Thanks to the bizarre start time of yesterday’s game (3:40 pm Pacific, really?), I didn’t turn the game on until late, only to see Howie Kendrick striking out with the bases loaded. This confused me, I was expecting to see a live game but thought I was being subjected to a replay of the 2008 ALDS and thinking maybe the real game would be shown on tape delay. Sure enough though, it was the Mariners stifling the Angel offense and not the Red Sox.
The season is young but I am already getting frustrated by the offensive anemia this year. I didn’t want to have to start this so early, but the “Call Up Brandon Wood” campaign is about to be launched (four AAA games, 3 homers and counting this year for Wood).
A few more thoughts from the game:
- Darren Oliver went three strong innings and now seems like a shoe-in to take over Nick Adenhart’s (RIP) spot in the rotation until Lackey, Santana or Escobar gets healthy. I am not a great fan of this idea because Oliver’s historical numbers as a starter are absolutely miserable (5.14 career ERA as a starter vs. 3.64 career ERA as a reliever). Plus it leaves the Angels without a lefty specialist for the next several games. Plus Oliver isn’t nearly stretched out enough to go deep into a game. I’d much rather go with an unproven quantity like Anthony Ortega to see if he can succeed in the majors should he be needed again later in the season (which seems pretty likely the way this season is going).
- Got a good chuckle when the Mariners intentionally walked around Vlad in the 8th. Nice to see that the rest of baseball hasn’t yet realized how much Guerrero has fallen off the last few years. I don’t think the gap between Vlad and Torii Hunter is so wide as to justify pitching around Vlad to get to Hunter. The GIDP that Vlad rolled into in the 10th only proves my point.
- From the “I hate being right” department: I knew Scioscia was asking for trouble bringing Shields back out for the bottom of the 10th inning after a very long top of the 10th. Relievers aren’t built to sit for a long stretch of time and then get back up to pitch again. That doesn’t explain his inability to field a bunt though.
- Wasting a solid start from Shane Loux certainly seems destined to come back to haunt the Halos. Squeezing every possible win from the MASH unit of starters is going to be important given the improved Athletics and Rangers (not to mention what is shaping up to be a putrid Angel offense).
- Juan Rivera and Gary Matthews are a combined 6-for-29 this season. I sure hope Chone Figgins still owns his outfielder’s glove.