An Angel series win over the Tigers in which the Halos flipped around the batting order and saw Torii Hunter flip out.
Game 1 – Angels 4, Tigers 2
Game 2 – Angels 10, Tigers 1
Game 3 – Tigers 9, Angels 4
Los Angeles Angels of AWESOMENESS
- I’ll be the first to admit that I thought Mike Scioscia was nucking futs when he made his radical lineup jumble that had Bobby Abreu hitting leadoff and Alberto Callaspo batting third. Having Abreu move up in the order makes sense since he has the best patience on the team, but since he is also one of their few run producers, I just think moving him all the way to the top is a mistake. Personally, I think the two-hole would be better, but after giving it a lot of thought, any change is a good change with the way the Angel offense had been producing coming into the series.
- If one good thing will come out of Torii Hunter’s outburst, it was the Angel win on Saturday. You have to believe that the sudden reappearance of the old Angel frenzied offensive attack came as a result of Hunter’s absence, forcing the rest of the guys to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and pick up the slack for their suspended leader. It only lasted one game, but at least we know they are still capable of that kind of scoring.
- Two straight starts for Bobby Wilson? Could this be the beginning of the end for the Miff Matholi era? Will the Angels really break up their polar opposite catching duo? I sure hope so. The Angels would actually be very smart to see what Wilson can really give them if he gets semi-regular playing time because it is going to be too expensive for the Angels to keep both Napoli and Mathis this off-season.
- Juan Rivera is finally coming around. It is almost like he is motivated now that his job is in jeopardy (kind of like I was saying he would be for weeks now). Hopefully he can catch that normal second half fire and either give the Angel offense a boost or boost his trade value and bring back some prospects via trade.
Los Angeles Angels of FAIL
- One thing I really hate about the new lineups Sosh unveiled was that Mike Napoli continues to hit in the bottom third of the order or doesn’t get to play at all. There is very little power in the Halo order anymore, so why not give Naps a shot to use that power for some good? I know he isn’t the best situation hitter, but his home run threat can provide Torii Hunter a lot more protection than the ice cold Hideki Matsui. And, frankly, I don’t know what Sosh was thinking benching Napoli on Sunday, forcing the Angels to use Izturis at cleanup. I’m all for a shake up, but that is just dumb.
- As for Mr. Torii Hunter. Wow, just wow. I didn’t even know he had that in him, and frankly, it concerns me. It looked like the umpire might have been a bit of an agitator during the argument, but for Torii to flip his lid like that, have to be practically dragged off the field and then to throw stuff on to it is something I never thought I would see from him. And let’s not forget that the Angels were winning the game at the time. I think that argument was ultimately about Hunter reaching the end of his rope during a very frustrating season. All the losing, all the bad luck, the position switch; it was just too much for Torii to take. Maybe the four games he has to take off for a suspension is a good thing and it will let him cool down and get his head together for the rest of the season.
- It is getting excruciating to watch Scot Shields anymore. There is no point in releasing him at this stage of the season, but I think it would be best for everyone if Mike Scioscia avoided calling on Shields except as a last resort.
- Could someone please wake up Hideki Matsui? If the Angels are going to be able to flip him to some other team and get anything of value back in return, he is actually going to have to start doing something. I shouldn’t be excited that he walked three times in a game. He is supposed to be a slugger and a middle of the order threat. Right now, he is just a liability and there is very little reason for the Angels to keep giving him at-bats if he isn’t going to add anything to the lineup.
Halo Hero of the Series
He’s ALIVE!!!!!!! My word, Scott Kazmir was not only not terrible in his return from the DL, but he actually looked pretty good. Maybe I was just seeing what I wanted to see, but his wayward slider finally looked rather sharp and I know he was throwing a lot of strikes. Even his fastball was working in the 92-94 range for much of his start, and I don’t think that Detroit’s radar gun was running hot (though I am willing to be proven wrong there). Smartly, the Angels yanked Kaz after just five innings, not only to not overwork him in his return, but to let him finish the night on a high note and with some real confidence. We’ll see how he does in his next start when he won’t have the benefit of so much adrenaline, but for the first all season long, Angel fans have a good reason to hope that they might finally get back the Kazmir they traded for just over a year ago.