Tagged: Freeway Series

Winners & Losers

I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch Saturday night’s Angels/Dodgers game so I set the DVR right before I left the house.  It has to be a very special occasion for me to miss a live game and since the BBQ/Poker Night/Memorial Day/Birthday Party was for moi, I felt obligated to attend.  (If I hadn’t my sister would’ve hurt me.)  I did, however, outline a couple of conditions:  1. The TV could be on but only for the Lakers/Nuggets game.  I knew if I was careful, I could later watch the playback of the Angels game without knowing who won even if this meant listening in the car to my husband’s favorite mix CD.  (Who has Sarah Brightman and Lady Ga-Ga on the same playlist?  My husband.)   2.  No one could force me to play Mexican Quarters again.  (I have notoriously bad hand-eye coordination.  Funny, but I have yet to get anyone to agree to a “Spelling Bee” type of drinking game…my only chance of emerging victorious and sober.)  

    SpellingBee.jpg picture by lafmyers

My conditions were met, dinner was great, the cards were going my way and I was blissfully unaware of what might be going on at Chavez Ravine until I received a text message.  It read, “Nooooooooo!!!  I assume u r watching the game and know what I’m talking about. 😦 ”  Sweet, sweet, Claire.  My niece is well aware of my devotion to my Angels and never would have guessed I wasn’t watching the game.  My husband immediately noticed the change in my demeanor but I did my best not to be a:

                 partypooper.gif picture by lafmyers

Back home at 2:00 AM, with my husband and the birds all tucked in, I grabbed the remote, took a deep breath and watched.  When I set the DVR, I had another one of my “feelings” and extended the timer just in case there were extra innings.  Good thinking.  With the game tied 4-4 at the end of the 9th, I grabbed my cell phone and looked at the time stamp on my niece’s text message. 9:46 PM.  That was during the 8th inning when the Dodgers tied it up.  Maybe this could have a happy ending after all?  If the game went 12 or 13 innings, she could’ve gone to bed, missed the Angels score the winning run(s) and wouldn’t have been able to send the second text message which would’ve said, “OMG!  They did it!  Yippppeeeee!!!!!!”, or something to that effect.  For a brief moment I was optimistic again. 

                            

So, what’s almost as bad as losing a game without giving up a hit (6/28/08)?  Walking in the winning run.  I questioned Mike Scioscia’s decision to bring Scot Shields back in the 9th after he was off in the 8th and gave up the tying run.  I also had to wonder why he stuck with Jose Arredondo in the 10th when he’d already given up 2 hits and a walk to load the bases.  Sometimes Scioscia’s brilliant (bringing in the extra infielder in the 9th), sometimes he’s not.  Oh well.  I climbed into bed just before the sun came up, the deciding game of the “Freeway Series” a mere 8 hours away.

      stadiumsunrise.jpg picture by lafmyers

While Matt Palmer may not have gotten win #6, he didn’t get loss #1.  He just didn’t have his usual finesse and the Dodgers touched him up for 4 runs (all in the 2nd) and were threatening more when he was pulled in the 5th.  Jason Bulger and Justin Speier held off those pesky Dodgers for a while but they got to Darren Oliver in the 8th, scoring 2 more runs to make it a one-run game. But when the Angels came roaring back to score 3 runs in the 9th, Dodger fans headed for the exits.  I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and attribute it to LA traffic rather than lack of faith in their own team. 

                               

One of the things I love about the Angels is the way they always seem to take turns at being the “hero” of the game.  One night, it’s a big home run by an unlikely source like Maicer Izturis, another night it’s Jeff Mathis laying down a perfect bunt for a suicide squeeze.  You just never know who will contribute the deciding hit or the game-saving defensive play.  So far this season, one player in particular has managed to outshine his teammates in both categories.

      Juan Rivera, Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter

Torii Hunter leads the team with 37 RBI’s but who’s to know how many RBI’s he’s prevented with his gravity-defying acrobatics out in centerfield.  He certainly didn’t disappoint today as he ran full-force into the wall to take an extra bag hit away from Matt Kemp.  As he lay on the ground, the wind knocked out of him, he lifted his gloved hand into the air to display the ball.  Understandably, it took a few moments for my Torii to get back on his feet.  Those were some scary moments.  I’d hate for my Torii to be hurt.  The Angels would suffer terribly if he had to spend any time on the DL.  Yes, the return of Vladimir Guerrero to the line-up tomorrow might be able to keep the offensive numbers up, but no one on the Angels roster (or any roster, in my opinion) could possibly make the plays my Torii makes in centerfield.  If, God forbid, my Torii ever went on the DL, the Angels shouldn’t even bother looking around the rest of the major leagues for a suitable replacement.  They’d be better off calling Cirque Du Soleil.

         cirquedusoleil.jpg picture by lafmyers

I know the weekend isn’t technically over, but here’s a quick rundown of the past three days:

Angels – won 2 games

Dodgers – won 1 game

American League – won 22 games

National League – won 20 games

Lucky Lori – won $11.50 (1 straight flush, 2 full houses)

 

Baseball…the art of performance.

 

 

Angels & Demons

Ha!  Just kidding.  Seriously, Angels fans can easily name a handful of other ball clubs they consider much bigger rivals than the Dodgers, (Rangers, A’s, Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, etc.), but more on that tomorrow.  Friday night’s game was not pretty and I would describe the winning team as the lesser of two evils.  

