The entire time I was watching todays Angels-Rays game, I just had a bad feeling. Angels led 3-0, and 4-2 at certain points, but I just had a sneaking suspicion that things weren’t going to end up well. Damn feelings, I hate it when I am right. Angels lost 5-4 in 10 innings, and now trail the Texas Rangers by 4 games.
I wanted to write this as soon as the Jays scored the winning run, but I was pissed, so I waited. Hey, like you, I want to blame Jordan Walden, as it’s not like the Halos have been overusing him. Today was just the 3 time in the last 7 days that the Angels have pitched him. Maybe that’s the problem, maybe not, but whatever it is, 8 blown saves is not gonna cut it.
Breathe…breathe. I’ll cut Walden some slack, very little, but I’ll still cut him some. Before Troy Percival took over as the Halos closer back in the 90′s, he was a set up guy to Lee Smith. K-Rod did the same under Percival. Who did Walden learn from? Brian Fuentes? Fernando Rodney? Give me a break. Both of those guys will be remembered as good closers about the same time I’ll win a Pulitzer. Walden is out there by himself. He has no one to turn to when he has a rough outing. He could turn to Rodney, but with as many leads as he has let get away, the conversation could last hours, days, or even weeks.
Great job by Rodney in the 10th, walking two of the 3 batters he faced. What is his job anyhow? In his last 3 outings, including today, Rodney has pitched 1 inning, allowing one hit, 1 run, 4 walks and 2 strike outs. That is absolutely awful for a guy brought in to stabilize the bullpen. No, that’s awful for anyone wearing a Major League uniform. Why not bring in Mike Butcher. At least he’ll throw strikes.
Let’s keep it going. Vernon Wells had a good at bat, the first one on Friday. Since that time, he has gone 0-11, his average dipping to .204. Why not put Trumbo in left, and play Branyan at 1st? At least when he hits the ball it has a chance to leave the park. Did I really say that? I want to see Russell Branyan in the lineup. Has Trumbo ever played left? Maybe not, but if Kendry Morales comes back healthy next year, that’s where he might be playing anyhow. FYI: That’ll never happen as Wells makes too much cash. On this now completed 3 game trip, Wells went 3-23 (.130). On the bright side, Wells averaged 3 pitches per at bat on Sunday. Patience is not a virtue in his land.
The Angels had a chance to add an insurance run in the 9th, after Abreu singled and stole 2nd leading off the inning, and stole 3rd with one out. But Trumbo preceded to bounce in to the game ending, what was it, 6-2-5-2-4-3 double play to end the game. I am sure I am wrong on that last putout, as it just looked like every infielder on the Jays touched the ball. Bad base running by Trumbo, bad road trip for the Halos.
Erick Aybar is in a true, big league slump. He’s making Wells look like Ted Williams. On the trip, Aybar went 1-22 (.045). He is now 3 for his last 46 (.065). Maybe getting home will help him.
Check this out:
Good: 6 game trip, Bourjos, Callaspo, Abreu & Hunter combined to hit .325 (26-80)
Bad: Trumbo, Kendrick, Aybar, Wells, Wilson & Mathis combined to hit .084 (8-95)
Too much difference there for any team to sustain winning for any stretch of time.
Hunter now has a 12 game hitting streak. Bobby Abreu has 17 steals. There’s the good.
I should mention Dan Haren pitched well enough to win. He only allowed 3 earned runs on Sunday, which is better than his last 3 starts against he Jays in which he allowed 4 each time. The back to back bombs he allowed wasn’t his best moment, but he recovered.
Torii Hunter now has a 12 game hitting streak.
Next up the Rangers. A 4 game set that the Angels would like to take 3 of 4, but even a split would do. If the Rangers take 3 of 4, we may be talking about next year.
Garrett Richards takes the hill for the Halos. He’ll be opposed by Alexi Ogando, who has 2 wins, and an ERA of 0.62 against the Halos this year.
Gonna be a fun 4 games, I think.
About the Author
Written by Bill Mahoney
O'kay I'll talk about myself a little. I've been working in the television/radio industry for over 21 years. I started at 2 so I am just a tad over 21 (That is a joke). My career has taken me around and and even out of the United States. Right now I call Vegas home, but I just never know where life will take me next. Until 2002 my irrational love for the California/Anaheim/LAA had taken me down some very dark roads, but with Arte Moreno in charge I finally saw the a light at the end of the road. I really love most every sports and having as much fun as possible.