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Rodney forgets the fundamentals. Angels remember how to win.

Posted By Bill Mahoney On Aug 21 2011 @ 1:26 am In LA Angels Of Anaheim | No Comments

Great news!! The Angels have finally listened to our complaints and have decided to pull the plug on Vernon Wells, and Jeff Mathis. Not all the time, I know, but they won’t be taking up space in the Halos lineup on a consistent basis. Mike Trout is now back with the team, and will be playing most of the time, I think…….I hope.

Mike Scioscia did the correct thing by meeting with Wells and Bobby Abreu to tell them they won’t be playing every day in the foreseeable future.

The biggest joke was the reaction of Wells. Abreu said he understood why the Angels are going to play the younger guys. Wells, who is hitting .200, said he was not informed of any role reduction in his meeting with Scioscia. All he had to say was, “I haven’t been as consistent as I have been in the past, so I understand the decision”. Instead, he played the I know nothing card. So I guess he must have quite surprised, and angry, to not see his name in the starting lineup Saturday night. Nope, just sat on the bench with the disinterested look on his face. Even when Torii Hunter was talking to Trout about his almost, home robbing catch on Saturday, Wells didn’t even crack a smile. He actually looked irritated.

How did Abreu take his partial demotion? By going 2-5, with 3 RBI.

I may be drinking the kool aid, but I’d rather see Mathis in the lineup than Wells. The offensive troubles Mathis is experiencing is killing him, you can see it. Wells, not so much.

Did like the sign in the crowd that said, “Go Angels, I love Mathis”. If Mathis could hit, he may be everyone’s favorite player. I did see an absolutely beautiful woman in spring training wearing a Mathis jersey. Maybe the sign holder was that same girl.

The interesting thing about Trout is that he is back with the big club. Gary DiSarcina said the other night that Trout needs to play every day in Arkansas, and he was taking bad swings when he was up the first time. my read on that. Trout wasn’t ready.

Trout is ready defensively, and his offense can’t be that far behind. His swing is much more compact, especially on his home run swing Friday. And he can run like the wind.

Dan Haren is quietly putting together his best season. By winning his 13th game of the year on Friday, he put himself within 3 of his career high. Haren is on pace to setting career highs across the board. He has had, maybe, 2 bad starts. It’s too bad that a porous offense will most likely deny the Halos a spot in the postseason.

Through 2 innings on Saturday, Joel Pineiro was on pace to give up 31 hits, and 14 runs. Thankfully, he settled down to give the Halos 6 decent innings. He was in line for the win, until Bobby Cassevah and Jordan Walden gave it away. Make it blown save number 9 for Walden, who wasn’t charged with any runs, but gave up the game tying single in the 8th inning. Walden has blown his last 2 save chances, and 3 of his last 6. The life of a closer, I guess.

Fernando Rodney is not only a liability on the mound as a pitcher, but he is also fundamentally lazy. Everyone watching knew Rodney was going to give up the go ahead single in the 12th inning, on Saturday, but turning in to a spectator after the ball was hit is outrageous. He didn’t even make a move to back up the plate, as a second Orioles run crossed the plate. It was so bad, that he almost got hit by Torii Hunters throw! The Angels have a bunch of bullpen guys who are automatic when the team is leading, or losing big, but when the game is on the line they wilt.

Shockingly, and unfairly, Rodney got the win after the Angels staged an improbable comeback. A series of coincidences came together in the bottom of the 12th. Former Angel Kevin Gregg imploded, giving up 2 hits, hitting Trout with a pitch, and one walk. There was also a perfect bunt by Hank Conger that the O’s turned in to an error. Troy Patten gave up the game winning sac fly to Abreu…..and who scored the winning run? None other than Vernon Wells. Weird…every Angel player that has been in the news lately: Trout, Conger, Abreu and Wells played a part in the 12th. Angels get 3 in the 12th and win 9-8.

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Doug Eddings, what is wrong with you? You all remember Eddings? He was the umpire behind the plate in game 2 of the 2005 ALCS. He was the guy who said Josh Paul dropped a 3rd strike, allowing AJ Pierzynski to reach first. Eventually pinch runner Pablo Ozuna would score the winning run. Eddings later said the ball had not been legally caught, but made no audible call that the ball hit the ground.

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Flash forward almost 6 years later, and Eddings was at it again. This time calling Mark Trumbo’s ball foul, when it hit the chalk. There was an obvious outline of the ball on the chalk. How could Eddings have made the call when he was looking the wrong way? It was a moot point when Trumbo doubled on the next pitch, but it was a horrible call nonetheless.

Torii Hunter and Peter Bourjos kept their hitting streaks alive. Hunter is at 17, while Bourjos is at 7. Hunter is hitting .437 during the streak, with 4 home runs and 13 RBI. Hunter also added his 12th assist on Saturday by gunning out Nick Markakis at the plate in the 1st inning. Bourjos is equally as hot, hitting .482 with 2 home runs, and 2 stolen bases over his streak.

The Angels gained a game on the Rangers. They now trail by 5 games. I get frustrated with the Angels, but all you can really ask for is for your team to be in the hunt at the end. The Angels are doing just that.

Jerome Williams will be making his first start in more than 5 years. His last start came with the Nats. He gave up 7 hits and 5 runs, in 2 innings against the Braves. His last start against the Orioles was more than 7 years ago, but he did fare well. 7+ innings, 6 hits and 3 runs allowed, as he beat the O’s.

If he can win tomorrow, the Angels will complete the sweep of the Orioles. Brian Matusz goes for the O’s.

Go Angels!!

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