                             

It just so happens that the winning team was my Angels (yay for me), but it’s not a win anyone’s going to write home about.  Even Chone Figgins, who turned out to be the star of the game, kinda owed his team that 2 RBI single in the 8th after a bit of botched base running in the 7th that kept him from turning his lead-off triple into the go-ahead run.  

     Russell Martin, Chone Figgins

He definitely redeemed himself.  No one else seemed to be able get a hit when it counted.  The Angels were 2 for 17 with runners in scoring position, the Dodgers 1 for 14.  Pitching decided this game and it was the Angels’ bullpen that managed to hold on until Figgie could bring the runs in.  Jered Weaver threw 101 pitches in 5 innings and Clayton Kershaw, 97.  It was all about the relievers after that…Speier, Oliver, Arredondo and Fuentes.  My Torii Hunter made another 2 incredible catches including this one at the wall:

                              Torii Hunter

As he said after the game, he may not have brought the hits but he definitely deprived a few unfortunate Dodgers of their own.  It was a long game and in the end it went our way.  I’d love to see some real run support for John Lackey tomorrow night.  Randy Wolf’s record (2-1) doesn’t really reflect how consistent he’s been lately, but his ERA does: 2.72.  Uh oh.  What’s that noise?  I think I hear the wheels turning!

                             

Yep…here it comes!  “Lori Logic”!!!  Six quality starts in a row?  Looks like Randy-man’s in trouble.  Poor thing.  The odds just aren’t with him.  But it sure looks good for Big John.  We have to count his first start because it was really, really bad so that definitely figures into the logic.  His second start?  It was against the Mariners and he gave up 5 runs in 5 innings.  Pretty stinky.  And there you have it!   Lackey’s got the odds in his pocket but I’ll say no more because, although I believe in my logic, I also believe in the jinx.  So ssshhhh.

                  

Oh, one quick question…after Erick Aybar failed to get the critical bunt down in the ALDS with Boston last year, don’t you think bunting practice should’ve been at the TOP of his “to do” list in spring training??  

   

He failed miserably in two attempts tonight.  Even the normally calm, cool and collected Mike Scioscia, had a hard time hiding his disappointment.  When Aybar returned to the dugout after his second misfire, Scioscia turned his back and walked away.  (I think he was counting to 10.) 

                         

 

Somebody’s in trouble.  Hey, I think I just figure out who gets to clean up all of these:

 

                     

 

Baseball…eat, spit, be happy. 

 

 

Shutting Out Seattle

Well, they did it to us first.  After Wednesday night’s shut-out of my Angels, I’m sure the Mariners were hoping to take Thursday’s game and split the series, 2-2.  Instead, they were on the receiving end of a shut-out when the Angels brought a foolproof recipe for a win:

                       1 Joe Saunders, itching for a win after a miserable outing in Texas

                       3 Home Runs (If Vlad Guerrero is unavailable, substitute Juan

                          Rivera, Gary Matthews and Howie Kendrick)

                       1 pinch of Scot Shields

                       1 dash of Brian Fuentes

Blend all ingredients well.  Spoon into a diamond-shaped dish and bake at 65 degrees for 2 hours and 46 minutes.  Serve piping hot!  Oh, and stick a fork in the opposing team…they’re DONE!  

 

Mariners pitchers put up a good fight.  They only yielded 5 hits to the Angels but 3 of them cleared the wall (Kendrick’s was caught by an Angels fan in the upper, upper deck) and made all the difference.  With the Angels taking 3 of 4 in Seattle and the Tigers completing their 3 game sweep of the Rangers, the Angels are now only 2 games out of first place.  They’re flying back to Southern California but will take a detour to Chavez Ravine as they meet the Dodgers for a 3 game “Freeway Series”.  

                                  

When the Angels and Dodgers met up last season, they split their 6 games evenly.  I still haven’t forgotten the June 28th game.  It’s certainly hard to forget a loss to the Dodgers especially when the Dodgers didn’t get a single hit but still won the game!  Remember it now?  An error by Jered Weaver put Matt Kemp on first.  An error by Jeff Mathis moved him to third.  Kemp then scored on Blake DeWitt’s sac fly.  It was one of the most bizarre games I’ve ever seen and was only the 5th time in modern baseball history that a game was won by a hitless team.  I would really prefer none of that craziness this time around.

                   

I usually don’t mind a little interleague action.  The Angels take the opportunity to pad the old win column a bit and AL fans get a giggle or two as our pitchers take their turn in the batter’s box.  Even their teammates find it difficult to suppress their laughter when someone like Big John Lackey goes down swinging.  I’ve always thought pitchers should be better hitters or at least should have a pretty easy time drawing a walk.  Wouldn’t you think blackjack dealers would be great blackjack players since they know what’s likely to come out of the shoe?  (More “Lori Logic” as my husband calls it.)  Instead, they slap on a batting helmet and provide some unintentional comedy.

                        

The Angels will have to take this series with the Dodgers very seriously.  While they spend the weekend going up against the best team in all of baseball (at the moment), the Rangers get to play the Astros.  It’ll take the Angels’ A game to keep from losing any ground in the west.  And we can always hope the Rangers are starting to run out of steam.

               

I must mention, the way the earth’s been shaking around here in Southern California coupled with the Yankees winning 9 in a row, has had me wondering if the apocalypse could be close at hand.  But when David Ortiz finally hit a homerun, I decided it’s just coincidence and we’re beginning to return to normalcy.

 

Baseball…mmm, mmm good!