Four games into the season and Halos Heaven is already abuzz with attitudes of an apocalyptic 2011. Posters are proclaiming a 100+ loss season. Rev is reminding us of the wasted money on Rodney and Kaz (as if we needed the reminder). However, are things really that bad? No, not yet.
For the optimist that lies in all of us, I culled a view talking points on this off-day that may add some sunshine to this otherwise, dreary beginning of the 2011 season.
• 42 Runners in Scoring Position: Sure, our success rate of getting these players across home was somewhat abysmal. However, that’s an average of 10.5 RISP per game. In the game of numbers, if we continue to put men on base AND get them to 2B, then we are bound to score lots of runs. Short sample-size but hey, we're being optimist.
• 50% XBT /1st in the AL: XBT is a funky stat that is the percentage of time that a runner advanced more that 1 base on a single or more than 2 bases on a double. It doesn’t take into account how this happened (i.e. wild pitch, error, etc) but so far, in the VERY young season, the Angels are numero uno in the AL. Very Scioscia-style, eh? Yes, short sample-size but we're thinking P O S I T I V E
• Scott Downs: Remember this stud? We have no real indicator of how he will do in Angels red but if the past is an indicator of anything, he will be a solid addition to our bullpen as soon as that toe heals. Remember this guy pitched in the very tough AL EAST, too. He’s also a lefty, something we didn’t have last year. Worried about Bulger and Jepsen throwing strikes? Worried that Kohn is too young? Downs will help. Just gotta be patient….
• Scioscia’s short leash on Kazmir: Victor Rojas mentioned during yesterday’s broadcast that Kazmir’s shortest outing in 2010 was 3 innings. On Sunday, he lasted 1 2/3 innings. Last year, did it not seem like Scioscia was just letting Kazmir work out his issues on the mound even if it was at the expense of an "L" for that game? By pulling Kaz early, it was an indicator to me that Scioscia’s patience with Kaz has grown thin and if he continues to be the piece of trash he is, then I suspect he’ll quickly be replaced.
BHARV’s CRYSTAL BALL: Walden will be the closer by the All-Star game. Kaz will be elsewhere by the same date as well.
HOPE: That Joel Pinata heals that elbow. We’ll need him.
TAKE: A chill-pill. Its four game’s guys. RE-LAX.
REMEMBER: Kendrys and Downs will return and hopefully help us out.