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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

There But For The Grace of DePodesta: Angels 5, Mariners 2

On Lookout Landing's gameday thread today, Jeff wondered "whether Good Meche or Bad Meche will show up for any given start." Today, the M's got both: Without looking at the defense involved, the Angels are getting fairly good hitting in this series so far, and most notably, Fins is starting to turn things around, going 3-7 on the series. Even though he only got a single hit today, it was one that counted, a two-run shot on two outs. Overall, the signs are positive, if somewhat mixed; Jose Molina, because of his increasingly important role (hat tip to Sean for decoding the Los Angeles Times' incomprehension of big brother Benjie's continued physical decline) has to do better than sub-Mendoza. Josh Paul, whom I predict will start tomorrow night, is no better. Calls from some quarters to move Benjie to DH seem to me to be increasingly reasonable at this point. Vlad's 0-fer is a straight-up aberration that will get corrected anon.

Lackey's performance tonight gave the Angels a confidence boost that he won't have to be sent to the same place they used to send obsolete horses, i.e. Cincinnati. He didn't get into too many jams, and managed to escape when he did, having learned his Houdini act in the Bronx. I'm sure a good bit of today's win was luck combined with a Mariners' offense that hasn't really found its stride, but you take those in the W column all the same.

Speaking of the M's offense, has anybody heard from Adrian Beltre? Hitting .238/.264/.333 with a scant two home runs (and only six extra base hits total), his adjustment to the American League seems to be happening more slowly than even I had anticipated. Prior to tonight, Beltre was 3-6 against Lackey with two walks and a homer, as Lookout Landing noticed, but it didn't matter; "Switching leagues and facing new pitchers makes it difficult for me to get comfortable at the plate" they claim Beltre said, and I believe them. I saw one of Beltre's outs, and it looks like he's swinging at the low-outside slider again, meaning perhaps his 2004 is an unrepeatable outlier year. But -- for now -- however it looks for Seattle, it's frustrating that he's got a lower OBP than, say, Chone Figgins.



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