The Dodgers are better than the Angels. There I said it. Objective fans probably don’t see why this is a controversial statement, because it is pretty obvious from a statistical and observational perspective. However, this is a legitimate rivalry, so there needs to be some true dominance involved to convince the lesser fan base of their inferiority.
True dominance, in this case, took the form of the Dodgers following up their earlier three-game sweep of the Halos by coming into Anaheim and winning two out of three. Really though, they very nearly swept the Angels once more, but the Halos managed to eke the final contest out.
By the end of the six games it was pretty clear that the Dodgers have a clearly superior rotation, a less frustrating offense and a slightly not quite as shitty bullpen.
If there is a consolation in all that it is that the Dodgers aren’t that much better. All five of their wins this season were by a two-run margin. That’s the perfect amount to say that the Dodgers are better and not luckier, but also that the Angels just need a little bit of upgrading to close the gap. Maybe then the Angels can be the Southern California baseball team that qualifies for the playoffs only to disappoint once again. You know, their old job.
The Bullpen of Perpetual Sorrow is back from the dead
The Angels bullpen ERA this month is actually more than acceptable, but it is also a lie. The bullpen is freaking mess. We’ve talked a lot already the last few days about how Mike Scioscia broke Joe Smith, but the rest of the bullpen now appears to be following his lead. The league seems to have figured out that Trevor Gott only has one pitch, which has led to him allowing runs in three of his last four outings. Neither Cesar Ramos or Jose Alvarez is pitching particularly well. Fernando Salas is still Fernando Salas.
The sad part is that the Angels have no real choice but to ride it out. They might get a little bit of help if Mike Morin and Cory Rasmus can recapture their 2014 form, but by the time they prove that to be the case, the season will probably be over. But at least it will take forever to get there now that Scioscia is trying so hard to spin plates with his bullpen that he apparently needs to use seven different relievers to get through a single inning now.
I think I’m OK with Vin Scully retiring after next season
Look, I love Vin Scully, but I have to critique him a bit. I like to listen to him when I can, so I watched most of these games from the Dodgers feed. After being exposed to him for a few days I actually started to get annoyed by a few things:
1) He doesn’t know how to pronounce names correctly. He consistently called pronounce Cron as “crawn” instead of “crohn” and also pronounced Featherston as if it were spelt “Featherstone.” He is hardly the only announcer to make these mistakes, but you kind of expect Scully to be above that. He does so much research and prep work that you’d think basic pronunciation of names would be something he covered.
2) All of his batter vs. pitcher matchup stats drives me crazy. The fact that Kole Calhoun is 1-for-5 against Kenley Jansen lifetime is completely and utterly meaningless, but Scully spouts off those numbers for every batter-pitcher combo, especially relievers where the stats are especially meaningless. Vin has never overtly shunned sabermetrics, but the fact that he insists on relying on these numbers is maddening. It is almost like he’s 87 years old and the game has passed him by just a tiny bit.
That’s all though. I still very much enjoy Scully, but after hearing him for three straight games, you start to notice the warts.