It is one thing for the Texas Rangers to sweep the Angels, these things happen from time to time. It is quite another thing to sweep the Angels AND steal their uniforms at the same time.
Which one is the Angel? Your guess is as good as mine.
I mean, I know they say, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” but the Rangers are taking it too far (never mind that the Rangers used to wear red uniforms and a case could be made that the Angels copied those unis first, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for). Then they went and forgot about the “can’t beat ‘em” part. That’s just poor form.
Of course, the Rangers had some help along the way. Rather than using this golden opportunity to go into Texas and show them who is the real boss of the AL West, the Angels decided to revert to self-destruct mode. Joe Saunders started it all off by picking pretty much the worst possible time to have his worst start of the season, getting banged up for seven earned runs in 5.1 innings by the Rangers in their Angel wanna-be jerseys.
That could have been a permissible slip up if not for Howie “The Human Rally Killer” Kendrick didn’t thwart what could have been an inspiring seven-run comeback victory by grounding out with the tying run on first. For all the talk of how well Kendrick squares up the ball, everyone seems to overlook the fact that the end result is nothing but some very well hit ground balls. That should have been where the tale of woe ended, but the next day had a fantastic surprise in store.
The ballyhooed return of John Lackey went from rallying point to a punch in the stomach in the course of two pitches. What umpire in his right mind would really eject a guy, WITHOUT a warning, for two pitches to start a game from a guy who just finished rehabbing an injury? The correct answer is Bob Davidson. Thanks, Bob. Just when we thought we had rid ourselves of Shane Loux, we get him back, essentially for another start, only this time he is totally unprepared mentally and worked two innings out of the pen the night before. The Angels never had a chance.
What? You can’t throw at a guy’s head anymore?
The final middle finger from the Baseball Gods was delivered on Sunday when the Rangers had the gall to once again don the faux-Angel threads and shutout the Angels. The only thing missing was the Rangers relieving themselves on the Angels bloodied carcass after the end-of-series handshakes.
This simply cannot stand, but the Angels will instead have to go regroup for a few weeks and try get back the momentum that they briefly possessed prior to their trip to Arlington.
- What got into Erick Aybar? Perhaps Brandon Wood’s recent foray at shortstop in the minors has got him looking over his shoulder and playing some inspired ball. He nearly hit for the cycle in the first game of the series and is batting over .300 for the season now even though it seemed like he started the week hitting .220. He still has no business hitting second in the order since he is simultaneously allergic to walking and running (three walks on the season and only one steal attempt), which I didn’t think was physically possible.
- The old Figgins is back. Three games, seven hits, four steals. It is actually amazing that the Angels didn’t win any of the three games as the team usually goes as Figgins goes (which is a mildly frightening thought that they can’t win despite their lead-off man causing havoc).
- With the exception of Shane Loux’s two ill-fated appearances, the bullpen did a nice job; that still didn’t stop Mike Scioscia from once again demonstrating a total lack of trust in the relief corps. In Sunday’s game he left Jered Weaver hung out to dry in the 8th inning, leading to two insurance runs for the Rangers. This is the first time in his tenure that I can ever recall Scioscia managing scared. He hadn’t even used Arredondo, Shields or Fuentes the entire series but would still rather stick with a starter who allowed two extra-base hits to start a late inning than turn to the pen.
- 3 games + 5 GIDPS = 1 hole punched in wall
It’s All Your Fault:
- Bobby Abreu
Abreu didn’t necessarily screw anything up, he just didn’t really do anything to provide value. With Mike Scioscia’s penchant for silly line-ups, it confounds me that he continues to let Abreu hold down the three-hole all because he sees a few extra pitches each game. At some point the guy needs to create runs.