Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Two Miserable Games
That Lowe Feeling: Twins 9, Dodgers 2The talk in this game is all about Derek Lowe and his meltdown on the mound, but how many people will mention that Rafael Furcal committed yet another error? He leads the team with 17, not to mention leading the league. Not that it mattered, as neither his nor Cesar Izturis's errors created any runs.
Sure, Furcal went 2-4, but the Dodgers were apparently so startled by his appearance on base that Nomar Garciaparra and Jeff Kent both forgot what to do with a man on. The offense was uniformly dead; even Matt Kemp, demoted to the seven hole, collected three strikeouts. Still, we give him a 'bye for facing the Twins' forty-years-too-late answer to Sandy Koufax. In all, a series loss and a pretty pathetic one at that.
Double Nickels: Rockies 12, Angels 4I haven't much been in a mood to talk about Jered Weaver, partly because of the cranky response I'm certain to get from Rich about picking a position and sticking with it. Last Friday, following Jered's 14-K outing, Rich put up a brief post which elicited a firestorm of comments over whether or not Weaver The Younger should be brought up. That's not an issue I'm necessarily going to take sides on now, but one thing that's increasingly obvious: following a couple lousy starting pitching performances by the hitherto good Angels' rotation, you might be tempted to think the Angels will call up Jered again. That could happen, but perhaps the more interesting question is who he'll replace.
The obvious candidate to move to the bullpen is Jeff Weaver, but outside of today and his April appearances, he's been a mediocre pitcher. The other candidate would be Kelvim Escobar, who has been fantastic in relief but has so far mostly excelled in a starting role. Pull both out and you could be looking at a Colón-Lackey-Weaver-Santana-Saunders rotation — provided you can figure out who to leave on the side of the road along with his bags. Kevin Gregg might just have nominated himself for that role, having given up five runs — oh, but only three of them earned. (Thanks, Vlad and Izturis.) There's one more to move, but that would mean admitting defeat in the case of garbage-time lefty J.C. Romero, or releasing someone like the still marginally effective Brendan Donnelly.
Finally, Mike Napoli went 2-4 batting fifth, which is cool, and Orlando Cabrera had his 55th straight game getting on base. That's great for him, but why isn't he batting leadoff, then? I'm grateful that Vlad got an RBI along with his 0-2-ing, but he needs to be benched. He got a couple at bats worth of replacement by Robb Quinlan, and while that's good, somebody needs to stand him down and just tell him to chill. Vlad's whiffs and weak groundouts have become a pathetic routine.