Monday, July 30, 2007


And, after a month of horrible play, we suddenly are able to sweep a good team. We've seen this team go through slumps before, what with the reliance on batting average and the lack of power. But when it all clicks, as it did over the weekend, it sure is pretty.

Speaking of average at the expense of power, there is much consternation amongst announcers over Vlad's home run slump. But over those 27 games, he's hitting 312/350/422, "good" for an OPS+ of 108. Yeah, it's far less than we expect from Vlad, but remember that last year he had a month where he hit .243, and in 2005 hit .224 and .208 in two separate months. If this is his "slump" for the year, I'm not complaining, especially one you realize that in those 27 games he's knocked 12 doubles, which over 162 games is a pace for 72. Turn six of those doubles into home runs (giving us a much more reasonable pace of 36 each), and his slugging percentage would go up to .532 over these games, and his OPS+ would be 135. He's going to be fine.

Incidentally (this whole post will be a string of incidental observations), have you noticed that Casey Kotchman got two hits against lefty pitching yesterday? I understand that Mike Scioscia wants to get Robb Quinlan's bat into the lineup against southpaws, but most recent minor league splits (I don't have any from before then) indicate that he doesn't really have a platoon split. Kotch has only 109 plate appearances against lefties in his major league career (less than 100 AB), so I would definitely say the jury's still out on whether or not he can hit them. I suspect that he can.

Anyway, we go into Seattle. I guess these games look big, but in my view this division is the Angel's to lose, and I'm not particularly concerned about the teams behind us. If we play the way we should, we should be okay. If we don't, and continue to be hacktastically inconsistent, it won't matter who is behind us: the fall will be on us.

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