29 June 2010

thoughts: missed opportunities, texas

Apologies, apologies for the long blog-silence. My "official" excuse is that I've been lacking in commentary lately since I've been mostly dependent on Terry to describe the going-ons on the field. Truthfully, I've also gotten into some lazy habits at home and really haven't taken advantage of this break in between school and summer internship.

Before I go on about the Halos, I want to say congrats to the Lakers for a second consecutive championship. I haven't really been a Lakers fan since, oh, 2000, but Game 7 was definitely exciting and inspiring to watch. Ever since the Lakers (and their fans) have become so spoiled and entitled, I've shied away, but even I have got to admit, they showed a lot of class, humility, and heart to pull out that win.

I'm hoping for some of that comeback power in the Angels, as they sit 4.5 games back the Rangers, and some of that poise, to hopefully serve in the playoffs against whomever comes out of the east.


The games inbetween this post and last haven't been all too bad. In fact, the Halos went 7-4. But hey, I've been mildly disappointed. Really, those lost games have been about missed opportunites. Firstly, the Halos lost out on a series win against the Brewers and the opportunity to pounce on Dave Bush. Dave Bush, man! I think mostly everyone expected a hit barrage, but instead the Halos got one run while Bush lasted 7.1 innings. (Credit to Bush though, he's been doing much better now). Secondly, the Angels missed out on a chance to sweep the Cubs. Certainly, Zambrano is a good pitcher, but he's nothing like he used to be. Saunders just couldn't pull out his away-magic and really didn't give the team much of a chance. The loss to the Dodgers was much of the same. Even though the Angels managed to get 4ER off of Haeger, for most of 5 innings they made him look a lot better than he is. Add that with Kaz imploding in the 4th inning and bullpen meltdowns in the 7th and 8th, and well, that was a game to turn the page on. Perhaps the most frustrating loss was the latest one. With Texas finally losing (to the Astros, no less!), it was a fantastic opportunity for the Angels to gain a game. But the bullpen let the game (which Weave started and really dominated - 11Ks!) get away and the opportunity flutter on by.

It might seem like a Debbie Downer to highlight the losses, especially since the team isn't anywhere close to the M's, has been partially following Murphy's Law (What can go wrong, will go wrong) and is basically fielding a piecemeal infield. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy the Halos are winning. But after all that talk about how fantasically fantasic the Angels are in interleague play, and how that jumpstarted last year's team, the Halos really "only" went 11-7. A very good record, but not the domination that I think fans and media were hoping for. Sooner or later, the Halos are going to need to seize these opportunities and make a move in the standings. Sure, the Halos have been really good this past month or so, but they still sit 4.5 games out. Within striking distance, but they're going to need to take advantage of Texas's mistakes (i.e. losses) if they're going to rise to the top.

15 June 2010

home sweet home?

Well after a very hectic last couple of weeks, I'm finally back home in Southern California for the summer.

And just about the time that the Halos returned from their marathon 14-game road trip. Unfortunately, me being home means that my mlb.tv account is useless and I'm once again dependent on Terry. Though I'm not complaining about not seeing last night's game.

Last night started promising enough, with Saunders breezing through 2 innings (despite all those fly balls) and the Halos scoring some early runs thanks to Frandsen. It seemed like Joe could wiggle out of the jam in the 3rd - until Ryan Braun sent the ball over the fence for a grand slam. And Saundo never really recovered. Those that didn't hit the ball hard, he walked, regressing to his early season form.

(Terry mentioned a perplexing split between Joe's home and away performances. Much like Abreau's hitting splits, those kind of extreme results at home and on the road are interesting.)

Of course, it was clear that it was just one of those games, so the real news was Aybar's injury. After seeing the replay, I don't think that there was any intent from McGehee - it was just an unfortunate result of a hard play and an errant throw. Hopefully Aybar is only out for a week or so, because the Angels' infield depth is already stretched at the seams.

With the ineptitude of BWood, injury of Kendry, and fragile-ness of Izzy, the Angels are running out of quality players to plug into holes. Frandsen has been a pleasant surprise and very much a critical piece. But it'd be wishful thinking to believe that the Angels can pull another one of those out of Salt Lake. Aybar's injury needs to be short-lived, otherwise the Angels are in real trouble. The ironic thing is that in the preseason, many talking heads and bloggers (like me!) noted the lack of the usual Angels depth. They just figured the weak point was in the aging outfield, rather than the young, homegrown infield. But while none of the outfielders (including Matsui!) have hit the DL, five infielders have (Wilson, Mathis, BWood, Izzy, KMo). Just goes to show the unpredictability of a season.