By Glen McKee, angelswin.com Chronicler of Misery
Last week was another week of Angels baseball, and of all the weeks of Angels baseball this year this was the Angels-est of them all. A significant milestone was achieved, the Angels fell further behind the red-hot Astros, and we all watched and shrugged. The week could be best summed up by this tweet from Jeff Fletcher at the end of Sunday’s game:
That’s the most Angels way to lose the game and the series, and I’m sure the Germans have a word for it, but it would sadden me to look it up so let’s just say “Engel baseball.” By the way, if you aren’t following Jeff on Twitter you should be. His in-game tweets are starting to resemble Bob Eucker’s rambles at the beginning of Major League and they’re worth checking out.
The team. The Angels went 2-1 against the lowly Braves, but that was only because the Braves made more errors than a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. The Braves were awful, and the Angels were slightly less awful, so they came out slightly ahead. Next came the Twins and the Angels mustered a victory against former Angels starter (and provider of the best quote ever about pitching: “F#@k it, let’s pitch”) Ervin Santana and not much else, other than Albert Pujols’s historic 600th home run (more on Albert shortly). Amazingly enough, and again without any significance, the Angels are still tied for second in the AL West. Damn, our division sucks. I remember about a month ago when the Rangers heated up for a week or so and I was listening to MLB Network Radio and they were all over the Rangers like they’d never stop. Good times.
The bad. Ricky Nolasco continues his descent to #5 starter status. Two starts last week, 8.1 IP, 9 ER. Funny thing is, Sunday he had a quality start and still lost because the couldn’t score in a bordello with a fistful of fifties. JC Ramirez had a rare bad start, 4.1 IP, 7 ER. Luis Valbuena continued to pave the way for CJ Cron replacing him, hitting .167 last week. That’s also his average for the season. The more you know! The above-mentioned Ben Revere had a Ben Revere week, hitting .222.
The binnacle list. Cameron Maybin officially went on it, and hopefully, he shouldn’t be on it too long. Yunel Escobar (luggage man!) came off of it and hit .438 last week. He may be 0 on his uniform but he’s #1 in my heart.
Cam Bedrosian should be off the binnacle list this week, strengthening an already solid bullpen.
The good. Despite the record, there was a lot of good last week. The big news was Pujols hitting home run #600. He did it with a grand slam, which is the equivalent of joining the mile-high club with Shakira AND Rosario Dawson at the same time.
Or, for the ladies, it would be like joining the mile-high club with Jason Statham AND Chris Hemsworth at the same time, if that’s your thing. I’m not here to judge, I’m just having some popcorn and enjoying the ride.
Making the good list for this first time this year is Danny Espinosa. Sure, he struck out six times last week (three on Sunday, which means he might be headed back to the other list next week) but he hit a robust .286. If he could get hot, that would be huge. Kenyan “Obama” Middleton pitched 3.1 perfect innings last week, no hit and 4 Ks. The bullpen looks bright. Alex Meyer again showed promise, throwing six innings with one ER, 2 BB, and 4 SO. I’m cautiously optimistic he could put it all together. Martin Maldonado continued to be the best acquisition of the offseason, hitting .313 last week to raise his season average to .270. He’s a career .224 hitter. Appreciate him.
The rest. Damian Magnifico made a brief appearance and as his minor league stats would have us expect, it wasn’t that good. He still has a great name, though. The Angels moved up to 18th for total HR hit with 66 this year, and oddly enough they trail the Padres in that stat but lead the Indians, Dodgers, and Twins. Another week without Trout will fix that, I’m sure.
The week ahead. The Angels have today off and then head to Detroit for three, and then Houston for three. Detriot has improved slightly since the last time the Angels played them and the Angels have regressed, so they’re now better than the Angels. The Astros are effing ridiculous right now, having won 10 in a row and with the best record in baseball.
Predictions. Last week I was, for the second week in a row, perfect, predicting the Angels to win two against the Braves and one against the Twins. This week looks to be even uglier. I wish I could predict better, but 1-2 versus the Tigers and 0-3 versus the Astros. It’s gonna be brutal. Feel free to post your predictions below.