As the halfway point of the season approaches, I think it’s fair to say most Angels' fans are wishing they could start it all over again. 11 games out in fourth place in the division really isn’t what we were expecting. On that note, here are five other thoughts that have been rattling around my brain, which I really didn’t expect to be having now, or at any point.
“I feel sorry for Joe Blanton”. The way he started the year, quite frankly I was fine for him to just drop off the radar. However, in his last few starts, he’s pitched well. His ERA has been dropping, he’s struck out 34 batters in June, and with the exception of the game in Boston earlier this month, he’s generally looked pretty good. But, thanks to an almost complete lack of run support and defense, he’s still 1-10 on the year. Poor guy’s trying his best.
“Where’s the defense?” Yes, there have been highlights, but for a defensive lineup which includes Trout, Bourjos, Aybar, Hamilton and co, not nearly enough of them. Throw in the lack of hustle on the bases, and this year’s Angels aren’t playing like, well, the Angels. At times they aren’t even playing like the Astros.
“Is Josh Hamilton the new Vernon Wells?” Wells has cooled off significantly since his first month in pinstripes, to the point that his 2013 numbers are eerily similar to Hamilton’s; Wells is averaging .224 with an OBP at .265; Hamilton has .210 and .262. 30 RBI’s vs. 25 and 10 Home Runs apiece. To complete the similarity, the Angels are still paying both of them a lot of money. Add to this the supplementary thought of “Should JB Shuck be playing in Hamilton’s place?”, and you get an idea of how bizarre this season is.
“Jered Weaver is worrying me.” Mr. Consistency the last couple of seasons, Weave just doesn’t look right. Yes, he’s not long returned from the DL, and it’ll take time for him to get back into his regular rhythm, but even before he got hurt, his velocity was down. He’s never been an 100 mph guy, but his strongest asset – control – seems to be an issue now, too. It’s not good, when on a rotation which includes Jason Vargas, Blanton and Jerome Williams, Weaver at the moment, isn’t looking like the Ace.
“Wow, Mike Trout is amazing, again.”
Actually, I’m lying. I did expect to be saying that, I just wanted to end on a positive note. Bring on the All-Star game.