By Glen McKee, angelswin.com Staff Writer
Meatloaf, not the delicious food but the man pictured above (aka Michael Lee Aday, something I know without having to google it, please applaud) is famous for two things: his songs, and for having bitch tits in the movie Fight Club. Hey, don’t blame me, that’s a quote. As evidence:
Anyway, Meat’s second- or third-most-famous song is “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.” That’s a good way to look at the results from the last week of Angels baseball. Yeah, they lost two games to the awful Mets, but they went 4-2, which over six games averages two out of three. And that ain’t bad, ack ack.
The team. As I just mentioned, 4-2 on the week versus two sub-par teams. The Angels are now in third place, a game behind Texas for second and way too far behind the Astros (they’re the best in baseball, so yeah) to even think about. The Rangers are 9-1 in their last 10, the Angels are 6-4. Which do you think is more sustainable? I don’t wish ill on anybody but I’ll be glad if the Rangers cool off. Eff Napoli.
The binnacle list. What? Well, back in days of yore in the Navy they had what was called “the binnacle list,” a list of people that were too sick (for whatever reason, glug glug) to work that day. Since the Angels can’t go a week without someone hurting a hamstring I decided to make this another weekly feature. Albert Pujols missed all three games in New York with a…well, you know. Cam Bedrosian is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today and could be back soon. Tyler Skaggs is slightly ahead of schedule. Huston Street could be back soon, yippee. Yunel Escobar needs to get back soon so we can get Valbuena back on the bench. We miss you, Yunel! Plus, I’m running out of pictures like these (he must have been cold that day):
The bad. Unfortunately, Danny Espinosa still leads off here. In limited exposure last week he hit .188, which is actually an improvement for him. At this rate, he’ll be over the Mendoza line right about when we get eliminated from the playoffs! Sigh. David Hernandez only made two appearances last week. In one of them, he pitched 0.1 innings and gave up one hit, no runs. In the other appearance, he didn’t get an out but managed to give up three earned runs on four hits. Such is the life of a reliever. He still qualifies for clean peanut status, if just barely, with an ERA of 3.33 on the season. Jesse Chavez had a rough week: two starts (both of them wins, oddly enough), 12.2 IP, 8 ER. Chavez got the win in both of them. Is that really bad? And finally, Luis Valbuena. I saved the worst for last. 0-17 last week, and you don’t need a calculator to figure out what his BA was. Dishonorary mention for Kold Kole Kalhoun, who hit .143 last week,
The good. I should just rename this section The Mike Trout. He hit .333 last week, which actually decreased his BA, with 3 HR, 8 RBI, and 10 BB. Yes, 10 BB. Damn, do we need somebody behind him who is a threat. Andrelton Simmons is warming up again, hitting .385 last week. JC Ramirez pitched seven innings, gave up 2 ER, and didn’t get the decision in a game the Angels eventually won. CJ Cron went 5-18 last week, but he hit a grand slam, and that will always get you on the good list. Grand slams are awesome. It’s the best thing you can get at Denny’s (which, admittedly, ain’t saying much) and it’s the best thing you can do in any single AB as a hitter.
The rest. Contrarian poster Lou shared an interesting stat the other day: since the middle of April, despite losing their #s 1-18 starting pitchers, the Angels starting pitching ERA is third-best in all of baseball. That’s pretty bleeping amazing, and a tribute to Eppler. Our offense may blow donkeys most of the time, but our starting pitching has been aces, collectively and comparatively speaking. The Angels are 16th in reliever ERA at 4.17, but they’re also 8th in MLB with 153.1 IP.
Amazing non-Angels stat of the week. Whilst looking at the team stats for bullpens, it was impossible not to notice Cleveland. 132 IP, 1.98 ERA. That’s nuts.
The week ahead. Four in one of the few stadiums that make Oakland look minimally acceptable, Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay. The Rays and Angels have an identical 23-23 record; this is a four-game series so the possibility of mediocrity is all but guaranteed. After that, the Angels have three against the Marlins, where they’ll get to see this atrocity:
Dafuq, Miami? Yeah, I get it, The Birdcage was filmed there and it’s a great film (“I pierced the toast!”) but it didn’t need a permanent tribute in an MLB stadium. Worth noting is that we have a full week of early baseball, and I love that. Two of our games (Thursday and Sunday) start at 10:10 AM local time.
Predictions. As mentioned above, mediocrity will prevail in Tampa. 2-2 versus the Rays. The Marlins are a trap team. They’re 15-28 but it’s in Miami, which is hot and muggy. It’s the end of a longish road trip and you know Sosh’s Sunday lineup will be bizarre. 1-2 against the Feesh. I spurned the Angels on by going low on my predictions last week. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton, and we’ll see if it pays off again this week.