Yesterday I wrote the Angels offense was surging. When I picture the word "surging" in my mind, I think of the ocean and waves...you know, the surge of water on the beach. So, with this picture in my mind, last night game was part of the surge, only it was the part where the water recedes down the beach and back into the waves.
To continue the metaphor, tonight will feature another wave of hits. Or not. What the hell do I know? Anyway, this morning's links feature the duality of man; one person striving to reach the beach, while another flounders in the waves.
- Come on, admit it. You might've been complaining about Joe Blanton, but you knew he could be THAT bad. You were right, he's not. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he's great, or even good, but at least he's not bad and he's trying to get better: Mariners 3, Angels 2(10) - NBC Sports. "Blanton gave up six hits in 6 2-3 innings and tied a career high with 11 strikeouts, following an eight-day stretch between starts to work with pitching coach Mike Butcher on his fastball command. The right-hander also fanned 11 Houston Astros on June 3 in a 2-1 loss at Angel Stadium." Like almost every pitchers' win/lose record, his 1-10 record isn't indicative of his true performance. One thing he might want to work on is his "focus": Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels - June 18, 2013 - MLB.com. "Just tried to throw quality strikes," Blanton said. "After those two homers, backed it down and tried to locate a little better." I read that as Blanton was just trying to get the ball over the plate instead of making good pitches. Once the Mariners took him deep on consecutive meatballs, he decided to refocus his efforts. While I'm at it, I may as well toss Mike Butcher into the feel good fairy tale, "While Blanton -- who had not pitched in over a week and spent the time making mechanical adjustments with pitching coach Mike Butcher -- lowered his ERA from 5.87 to 5.62, the Angels couldn't rise to his aid." See, Butcher does have a function.
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- Morales lifts Mariners to 3-2 win over Angels - Yahoo! Sports. "The 30-year-old Bonderman, who missed the previous two seasons due to injuries and Tommy John surgery, is 1-0 with a sparkling 0.90 ERA over 20 innings covering his last three starts. The Mariners signed him to a minor league contract in January. ''When you look at the physical shape he's in and how hard he's worked to come back, it was a good guy to give an opportunity to - and it was worth it,'' Wedge said."
- Okay, here's the part most Angels' fans were waiting for...at least those who have lost faith in this season: Mariners 3, Angels 2 (10 innings) - Yahoo! Sports. "The Angels had opportunities to score throughout the game, putting at least one runner on base in every inning but the 10th. However, Josh Hamilton hit into double plays in the first, third and fifth innings. In the seventh inning, Hamilton couldn't hit into a double play because there were two outs. With the potential tying run on second base, Hamilton struck out." The flip-side of duality, Josh Hamilton's horrific season. I have no idea what he's doing (if anything) to get back on track, but how long can the club continue to allow his performance to drag down the team? Unfortunately, Mike Scioscia has a history of allowing this sort of thing to continue...for a very long time. Anyway, how bad is Hamilton? This bad: Josh Hamilton and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night - CBSSports.com. "Hamilton on Tuesday night was quite obviously the opposite of "clutch." The seven runners left on base will tell you that. But here's another number: -.477. That's Hamilton's win probability added (WPA) for the game in question. WPA measures the percentage by which a player improves or worsens his team's chances of winning. Stated another way, Hamilton, all by his lonesome, reduced the Angels' chances of beating Seattle on Tuesday by 47.7 percent. That's ... not good." And: Hamilton still isn’t hitting, and he can’t quite figure out why; 'It's been weird, man' - Yahoo! Sports. "Thirty-two years old, apparently healthy, presumably clean, Hamilton is a .217 hitter in 2013. Against lefties: .153. With runners in scoring position: .132. In June: .207. Yes, he's a .217 hitter, up from .212 earlier this month, down from a high this month of .220." I'm not sure "weird" is the word I'd use.
- Unlike the effect the Angels defensive problems have on the team's performance, I don't think stolen bases have that much of an impact. Yet, this is just another indicator of an under-achieving season: Angels are quieter on the basepaths - angels.com. "Entering Tuesday, the Angels ranked 20th in the Majors with just 30 stolen bases -- 15 of which came courtesy of team leader Mike Trout. While ranking in the bottom half of the league is a long stretch from the No. 5 ranking the Angels finished with a season ago, Scioscia is keeping it in perspective."
- Mariners-Angels Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "Seeking a fifth consecutive win over Seattle, Wilson takes the mound opposite fellow lefty Joe Saunders as the Angels continue a four-game set with the visiting Mariners on Wednesday night." Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels - June 19, 2013 - MLB.com. "I wouldn't say it's home, but it is a very familiar setting," (Joe) Saunders said. "Home is in Seattle now. I know [Angel Stadium] very well, a lot of the staff and training people and weight room people and clubhouse guys. I'm still friends with all those guys and it's nice to see them, but team-wise, it's just another opponent and I'm going to try to beat their butts."
- Is this a trick question? How do we answer this when it suggests an un-probable scenario: Quiz: Do you know MLB rules? - ESPN.
6) The Angels have the bases loaded and no outs. Kansas City's infield is playing in when Josh Hamilton hits a shot that gets by Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer and hits Albert Pujols, who is immediately behind Hosmer and headed to second base. Even though the ball strikes Pujols, he should not be called out because no other infielder had a chance to make the play after the ball got past Hosmer. True or false?
Anyway, take the test. I got 3 out of 10 right.
- Best comment of the day: BBTF's Newsblog Discussion :: WaPo - Sheinin - For Angels’ Mike Trout, no ceiling applies
8. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: June 18, 2013 at 09:51 AM (#4471747)
The never-ending montage of Trout hype is really getting old. I'm tired of hearing about him.
9. AROM Posted: June 18, 2013 at 09:55 AM (#4471751)
You might want to take a 20 year break from following baseball then.
Here's the referenced post: For Angels' Mike Trout, no ceiling applies - The Washington Post