By Glen McKee, Staff Writer
Last week was, by definition, another mediocre week. Mediocre:barely adequate. There were some things to get excited about, some things to be bummed about, but on the whole, the week was a giant slice of meh.
The team. The Angels went 3-4 against two teams that are on the same level as them. Mediocre! Mike Trout too a couple of days off with a tight hamstring, and while we were crapping our pants worrying about how unwatchable the rest of the season would be without Mike Trout, he, well…
Trout returned to form like he hadn’t missed a game, and our collective sphincter unclenched. Whew! But in less devastating but still upsetting news (to most of us), Yunel Escobar injured his hamstring and because he’s not Mike Trout, he’s expected to miss 2-4 weeks. Let me run “expected to miss 2-4 weeks” through my Angels translator and see what we get: OK, either he’ll die or he’ll be back around the ASB (yes, this year). This is frustrating on several levels: first, because it’s yet another injury to a team that can ill afford any more injuries. Second, because Escobar was just heating up after a slow start. Finally, this kills me because there’d been a void in my heart ever since Aybar was traded, and only recently was that void beginning to be filled by Escobar and the pictures of him with his luggage or his satchel (Indiana Jones had one!). I’ll miss him deeply until he returns, but until then I’ll enjoy Revere when he hits leadoff and having somebody with speed on the bases in front of Trout. Until you return, Escobar, we’ll always have this:
The bad. Last week Albert Pujols hit one HR while posting a .227 BA. As always, he’s due. On the plus side, he’s hitting .300 with the bases loaded, so there’s always that. Kole Calhoun hit .115 over the last seven days. You know who was better than Kole last week? Danny Espinosa, who ended a 0-68 streak (I may be exaggerating a bit there) but managed to finish the week strong, so strong that we may hear about him again shortly. Cameron Maybin, who briefly showed signs of waking up, went 2-23 last week. It’s the middle of May and he’s hitting .185. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest it may be time to give Revere a few more starts and see how it goes. JC Ramirez had a rough start, giving up five ER in seven innings, but he’s still a fairly clean peanut for the year.
The good. For such a mediocre week there was a lot of good. Cliff Pennington hit .375 for the week. Shoemaker showed signs of being late-season Shoemaker, throwing six shutout innings against the Tigers. Mike Trout ended a personal-best hitting streak but started a HR hitting streak of three games (as I write this) and hit .333 for the week. I’m gonna give props to Danny Espinosa as well, for showing signs of ending his terrible slump, going 2-7 in the last two games with a home run and a double. If he could catch on fire, that would be great, yeah. Better than working Saturday and, since you’re gonna be here anyway, Sunday as well. Finally, I’d like to give special notice to Alex Meyer in this section. He got plenty of guff after his first terrible start, but he’s improved steadily over his last two. 11.2 IP and a 3.09 ERA for the week. In his last start, he went 6.1 innings against the Tigers and gave up 1 ER. He may be OK after all. Here’s to you, Alex Meyer, and your hopeful continued success!
The rest. Cam Bedrosian has resumed a throwing program, whatever that means (the pitching equivalent of a weightless treadmill?) but there’s still no timetable for his return. Bud Norris has been adequate as his replacement, which is better than expected; hopefully, Bud can continue that adequacy. Huston Steet is expected to face hitters soon, so in about a month we can look forward to him duking it out with Norris for the closer spot. Who am I kidding, as soon as Street is back he’ll close. Again, let’s hope for the best.
My wife and I went to the game Friday night (I’m terrible at segues, by the way, but I’m working on it). After the game was over a huge van (for lack of a better word) pulled up in front of the exit gates and it was filled with Angels merchandise for sale. I wish I’d taken a picture, but hanging in a row were t-shirt jerseys for RICHARDS, SKAGGS, TROPEANO, and HEANEY. None of them were on sale. I just thought that was worth sharing.
This week. The Angels start out with three at home versus the White Sox and three in New York against the Mets. The White Sox are slightly better than us and the Mets are equally decimated by injuries and suffer the additional burden of being managed by Terry Collins, who goes through pitchers like someboy wearing cleats tears up a sleeping bag getting into it. There could be reason for optimism, but then, well, you know…Angels.
Predictions. Last week I predicted 2-1 versus Oakland and 2-2 versus Detroit. Again, I was one game off witht he Angels going 1-2 and 2-2 respectively. That’s two weeks in a row I’ve been one game too optimistic, so I’ve learned my lesson. 0-3 versus the White Sox and 2-1 versus the Mets. Seriously, I can’t predict 1-2 against the Mets. If that happens, I’ll need to see a doctor for all the SMGDH I’ll be doing. Feel free to post your predictions and challenge me, and if you do better I’ll give you a cookie or something.