AThis is what happens when a traditionally aggressive team suddenly decides to try and be more patient at the plate. 14 strikeouts with 8 of them looking. Roy Halladay had the Angels dazzled and frazzled all night long, excluding the 7th inning.
When Bobby Abreu can’t figure out the strike zone, you know the Angels are in trouble
Jim Reynolds was operating with a strike zone wider than Jessica Simpson’s ever-expanding ass and Halladay took full advantage while the Angel batters simply refused to adjust. You have to admire their commitment to the more traditional version of the strike zone, it shows real moral integrity, but it also shows that they don’t know the difference between stubborn and stupid.
Don’t for a second take anything away from Roy Halladay who was brilliant and contributed heavily to the Angel confusion. Anytime a player like Torii Hunter strikes out looking on a fastball down the middle, you know you’re on. It got so bad for the Halos that Cito Gaston basically gave them a giant middle finger by leaving Halladay in after getting tagged for four runs in the seventh, letting him go for the complete game even though he needed 133 pitches to do it. Not for a second did Gaston seem the least bit frightened that the Angels would really be a threat to Doc Halladay.
- Kendrick’s 0-for-15 slide comes to an end. Howie hardly beat the crap out of the ball, but as one of the few Angels to even get the ball out of the infield tonight, that has to give him a little bit of a boost, right? Too bad he was so busy feeling good about finally getting a hit that he went brain dead on the base paths on the very next play. Still, it is progress.
- Don’t look now, but Jason Bulger has the second-best ERA in the bullpen (if you exclude Rich Thompson who has thrown only five innings).
- Scioscia showed a remarkable lack of confidence in his own offense when he drew the infield in to prevent a Jose Bautista from scoring in the third inning. The tact worked when Marco Scutaro smashed a grounder right to Maicer Izturis, but it also functionally served as Sosh waving the white flag on behalf of the hitters before they even got through the line-up once. Brilliant leadership, Sosh.
- Explain to me again why Mike Scioscia insists on giving Gary Matthews any playing time. He struck out in all three at-bats, twice looking and made a fielding error. I know he has the horrible contract, but Arte Moreno is too smart a businessman to not understand the concept of a sunk cost. Letting him steal at-bats from Juan Rivera just because of the financial obligation is both a bad baseball move and a bad business move.
- For the record, Maicer Izturis, who struck out looking to end the game with Morales in scoring position, is now batting .226 and has a .588 OPS with runners in scoring position this season. Let’s all try and remember this the next time someone gets a wild hair up their ass and wants to bat Izturis sixth in the order.
It’s All Your Fault:
- Mickey Hatcher
As a hitting coach, it is Mickey’s job to get the hitters to make in-game adjustments. This was a night where such adjustments were obviously needed but never came. Hatcher continues to be the world’s most useless hitting coach.