Kazmir Gets His Work In, Rays Workover Angels.  Halolinks

"...99...100...101..."

Angels' Kazmir loses in first start against Rays -  Sporting News
"It's very disappointing," Kazmir said. "There's a lot of history there and a lot of good friendships I made over the years - not just with the players and staff, but with the community.  "Kazmir (2-3) threw 108 pitches in five innings, allowing three runs and seven hits with two strikeouts and three walks. The two-time All-Star has failed to reach the seventh in any of his six starts this season, after spending the first two weeks on the disabled list because of a right hamstring strain that interrupted his spring training regimen.  Kazmir is 4-5 with a 4.05 ERA in 12 starts since joining the Angels. Right-hander Wade Davis, who replaced Kazmir in the Rays' rotation after the trade, is 5-4 with a 3.46 ERA in 12 starts since his promotion from Triple-A Durham last September.

Sure, Wade Davis has done better than Scott Kazmir since Kazmir's trade to the Angels, but has he been able to throw more pitches?  Huh?  Has he?  Yeah, Wade Davis and his 3.46 ERA can stick it.  I'll take Kazmir and his 5 inning, 100 pitch games any day.  Heck, it takes most pitchers 7 or 8 innings to get to 100.  Kaz can do it in five!

Kazmir, Angels stung by Rays, 7-2 - The Orange County Register
Kazmir pitched well enough but was gone after five innings thanks to a typically-high pitch count (108). The game was still close at that point but it didn't matter as the Angels' offense continued its weak showing this month in a 7-2 loss to the Rays on Tuesday night."We're still trying to unlock Kaz and get him to where he can be," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Far too many pitches for five innings. We'll keep working with him. He's taken some steps forward but tonight wasn't what we need from him."

Thank you Capt. Obvious.  Here are some (all?) highlights from last night's game.  It's pretty sad when the two highlights consist of an RBI single and a bases loaded walk, but hey, 2010 Angels Baseball!  Hell Yeah!...Hunter knocks home a run with a single and Matsui plates a run with a walk in the eighth.  Boo-yah!

Rays-Angels Preview -5/12/10 - FOX Sports on MSN
A staff that boasts an AL-best 2.80 ERA is the biggest reason for Tampa Bay's fast start, and Price (4-1, 1.91) may be emerging as its ace. He has held the opposition without an earned run in two of his last three outings, compiling a 0.79 ERA over 22 2-3 innings with 16 strikeouts. Price is 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA in two starts against the Angels, losing at Anaheim on Aug. 11.  Los Angeles (15-20) looks to win its second straight series behind Weaver (4-1, 2.66), by far its most reliable starter. Weaver is 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA in four starts versus Tampa Bay. He limited the Rays to one run over eight innings in a 6-1 win June 10, 2008, in his only home appearance against them.

There's a good chance the Angels can take the 3-game series against the Rays with Weaver on the mound.  The possibility of taking 2 of 3 from the Rays is kind of surprising considering all the hype surrounding the Rays (deservedly so) and how crappy the Halos have been playing this season.  Boo-yah!

MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...

Angels put Stokes on DL, recall Cassevah - angelsbaseball.com
The Angels placed right-handed reliever Brian Stokes on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, retroactive to Monday, with right shoulder fatigue and recalled right-hander Bobby Cassevah from Triple-A Salt Lake to take his place on the 25-man roster.

Just in case you're wondering who the new guy in the bullpen is who's giving up all the runs.

Brian Fuentes' performance raises issue of closer switch - latimes.com
Most Angels fans would be satisfied with one seemingly simple switch — make hard-throwing right-hander Fernando Rodney the closer and Fuentes a setup man or left-handed relief specialist. Rodney is clearly the team's best reliever, with a 3-0 record and 2.87 earned-run average in 16 games, a fastball that has been clocked as high as 98 mph and an excellent changeup.

But that's not Fernando Rodney's role!

Clock may be ticking on Blalock - St. Petersburg Times
Agent Scott Boras indicated Tuesday that Blalock would activate the out clause in his Triple-A contract within the next week, forcing the Rays to either promote him to the big-league team or allow him to become a free agent and sign elsewhere. "I would imagine that we’ll probably know something about Hank in the next seven days,’’ Boras said at Angel Stadium. "The time has come. The time has come. He's playing third base, obviously he's hitting well, he's a young guy.

Just sayin'.  Might be an option for, ummm, I don't know, third base maybe?

