The Angels looked very unprepared for their meeting Monday night with the Colorado Rockies.
The game was an unmitigated disaster, with one notorious notation: the Angels set a club record for wild pitches. Matt Palmer, in his shortest outing and first loss, gave up 6 runs before he was pulled after 4 and 2/3 innings. And the Angels’ relievers? Total meltdown.
Ironically, the final score, 1-11, was the exact same score as the final game in Tampa Bay. We all know what happened after that game.
Mike Scioscia let the team have it and overnight they began to play like a team who should be in first place in the west. I want them back.
Tuesday night was an improvement over Monday’s total trampling…not by much, but enough to get the job done. Rookie Sean O’Sullivan made his second start and although he didn’t get the win, he kept the Rockies from running away with the game. Angel pitchers kept the Rockies 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position. Down 2-3 in the 8th, Jeff Mathis took a walk, followed by a pair of bunts by Figgins and Aybar. The table was perfectly set for Bobby Abreu to drive in 2 runs and the Angels had the lead. Closer Brian Fuentes took over in the 9th and did his thing, including 2 strikeouts! He collected his 20th save, most in the AL. The Angels’ win combined with the Rangers’ loss to the Diamondbacks have the Angels tied for first in the west with Texas.
I’m sure everyone noticed Vladimir Guerrero’s newly shorn locks, no doubt an attempt to pull himself out of a David Ortiz-like hitting slump. It may not have helped Tuesday night, but let’s hope it has an effect soon, not just for the team’s sake. Like Big Papi, it’s tough to watch a hitter like Big Daddy Vlady struggle at the plate. At least he’s been hitting, but you know he’s trying to find his big swing. 30 of his 36 hits have been singles, not exactly the power we’re used to seeing.
The series with the Rockies wraps up Wednesday night, then it’s off to Arizona for 3 with the Diamondbacks. Then we’ll see what the standings look like at the conclusion of interleague play before the Angels head to Texas. Hopefully by then, the Angels will just be looking to put some distance between themselves and a 2nd place Texas. In the meantime, every division continues to be a real race. Gotta love it.
Baseball…we move the world.
After a terrific come-from-behind win against the Dodgers on Friday night, I really thought the Angels would carry the momentum into Saturday and Sunday’s games. I was wrong. The Angels were undone by some pretty darn good Dodger pitching. Saturday was the much anticipated brother vs. brother match-up between Jeff and Jered Weaver.
By the end of the 2nd inning, the Angels had 2 runs off of Jeff and Jered had breezed through the first 2/3 of the Dodgers’ lineup. I mentioned to my husband that I felt bad for Jeff and if I was in Jered’s shoes, I might consider leaving a couple hanging over the plate so my brother wouldn’t be humiliated while I pitched another shut-out.
Yeah, I know. I can’t believe I said it either. I take full responsibility for the loss and know the blame lies squarely on my shoulders. Yes, we fans believe we yield that kind of power. (Too bad I can’t win more than $2 on lotto.) At least Mom and Dad Weaver ended up with a couple of nifty jerseys and memories of a moment in baseball history that could never have happened without them.
Sunday was another tough one. The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw wasn’t exactly in the zone, but he managed to shut-out the Angels through 7. He struck out 5 and walked 4 and the Angels helped him out by leaving a gazillion men on base. (Okay, it was 12.) Like Saturday, they scored 2 runs off of Jonathan Broxton in the 9th, but came up short in the 3-5 loss.
I will say this, Juan Pierre has been able to do for the Dodgers what Jason Bay has done for the Red Sox…make people say, “Manny Who?” He may not be the home run hitter Manny is (he’s also not on any PEDs that we know of), but if there’s one thing he has that Manny doesn’t, clearly it’s speed. Not only does he fly around the bases, he runs down balls in left field that Manny couldn’t get to in a Porsche. What he lacks in long balls, he makes up for in stolen bases and defense. I’m not surprised he and Chone Figgins are close friends. They’re very similar…scrappy and speedy. It’ll be a real shame if Pierre ends up warming the bench when Mighty (cough, cough) Manny makes his glorious (choke, choke) return.
Have you had enough of interleague play yet? Oh well. There’re two more rounds and the Angels will host the Colorado Rockies tonight, then travel to the Arizona Diamondbacks for the weekend. The usually dominant American League has seen a bit more competition this year as we witnessed some unexpected upsets. The Nationals and the Marlins each took 2 from the Yankees, Houston got 2 on the Twins, the Braves swiped 1 from the Red Sox and the Giants helped the Angels gain ground in the west by taking 2 from the Rangers. Yes, for a few brief, shining hours yesterday, the Angels were tied for first place. Maybe Mike Scioscia can have another “discussion” with the team before the game tonight. I want to see my new and improved Angels back on the field. And I’d like to see Matt Palmer get win #7.
Baseball…it’s all the power you need.