That might have been the most schizophrenic weekend series I have ever seen, especially between the Angels and A’s who typically play close low-scoring games. First a close game loss for the Angels highlighted by a bullpen meltdown then a high-scoring error-marred victory followed by a scoreless extra-inning game. It was hardly a conventional series but dropping just one game in a road series against a division rival while missing the heart of your order is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
- I am suddenly a whole lot less concerned about John Lackey after his stellar performance. Yes, it was against the punchless Athletics, but nine innings of shutout ball is still nine innings of shutout ball. If he keeps going like this, the Angels won’t need Roy Halladay.
- Bobby Abreu still doesn’t have much power, but he busted out his homer stroke at the exact right time to win Sunday’s extra-inning game.
- Howie Kendrick hasn’t lit the world on fire since being recalled, but he has lit a major fire under Erick Aybar’s ass. Aybar is now hitting .475 in the month of July with a whopping 1.138 OPS and even cranked out 4 RBIs in Saturday’s win. If he keeps this up, I might actually consider not pulling my hair out whenever Scioscia bats him second.
- What? A three-hit game for Gary Matthews? I don’t believe you. A few thousand more games like that and he might actually earn his paycheck.
- I hate being right. The Halos started the series trying to play it safe with Juan Rivera but apparently weren’t safe enough and now he is injured as well. Bobby Abreu is the last man standing in the starting outfield now. Might I recommend wrapping him in bubble wrap for the next game.
- Joe Saunders is still pitching like Colonel Sanders. He’s still too chicken to throw inside consistently instead insisting on beating the outside corner to death. Mike Butcher has done a hell of a job keeping this patchwork pitching staff’s head above water, but he can’t seem to figure out how to fix Saunders yet and that is a big problem, especially with the Angels lacking ammunition to both upgrade the rotation and bullpen significantly at the trade deadline.
- Unlike Saunders, at least Jered Weaver has a good excuse for getting knocked around since he was sick during his start. Even still, he must have had a combination of the swine flu and bubonic plague to get bombed by a wimpy line-up like Oakland’s.
- What did I just say about letting Justin Speier pitch? I mean, I guess I should be glad that he actually got an out, but he did allow two runs and if I get my wish he’ll have finally cost himself his roster spot.