Can someone be too smart?
We've all heard about how C.J. Wilson has a clear-cur, predetermined game plan in his mind to surgically cut through the oppositions batting order, but recently that game plan has died on the operating table. Is the flip-flopping leftie over-thinking things, resulting in an inability to adjust to the situation? It's ironic that during the Angels' celebration for winning the division, Wilson could be seen wearing a shirt stating "Throw Strikes". His teammates should have been wearing a shirts, hats, parkas, and fanny packs that said, "read the shirt, dammit".
The most obvious statement I can write is, this team's starting pitching is in complete disarray. Who's going to start after Jered Weaver? Well, we know who's going to start, what I want to to know is, which pitcher is going to show up?
- If a pitcher can't throw strikes, the probability that he's going to walk the batter is 100%. If a pitcher throws strikes, the likelihood of the pitch getting hit is roughly .380 (babip). That's a 62% improvement! So why try to be so precise? Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics - September 22, 2014 - MLB.com LAA Recap, "Five days after seemingly finding it with seven scoreless innings against the Mariners, a night in which the Angels ultimately clinched the division title, Wilson suffered through the shortest non-weather-related start of his career. He walked four of the eight batters he faced, threw 23 of his 35 pitches for balls and failed to complete four innings for the sixth time since the start of June. "It's discouraging to lose," said Wilson, his ERA now at 4.61. "We're trying to play for the best record. You really try not to attach too much to a loss, other than I pitched poorly and wasn't able to locate the catcher's mitt, at least not in the strike zone." With one out and a runner on first base in the bottom of the first inning, Wilson issued consecutive walks to Josh Donaldson, Jonny Gomes and Derek Norris, throwing 12 of 15 pitchers for balls. After getting Jed Lowrie to pop out, Wilson issued another bases-loaded walk, to Nate Freiman, then the lefty gave up a two-run single to Geovany Soto and yielded to the Angels' bullpen, which has now accumulated 22 1/3 of the team's 35 innings over the last four games." That a lot of innings for a teams' bullpen. What could be worse than a crappy starting rotation for the Halos is a gassed bullpen heading into the postseason. If Mr. Hyde shows up during Wilson's playoof start, the team is going to need a fresh pen.
- Much like last night. Rucinski and Bedrosian showed how a having a good bullpen could allow the club to get back into the game once the starter craps the bed. Angels start slow, finish fast in 8-4 loss to A's - LA Times, "Wilson was charged with six runs — four earned— in two-thirds of an inning, the shortest non-weather-related start of his career. A's right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who was 1-2 despite a 1.66 earned-run average in his previous five starts, allowed one unearned run and five hits in seven innings to improve to 5-5. Drew Rucinski (2 1/3 scoreless innings) and Cam Bedrosian (two hitless innings) shined in relief for the Angels."
- I'm wondering where this "confidence" is coming from; C.J. Wilson falters early in Angels' 8-4 loss to A's - LA Times, "Hopefully we'll do a better job moving forward, but we don't have many options right now," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "We need these guys, and we have confidence they'll find it."
- Wilson walks into a load of trouble for Angels - The Orange County Register, "You have to make adjustments," said Wilson, who threw just 12 strikes among his 35 pitches. "The adjustments I tried were not the correct ones. You can’t stop and get on the headset and call the offensive coordinator. ... I was like ‘Let me try this, try this, try this.’ And it only made it worse." Whatever, dude.
- How many of you thought you'd be reading this sentence heading into October? Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics - September 23, 2014 - MLB.com Preview, "With several question marks surrounding the Angels' pitching rotation, LeBlanc could be auditioning for a postseason roster spot."
- Although he's pitched fairly decent over his last few innings, the thought of him taking the mound to start a playoof game frightens me. Angels-Athletics Preview - Yahoo Sports, "For the Angels, Wade LeBlanc (0-1, 5.24) will make a second straight start after holding Seattle to three hits in 5 1-3 scoreless innings of Thursday's 3-1 loss. "That's the life of a swing man, long reliever, spot starter," LeBlanc said. "Any time they want to give me the ball, I'm ready for it." The 30-year-old has had a strong month, giving up a run in 11 2-3 innings over six outings with the last 10 1-3 being scoreless." I suppose there's not much of a choice.
- Please, oh please, oh please, oh please get better (and pitch like you did throughout the season) Game of catch is a baby step for Angels' Shoemaker - The Orange County Register, "Feeling good … but still sore," Shoemaker said before playing catch. "Last two days I’ve noticed the best progress, getting into a lot of physical activity, moving around. Still no timetable, but I feel very optimistic about getting on a mound again." The chances of Shoemaker pitching in a game during the final week of the regular season, though, are "very remote," Manager Mike Scioscia said."
- In other injury updates...Hamilton still hurting: Hamilton, Shoemaker remain iffy for ALDS - angels.com, "Hamilton, whose injuries have gone from his right AC joint to his right shoulder to his right rib cage since Sept. 4, hit off a tee early Monday afternoon and Scioscia said the outfielder "feels pretty good." Hamilton hoped to be back by Wednesday, at the earliest, but Scioscia called that "a little aggressive."
- Our baby boy is growing up. They grow up so quick. Why, wasn't it just yesterday we talked about how we had the best player and not too many other people knew about it. Well, that's all going to change: Angels' Mike Trout is destined to draw more attention in postseason - LA Times, "Those of us who have watched him from the start and watch him closely now can predict that what fans are about to see is more than just numbers. Certainly, those are impressive. Through the end of last week, Trout was among the league leaders in seven of the 11 batting categories and led in runs scored and runs batted in. His .291 batting average was one percentage point out of the top 10, with a week to go in the regular season."
- Screw you Baltimore with all your starting pitchers. Buck Showalter says Baltimore Orioles to use four-man rotation for ALDS - ESPN, "The way the Orioles' rotation is set up for the final week of the regular season makes it appear the team will go with Chris Tillman (13-5, 3.26 ERA), Miguel Gonzalez (9-9, 3.33), Wei-Yin Chen (16-5, 3.56) and Bud Norris (14-8, 3.62) as the four in the rotation."