That's it. When the offense is weaker than a in a , it takes perfect pitching to have a chance. And Garrett Richards was not near perfect enough last night. And so it is, that the pitcher gets blamed as the Angels can't overcome Garrett Richards' mistakes in 5-4 loss to Padres. And bested by Will Middlebrooks, no less. Middlebrooks, although doing much better the past few weeks, would actually be among the worst of our worst.
Incidentally, the game ended as Johnny Giavotella tried to extend a base hit into a double in the bottom of the 9th, in an attempt to be the tying run in scoring position. Didn't work out. So he was asked about it, and responded with "I don't regret going, and I'd do it again if I had the chance." That quote triggered something. I have heard similar words before, and I wasn't happy then, either. Of course, there was a time when I was thrilled that the Halos would run hard and force the defense to make the play. Nowadays, first things first. Hit the ball more, and let's worry about pressing for runs later.
Game lost. Series lost. In come the Tigers. It could get bloody. Have some links:
Pay no attention to the players behind the curtain! We get all thrilled about AAA numbers. Grant Green was tearing it up in Salt Lake. A slash line of .329 / .351 / .457 over 32 games. So he arrives in Anaheim and promptly goes 0 for 3 with a strikeout and needed to be substituted for in the 9th inning. The player he replaced, C.J Cron, was batting .204 / .225 / .276 and was sent back to the Bees. And in his first game last night he went 2 for 4 with a home run and a triple, scoring a run and driving in 2. Impatient much? Yeah, I suppose I am.
Yeah, I guess it has to be reported. It means something to somebody, I suppose. Jerry Dipoto picked up a guy named Kirk Nieuwenhuis from the Mets for some cash. He is an outfielder, DFA'd. Not good enough for the Mets. The Mets. Diggin' deep, I did find out that Kirk (much easier to type than N-i-e-u-w-e-n-h-u-i-s) pulled a CJ Cron of his own this past spring. Expect Marc Krauss to be the player moved out to Salt Lake to make room.
Collin Cowgill may be forced to take his .180 batting average to the Disabled List soon, as he has suffered some kind of injury to his right hand during batting practice this past Sunday. My guess is that he accidentally forced the hunk of wood he was handling to crash into one of those baseballs that a coach was throwing towards the batting cage. This would open up things for a second roster move (the first being the move aboe).
Dick Enberg, who was the voice of the Angels for 10 of my most formulative years of Halo fandom, is heading to the Baseball Hall of Fame. And on his way he made a stop in Anaheim Tuesday night for a special moment of recognition. For the uninformed, Enberg and the Angels (and the Autrys) all do mean something special to one another. "During Game 7 of the 2002 World Series, Enberg was on a return flight to San Diego from working a Kansas City Chiefs game when he learned that the Angels had beaten the San Francisco Giants. The pilot made the announcement. Enberg remembered that he wept at his seat, so overjoyed that the Angels had won."
You know what's great about this play/challenge/reversal? It's how fast and casually Albert Pujols turns to the dugout and signals for the challenge, knowing how the umpire got the call wrong even though he is positioned right there, close and in position and totally focused. if it's so easy and obvious for Albert, how is it that the umpire could be wrong just as quickly and just as emphatically? It's because umpires, being humans forced to make snap judgments under pressure situations, mostly repetitive events, they tend to come to conclusions before the images are fully processed.
Mike Trout is enjoying Bryce Harper's success from the left coast. They are well aware of one another, and it cannot be argued that Harper is still under-performing. The dude is hotter than pistols. Conversely, although nobody seems to be talking about it, Trout is fighting hard to ward off a slump. Taking advantage of a pair of hits last night, his slash line over the last 15 games is .279 / .343 / .443 with 13 strikeouts.
Elsewhere in Baseball
Remember 2002, and how we dusted off the Minnesota Twins in the ALCS using frenzied hitting? Now fast forward to this year's pre-season, when everybody predicted those same Twins to take the cellar in the AL Central (what with the Tigers and Royals and heavily revamped White Sox). Well, don't look now, but the Twins are kicking ass and, unlike our 2015 Halos, they are doing it primarily with frenzied hitting. "This year the Twins have scored four or more runs in an inning 15 times in 45 games, which is a pace of 54 times per 162 games. On average from 2011-2014 the Twins scored four or more runs in an inning 29 times per 162 games. So they've upped their OPS by 100 points with runners in scoring position, they've maximized a modest amount of overall damage by clustering it together, and they've exploded for a huge inning to put a game out of reach 2-3 times per week. And that's how a lineup that ranks 20th in OPS can rank eighth in runs scored."
Whoa. This is not something I have ever read about a baseball player. Braves minor leaguer Elmer Reyes charged with rape, kidnapping. That is fiercely disturbing. And, for the non-intuitive, the correct way to provide service to those impaired is to call a cab.
Scott Kazmir is in the final year of his two-year deal with that A's, and has been a heavy trade rumor target over the past month as the Oakland season is, for all intent and purposes, over already. Well, those trade rumors can take a rest, because Kazmir had to leave his start yesterday with some form of shoulder issue.
Interesting. Time, Inc. - owners of Sports Illustrated - announced yesterday that they have purchased the entirety of Fansided. Old Media can't beat New Media, joins 'em.
File this under Rich Get Richer by Serving Themselves First. The Braves have already started selling season tickets - for 2017! That's when they expect to open the new ballpark they are still building to service their flight to the suburbs, replacing that newish ballpark they use now and which appears to be doing just fine. I don't know how many people have disposable income in the 1000's and 1000's of dollars just lying around, ready to be tied up for a couple of years...but I have a suspicion about which segments of our population don't.
It looks more and more like the Royals won the offseason. Partly because they let expensive busts like Billy Butler leave and pollute the AL West. Partly because they picked up ex-Halos like Ryan Madson and Kendrys Morales and are reaping the benefits of their renaissance. And partly because they dodged the temptation of the Big Splash opportunities last winter.
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each
Friday Thursday...for beer...(which works better on Thursdays anyway, because it gives you all some runway to take advantage of Friday goings on...)
Friday: Pacific Park market in Aliso Viejo will host a Sour Beer Tasting..........Bottle Rock Music Festival takes place in Napa, and doesn't exclude beer.
Saturday: Firestone walker Invitational Beer Festival 2015 will take place at the Modesto State Fairgrounds in Paso Robles..........Traxx Restaurant Patio at Union Station downtown LA (therefore, accessible to many via Amtrak and MetroLink) is putting on a charity event Pairing is Caring, featuring gourmet pizza and benefiting the Pasadena Humane Society..........The Davis Beerfest will launch at Sudwerk Brewery up in Davis..........Bottle Rock Music Festival continues.
Sunday: Bottle Rock Music Festival concludes.