat.  I’m pretty sure there isn’t a drug or hormone out there that gives you the ability to connect with the ball.  But any 37 year old’s stats should be honorably declining.  If they aren’t?  Gee, wonder why?  I’m not even going to go into the whole steroids and the MLB issue.  From little league parks to Capitol Hill, it’s been discussed and will continue to be discussed.  And Manny’s statement about a personal physician giving him something to take?  We’ve heard this ridiculously lame excuse from other pro athletes and Olympians as well.  I love having my intelligence insulted like this.  Sure…the doctor said, “Take this, Manny.  It’ll increase your testosterone production in a way that’s A-OK with the major league!”  Yeah, that happened.  But my biggest beef is the fraud that is being perpetuated by these players who sign multi-million dollar contracts.  They are committing fraud on the teams that sign them, on their fellow players and on the fans.  The way I see it, these two:

 

             borasramirez.jpg picture by lafmyers

 

are no different than these two:

 

                  enron.jpg picture by lafmyers

 

Or even these two:

 

            large_milli.jpg picture by lafmyers

 

Fraud is fraud any way you look at it.  And it isn’t just about the player.  Besides being a baseball fanatic, I am also a business woman.  If I were to promote and sell a product that my client later discovers was artificially altered or enhanced, I’d be ultimately responsible.  So why aren’t these agents, who are out there promoting and negotiating these obscenely huge contracts, held responsible?  Why aren’t they required to know exactly what they are peddling?  While I don’t believe the penalties for steroid and hormone use are nearly tough enough for the players, I’d sure like to see some repercussions for the super-agents who make their millions playing hardball with the teams and ultimately the fans.  We know who to thank every time the prices go up on tickets, parking and Dodger dogs.  When was the last time anyone ever said, “For the love of the game” with a straight face?

                  

                           

 

More importantly, I’m no lawyer, but why would any team ever sign a contract with one of these top dollar players and not have an exit clause for exactly this kind of situation?  I could write the line for any ball club who needs it:  Test positive for anything other than Flintstones vitamins, and you can pack your locker…game over.  End of the line.  The tribe has spoken.

   

                   

 

We’re all aware of recent records that will forever be questioned.  Joe Torre’s cap was sent to Cooperstown to mark the modern-day record set by the Dodgers just yesterday, for consecutive home wins to start a season.  Will Cooperstown send it back?  Will they add an asterisk?  What does it mean that the Dodgers home win streak was snapped tonight as they blew a six run lead to the last place Nationals?  Once again, we’ll never know.  And taking female fertility drugs unless you truly, truly need them can be a tricky thing.  There’s just no way to predict the outcome.  THAT we do know.

 

                               

I’m sure Manny knew the risks but obviously it was a chance he was willing to take.  For money?  Power?  Prestige?  Respect?  Hmmmm.  Respect…that’s something he didn’t have for the game or for those who love it.

 

Baseball…it’s the real thing.  (Or is it?)  

 

Taking Two in Oakland

I’ve always loved a good mini-series.  So much drama, action and yes, even romance crammed into just a few hours of exciting television viewing.  No, not this kind of mini-series:

 

miniseries.jpg picture by lafmyers

 

(Yes, I actually entertained myself with something Yankees-related!)  I’m talking about THIS kind of mini-series:

 

      Kendrick hops

 

The Angels continued the winning rampage (perhaps a slight exaggeration) they began on Saturday in New York by going to Oakland and taking both games against the A’s.  Joe Saunders had a great outing on Monday night, winning his 3rd straight game.  The only run he gave up came when he balked.  Okay, so some of you “armchair all-stars” (**poking my husband**) might think that’s pretty pathetic to have a run scored on you because you balked.  I wonder how these pitchers don’t balk more often.  If it was me on the mound, between picking my nose and waving to the Good Year blimp, they’d have to invoke the mercy rule.  Rookie Shane Loux went seven solid innings, giving up only 5 hits and 1 run.  No balking or nose picking were involved.  And much to my giddy delight, Brian Fuentes looked like a closer…a really good one too!

 

TorontoBlueJays.jpg picture by lafmyers

 

The Angels are heading home to the Big A where we’ll have another one of those mini series with the Blue Jays and then follow that up with three games versus the Royals.  It would be great if the Angels can keep it together and chip away at the Mariners’ 2 game lead in the west but it won’t be easy.  Both the Blue Jays and the Royals are playing well.  Really well.  And even when the Royals are languishing a zillion games back in the central division, they come to Anaheim and my boys all look like they’re playing left-handed (or right-handed, if they’re lefties)! 

I know it’s still early in the season, but the American League standings look nothing like what anyone’s predicting.  The most unexpected and amusing things can happen when all the attention and hype are focused on the usual suspects.  Just ask these guys: 

 

     

 

 

           

 

Baseball…expect the unexpected.