An Angel series loss to the White Sox in which the Halos fell victim to a sad and soggy sweep.
Game 1 – White Sox 9, Angels 2
Game 2 – White Sox 4, Angels 1
Game 3 – White Sox 5, Angels 2
Game 4 – White Sox 1, Angels 0
Los Angeles Angels of AWESOMENESS
- The Angels may have only scored five runs this entire four-game series, but it could have been much worse without Torii Hunter. Torii didn’t actually drive in any runs, but he led the Angel attack (that term is used very loosely here) with six hits for the series. He is really the only Angel hitter that scares anyone right now and, not so coincidentally, the only Halo with a batting average over .300.
- Napoli getting a start at catcher? Now that’s interesting. Scioscia purportedly went with that lineup to try and squeeze more offense out of his lineup, but I think there were ulterior motives. I think this was the harbinger of a trade, with the Angels wanting to make sure that Naps didn’t go too long without catching so he wouldn’t be rusty when they go out and acquire a real first baseman. Well, that is what I am hoping anyway.
- Ervin Santana was great once again but saw his stellar effort go to waste once again as well. As disappointing as it was to see Ervin lose his start, Angel fans should be very encouraged by seeing him spin a three-hitter. He definitely had some people worried when he hit that little skid in June, but he has been mighty strong his last two turns. If he can keep pitching like this, he and Weaver are going to be a sneaky one-two punch in the post-season… provided the Angels actually get there.
- Before the series I made one simple request, a scoreless series from the bullpen. I didn’t quite get it thanks to a rough outing from Rich Thompson, but I am going to call it a moral victory since I don’t think Chopper’s annual poor bullpen audition should count against the rest of the pen. I still think that the Angels need to acquire another bullpen arm, but even with that, they need the incumbent relievers to step up their game as well.
Los Angeles Angels of FAIL
- OK, let’s just get the Kazmir bashing out of the way up front. I really don’t even know what else to say about him anymore. He is just so damned frustrating. What really kills me about him is that he doesn’t just go out there and get totally lit up from beginning to end. It is that he is kind of a tease. He’ll look decent for a few innings, sometimes even looking great, but then he just inexplicably falls to pieces and can never put himself back together again. I think that is why even after giving up three runs in the sixth inning, Sosh sent him back out there for the seventh. Scioscia was testing Kaz to see if he could nut up and get back on track after a rough inning. Kazmir failed that test and I very much suspect that if he doesn’t perform well in his final start before the All-Star break, he is a goner from the rotation.
- Note to Howie Kendrick: you are allowed to tag up on flyballs, please try and remember that. The last thing the Halos need when they are scuffling so mightily at the plate is for guys to be having total brain farts on the rare occasion that they do reach base. The same goes for Erick Aybar who got himself picked off in a key situation and even Torii Hunter who might just have to admit that his days as a quality base stealer are behind him.
- How do you score just two runs in a game where opponent makes five errors? You have to try to not score to plate so few runs when the defense is giving you so many free gifts.
- It was painfully obvious that the Angels’ heads just weren’t in this series as even Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui, veterans who should be above this sort of thing, needed “mental days off.” I have to think that the rain delays before so many of the games lulled the Angels to sleep. For a road team to have to just sit around and wait and wait and wait for a game to begin makes it nearly impossible for them to maintain their mental focus. Still, that’s just an excuse. This whole team needs a mental day off, so really, the All-Star break couldn’t possibly come fast enough.
- As if this series sweep wasn’t bad enough for the Angels, the sweep pretty much cemented the White Sox as divisional contenders, removing them from the seller category at the trade deadline which means no Paul Konerko for the Halos. And just to pour some salt in the wound, Konerko made sure to show the Angels what they were missing out on by driving in four runs in the four games.
- Congrats to the Angels for being no-hit through six innings for the second time in two weeks. That takes a special kind of futility to make that happen. It really is like nobody on this team wants to hit right now. The Angels actually had a chance to win all of these games but they were too busy finding new and creative ways to flush run-scoring opportunities down the toilet. And it wasn’t just one player either, almost every Angel botched a shot at a big inning at some point. If they can’t get their bats going after the break, they might have to really think long and hard about whether or not they should even bother being a buyer at the deadline.
Angel A-Hole of the Series
You don’t deserve a high five, McAnulty, I just couldn’t find another picture of you.
Paul McAnulty is no more to blame for this series sweep than anyone else, but he is a prime example of why the Angels lost. This offense is just sad and the fact that they even had to resort to calling up a guy like McAnulty, much less wasting seven at-bats on him this series (six of which resulted in punch outs), speaks to how desperate the Halos are to inject some life into their offensive attack. The veterans on the team should be downright insulted by his very presence on the lineup card because it shows a remarkable lack of faith in the incumbent Angel hitters to get the job done. The more we see of McAnulty going forward, the more likely it is the Angels will continue to struggle to score.