MLB Network's first set of Nielsen ratings aren't pretty - Big League Stew - MLB Blog - Yahoo! Sports
April 2010 was the first month of MLB Network's ratings being tracked by Nielsen and the totals were far from overwhelming. Despite being launched in a record 50 million homes, the channel is averaging less than 100,000 viewers for its primetime programming.

I thought the MLB channel would play more, you know, baseball games? 

Royals aren't winning, but is that really Trey Hillman's fault? - Joe Posnanski - SI.com
If there's a manager out there who will try to break the closer role dynasty, I suspect it will be an established manager with a winning history, a fat and guaranteed contract, and extreme confidence in his own ability and his boss' patience. Tony La Russa could do it. Joe Torre could do it. Even Lou Piniella could do it. Hillman is not that manager and he has not been given that role.

When I grow up, I want to be Joe Posnanski and/or Craig Calcaterra.

Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson throws a horrible first pitch -  FOX Sports on MSN

Sign her up.  She might throw like Fuentes, and she's definitely cuter than Brian.

Griffey criticizes nap story, insists he was available to hit -  CBSSports.com
Quoting two Mariners who spoke anonymously, The (Tacoma) News Tribune wrote that Griffey was asleep in the clubhouse during Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Angels, leaving manager Don Wakamatsu scrambling to get someone else to hit. "I'm available all the time," Griffey said. "There are some issues that are not true in that situation. "I can't win this and I'm not trying to. There are some things that are not accurate. I'll leave it at that."

I'll just leave it at that too.

Throw a perfect game, get on Letterman...

 

May 12 - BR Bullpen

1999 - The Angels shut out the Yankees, 1 - 0, behind the combined three-hit pitching of Chuck Finley and Troy Percival. Finley strikes out 11 Yankees in his eight innings of work, including four in the third inning, to become the 33rd pitcher in history to strike out four in a single frame.
Happy b-day to a couple Dutches and a Dixie...
1902 - Dutch Henry, pitcher (d. 1968)
1916 - Dixie Parsons, catcher (d. 1991)
1951 - Dutch Weems, minor league pitcher (d. 1974)

Sorry, but there won't be a Halolinks tomorrow...I'll be up in the air.

ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT PITCHES?:

Tampa Bay Rays
Jason Bartlett , SS 3 2 1 0 2 1 2 .248
Carl Crawford , LF 5 1 3 1 0 0 1 .313
Ben Zobrist , RF 3 2 1 1 1 0 3 .268
Evan Longoria , 3B 5 1 2 4 0 1 3 .328
Willy Aybar , DH 3 0 0 1 1 0 1 .260
B.J. Upton , CF 4 0 0 0 1 3 1 .217
Gabe Kapler , RF 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .234
Dioner Navarro , C 4 0 2 0 0 1 1 .172
Sean Rodriguez , 2B 4 1 2 0 0 1 2 .222
Totals 35 7 12 7 5 8 15
BATTING
2B - B Zobrist (8); S Rodriguez (3)
HR - E Longoria (8)
RBI - C Crawford (16); B Zobrist (14); E Longoria 4 (29); W Aybar (9)
SF - W Aybar (1)
S - (8)B Zobrist (3)
BASERUNNING
SB - C Crawford 2 (9)
CS - B Upton (3)
Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar , SS 5 0 2 0 0 1 1 .252
Bobby Abreu , RF 3 1 0 0 1 2 2 .257
Torii Hunter , CF 4 0 2 1 0 0 1 .283
Kendry Morales , 1B 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .290
Hideki Matsui , DH 3 0 0 1 1 0 0 .228
Howard Kendrick , 2B 3 0 1 0 1 1 3 .273
Michael Ryan , LF 4 0 1 0 0 0 5 .286
Mike Napoli , C 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 .213
Brandon Wood , 3B 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 .168
Totals 34 2 8 2 3 6 15
BATTING
2B - M Ryan (1)
RBI - T Hunter (19); H Matsui (15)
BASERUNNING
SB - E Aybar (4)
 
Tampa Bay Rays
Jeff Niemann (W,3-0) 7.1 6 2 2 2 4 0 2.27
Lance Cormier 0.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 4.38
Randy Choate 0.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 7.27
Grant Balfour 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.35
Joaquin Benoit 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Los Angeles Angels
Scott Kazmir (L,2-3) 5.0 7 3 3 3 2 0 6.82
Trevor Bell 1.0 3 2 2 1 1 0 13.50
Scot Shields 1.0 1 1 1 1 2 1 7.84
Bobby Cassevah 2.0 1 1 1 0 3 0 7.11
 
Game Information
Attendance - 39007
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Tony Randazzo
 
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