Game Rewind: No Stopping Napoli – Angels 5, Athletics 2

In a game where I should be saying nothing but positive things about Joe Saunders, I can’t help but focus on Mike Napoli.  Excuse me, I mean “The Unstoppable Force” known as Mike Napoli.

After going 4-for-4 against the hated A’s last night, Naps now owns a 1.166 OPS, which would make him second in the majors if he had enough at-bats.  And that is why Mike Scioscia has finally seen the light and started DHing Mike Napoli instead of letting him waste away on the bench while sharing catching duties with Jeff Mathis.  Scioscia has even finally started to pay attend to on-base percentage for once in his life, moving Napoli and his .493 OBP to fifth in the batting order rather than toiling down in the #7 hole as he has done most of the year.

The Angels must continue to do whatever it is they need to do to keep Napoli in the line-up.  In his brief career, he has shown he can be incredibly streaky, something that probably isn’t helped by him having to several times a week to stay rested.  By rotating him though the DH spot he can stay fresh and keep his hot streak alive as long as possible.

The fallout of this will be that the Angels will need to protect themselves against injury on the days that Napoli DHs.  Sadly, that will likely lead to Brandon Wood being demoted back to Salt Lake and Ryan Budde or Bobby Wilson being called up.  Of course, the idea of playing Wood in the first place would be to get pop in the line-up, but keeping Napoli in the line-up everday is a mean to that same end.

Right now, Napoli continues to do no wrong and the Angels should run with it… that is if they can get him to stop running.  I know he is on fire at the plate, but that doesn’t mean he is Rickey Henderson now.  Yeesh.

The Good:

  • A shutout performance from the bullpen!  Do you believe in miracles?  Let’s see if they can do it two games in a row.
  • Three more RBIs from Torii Hunter, can you say MVP?

The Bad:

  • A balk?  Seriously?  A run off of a balk just is super lame.  I thought for sure that it was going to be the beginning of the end there.  Credit to Joe Saunders for not letting it rattle him.
  • Howie Kendrick back to his old tricks of gagging with runners in scoring position.  Grounding out with no outs and a runner on second without advancing the runner, a GIDP with runners on the corners, a whiff with a runner on second and two out.  I though Garret Anderson was playing for the Braves now?

Halo Hero of the Night:

  • Mike Napoli

Mike Napoli caught stealing

I’ve already said all there is to say; Napoli was the man last night.  Just please stop trying to steal bases.

Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the founder and Supreme Overlord of and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.