Sunday, May 27, 2007

Good at bat?

Scioscia shocked me in the 7th inning, bases loaded, 1 out, down by one to the Yankees, Robb Quinlan up. He sent in Erick Aybar as a pinch hitter. Why?

Quinlan is a better hitter. If its a lefty/righty thing, we have Kendry Morales on the bench. He hasn't played much lately, but I kind a remember him winning a few games for us.

Aybar takes a bases loaded walk after an 11 pitch plate appearance, so its a good time at bat, right?

Aybar started the PA by swinging at some pitches out of the zone, then took strike 3 looking on a curve, but got lucky as it was called a ball. To his credit, he did lay off some pitches and fould off a lot of tough strikes. Weird decision, great result.

Figgins follows with a walk, Angels take the lead, and the Proctologist is taken out of the game. Angels have a chance to add to a lead and sweep the struggling Yankees.

Monday, May 21, 2007

We're scoring runs?

This offense has been, at times, very frustrating and very weak. If Vlad isn't in the lineup, we're lucky to avaoid a shutout. Earlier this year, there were probably games where Anderson and Hillenbrand, hitting 4th and 5th, combined for more outs than the number of pitches they saw. Losing Howie Kendrick was a big blow we could ill afford.

But now, coming off a sweep of the Dodgers, we are actually 6th in the American League in runs scored. Really, you have 3 tiers of offense in the league so far. Cleveland, Detroit, New York, and Boston are the good hitting teams. All are well over 5 runs per game. There's a big dropoff to #5 Texas, the lone average offensive team, and the other 9 could be described as offensively challenged, at least a third of a run per game below Texas.

But hey, of all the bad hitting teams, we're number 1!. Combine that with great pitching, and the Angels are right where they should be. Howie Kendrick is probably no more than a week away from returning. Now if we can just get rid of Hillenbrand, which takes away the possibility of he and Garret both in the lineup and Reggie Willits on the bench, we'll be fine.

Reggie is most certainly playing over his head right now, but a return to earth could still give him a .290 average and .375 OBP. He frees Gary Matthews Jr. to hit cleanup and protect Vlad. I wouldn't say his power is wasted in the leadoff spot, I love having power there. The first Angel team I followed was the 1982 team with Brian Downing leading off, and it was great. But lets just say that for this team, which lacks power from every spot in the lineup except Vlad and sometimes Mike Napoli, having Matthews' 15-20 homer power in the top spot was a a luxury we couldn't afford.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Trade that should be made

I think the Angels should offer Francisco Rodriguez to the Mets for Jose Reyes, just for the headline value. You know, see who is paying attention.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Will Joe and Jon ever shut up?

I'm watching the ESPN Sunday night game. Joe Morgan and Jon Miller are having a conversation about whether or not Hank Aaron should attend the game when Bonds breaks his record. Strangely enough, in the background people are throwing baseballs, swinging bats, and running around the bases. You'd never know it from listening to these two, plus Peter Gammons when he joins in.

Its Tim Lincecum's first major league start, and I've been anticipating this. In AAA he allowed only 1 run in 31 innings, with 12 hits and 46 strikeouts. I haven't seen anyone dominate AAA like this since Cole Hamels 2006. Guess who Lincecum is facing?

When he's batting, the announcers (done with the Hank question for now) tell is that Tim didn't bat in high school or college. Its hard to imagine facing MLB or really any professional pitching with so little experience. You'd think he'd be an automatic strikeout 90% of the time or something. Somehow though, Tim was 2 for 6 in AAA, with only one strikeout. Perhaps Brandon Wood should seek batting tips from him.

I'm not seeing quite the stuff that was advertised. I've read a lot about Lincecum topping out at 98 or 99. Well, not tonight. He's throwing 91-94, and I haven't seen anything 95 or over.