Thursday, August 24, 2006

Last night gave us an emotionally frustrating game, that once you sit back and think about it, isn't quite as bad as it felt.

For instance, in the broad sense, the Angels out-hit the Red Sox in AVG/OBP/SLG to the tune of 305/405/417 to 194/219/419. But while the Angels got all the right hits at all the wrong times, the BoSox bunched their hits and got some good extra-base smash, which got them an early five-run lead while the Angels squandered opportunity after opportunity, leaving eleven men on base when the dust cleared.

There's enough blame to go around; Tim Salmon, Howie Kendrick, Juan Rivera, and Vlad all had poor at-bats with runners on (though it might be churlish to blame Vlad and Rivera, who drove in runs, and Howie, who did manage to go 2-for-4, though his comebacker with the bases loaded on the first pitch was pretty inexcusable), and Figgins, Izturis, and Quinlan each left three guys aboard.

In the long run, you get that many guys on base, you're going to score runs. But last night it just happened that the Angels couldn't deliver when they needed to. As we won a game on Tuesday that we likely should have lost, this might seem like karmic revenge, but in order to take this division our Lads are going to have to surpass the breaks and take every win they can.

Last night also provided a peculiarity in that Kelvim Escobar gave up five runs but still managed to be the victim of poor offensive support. Usually, when you get blown up in your first two innings you cede all rights to complaint about what kind of runs you're getting, but Kelvim settled down quite nicely and somehow kept the Angels in the game. If only the Halo hitters had come through, just once, Kelvim would have been off the hook for the loss and could even have been in line for a semi-deserved win.

But the time comes to move on, and tonight Jered Weaver takes on Josh Beckett. I guess a lot of us are fearing the other shoe dropping on Weaver -- I think he's an absolutely terrific pitcher, but the fact is that no one is good enough to sustain a 1.95 ERA as a starting pitcher in the American League. He's going to have an out-and-out bad start sometime, and it could very well come against Boston, one of the game's best offenses. But the way he's been lighting guys up, a total meltdown is difficult to imagine.

The Angels only need to split the next four games of this homestand to have put up a 7-3 record, which will have been pretty good, and you can't really complain about that. But taking two of three from each of the titans of the east would give us a 8-2 record over the stand, which can't be complained about at all. Jered having a good outing tonight will go a long way toward making these dreams reality.

Our best pitcher versus theirs. Damn this game should be awesome!!I just hope the Halo fans get pumped up more so than they did on Tuesday. Too many friggin sox fans too at the game. Halo fans need to start making SOME noise when we have two stikes or two outs in an inning. Go Halos!!!
That you, Hud?
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