Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Did anyone else find the LA Lady's coverage of last night's victory a bit odd?
Escobar Is Free to Focus on a 6-3 Win
Without Pierzynski in the lineup, the Angels' pitcher has a fine six innings in Chicago.
By Mike DiGiovanna, Times Staff Writer
August 8, 2006

CHICAGO — Kelvim Escobar would never admit it, but the fact A.J. Pierzynski was not in the Chicago White Sox's lineup Monday night may have helped the Angels right-hander maintain his focus throughout a superb six-inning, two-run, six-hit effort, which helped lead the Angels to a 6-3 victory in U.S. Cellular Field.


Escobar couldn't bubble up with anger when Pierzynski came to the plate, a sight that would have stirred memories of that April 29 game in Anaheim, when Escobar hit Pierzynski with a pitch, sparking a war of words between the teams and some harsh comments from Chicago Manager Ozzie Guillen, who called Escobar "dumb."

Guillen removed any contentiousness when he opted to start veteran catcher Sandy Alomar, who had teamed well with Monday night starter Mark Buehrle the last time the White Sox left-hander pitched.

That enabled Escobar to channel all of his energy toward a lethal lineup that can punish a distracted pitcher.
Wait, was the story of this game really that Kelvim was able to concentrate because AJ Pierzynski wasn't in the lineup?

By the way, in that April 29 game, in which contention "may" have distracted Kelvim, he managed to go five innings, allowing only one run on three hits, striking out three against one walk.

I guess every now and then a beat writer needs to put some spin on a game, maintain interest for the readership and all that ... but come on. He's a professional pitcher who had a good game. End of story.


Last night also marked the end of the story for Howie's 16-game hitting streak. He actually hadn't been hitting very well over the six games of the streak, at least so far as results are concerned, going 7-for-26 for a 269/269/385 line. Of course, that's just six games, and he was having good at-bats and hit the ball well last night, going 0-for-5.

We are seeing the one drawback of his game, though, in the lack of walks. As I mentioned here recently, he doesn't miss out on the base on balls because he's a wild swinger -- it seems as though they're foreign to him because he's too good of a hitter, putting hittable pitches in play with great regularity. When the hits aren't falling, he doesn't have the walks to fall back on. But given his track record, and his approach at the plate, the hits will start falling again.

Of course the LA Times' storyline surrounds a CHICAGO player, they are, after all, a CHICAGO-OWNED newspaper.
I'm continually amazed at how often Kendrick hits the ball hard. Yeah, that's what everyone has been saying about him, but you hear it so much you figure it's just one of those things that people say, or that it's exaggerated.

But it isn't. The guy hits the crap out of the ball. It's going to be a lot of fun watching him for the next several years.
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