Sunday, April 09, 2006
Third Time's The Bomb: Yankees 10, Angels 1
"He keeps getting finer and finer with his stuff," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Although he's not throwing as hard as he once did, he's still adept at hitting spots, changing speeds and keeping hitters off-balance. He just knows how to pitch, knows what he wants to do, and he's very good at it."This, by the way, is not a good sign, Angels fans. The scoreboard operator shut down the radar gun early, and so we surmised Bartolo's pending demise despite a promising 1-2-3 first inning. The five-run second inning told you all you needed to know; Bart lives and dies on his fastball velocity and command. Somewhere, Buddy Black is busy having a very serious conversation with the Angels' shaky ace. By the time he failed to get anyone out in the top of the third after two batters, I half expected major league scoring records to fall once I spied Esteban Yan in the bullpen. As he came in, Helen asked me who the Angels' long man was, and I replied that there wasn't one, and that Mike had by that time simply given up on the game, Yan being the last pitcher to earn a spot on the roster. Yet somehow, he only managed to give up a pair of runs, one on Posada's second homer and the other on a Hideki Matsui single. Considering how similar those two are, it's amazing it wasn't 27-1 by the end of the game.
Offensively, the Angels failed to do much of anything, the team's only RBI coming off Figgins' bat. Worse, the same suspects at the bottom of the order continued their puzzling slumps, and by this I mean Salmon and Kotchman. Salmon made noise a couple of times, with one flyball out going all the way to the wall with the bases loaded. I have never in my life seen so much cheering for so little result. Not that Timmy hasn't earned it for his pre-2004 efforts, but I'm less than enthusiastic about his presence on the club, especially as a DH, a position Mike likes to use as a resting spot for whichever veteran comes up gimpy this week. His lack of regular season production stands in stark contrast to his impressive spring; it may be something that will take the corrective of seeing Rangers pitching in the remaining games of the homestand to fix.
Kotchman, who stayed out of yesterday's proceedings because of his left-handedness, continued his flailing. His last at bat against Mussina was particularly painful to watch, making me wonder just how long a cord he'll get before Mike sits him in favor of (gulp) Erstad at first.
Finally, some speculation about Jered Weaver. Weaver pitched seven innings in Saturday's game, and the Angels used Hector Carrasco, their notional long reliever, today for a pair. Kelvim Escobar's turn would come on Wednesday against Texas, meaning Weaver would have to pitch on short rest if he did get a callup. My own feeling is, nah, it won't happen; maybe they go to a chain of relievers, or flip-flop one of the other starters. But maybe they do.