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Friday, August 31, 2007

Oregon Hooks CSU Fullerton's George Horton

CSU Fullerton baseball head coach George Horton will be off to the University of Oregon, according to Baseball America. According to the comment thread following the BA article, the move leaves associate head coach Rick Vanderhook as the favorite to run things at CSUF, but Horton wants to take the rest of his coaching staff with him.


Pickoff Moves

Don't Take It Personally, Padres — David Wells Doesn't

You're in the Dodgers now
And not the team down south...

“How strange is this?” Wells admitted Wednesday morning via telephone from Dodger Stadium. “Obviously, there are some mixed emotions.

“I had intended to end my career as a Padre. Instead, I'm going to try to . . . I have a job to do.

“But, hey, after we're done . . . they're my friends. I wish them well. But not against us, and I'm a Dodger now. We've got to beat the Padres and move on. It's baseball. Next year, hey, I'll probably be a fan of the Padres again.”

The City Of Anaheim's Lawlessness

Looks like Arte Moreno and the city of Anaheim are once again about to lock horns, this time over development in the Angels Stadium parking lot:
The 53-acre site, which is on the outskirts of the lot and includes the Grove theater,had been used in an attempt to attract an NFL team. But the city recently gave exclusive development rights to Archstone-Smith and Hines, a nationally known builder that has proposed incorporating 1,100 apartments into a project that also could include offices, hotels, shops and entertainment venues.

The city owns the property, but the Angels hold a lease that forbids housing on the site. Sources said the sale price of reportedly more than $150 million could increase by about $50 million if the city persuaded Moreno to waive that restriction.

In a July 23 meeting with Moreno, city officials presented Archstone's vision for the site. Moreno expressed concern that the project would infringe upon the Angels' lease rights regarding parking, ease of access to the stadium and views of the park from neighboring streets and freeways. Moreno also objected to the presence of City Atty. Jack White at the meeting.

If the Angels have it in writing that their lease forbids that construction, the city's case appears to be mighty weak. Retribution?

The Team To Beat: Diamondbacks 8, Padres 7

A one-sided shutout for the Snakes through six suddenly got interesting late; Pads starter Chris Young just had nothing, his third game of his last four in which he surrendered four or more runs. He failed to make it out of the fifth while giving up five runs. Milton Bradley hit a dramatic solo homer against Snakes' closer Jose Valverde in the bottom of the ninth to bring the score to within one, but that was it for the Pads, who fall a game back of Arizona for the division crown, with the Dodgers four games back, and three games out of the wild card. The Dodgers are also a behind suddenly resurgent Philadelphia (two games back of the Pads), who just completed a four-game sweep of the Mets to make both the Wild Card and NL East races that much more interesting.

Yahoo Box

Rangers Extend Ron Washington

Though I'm not sure why; I guess they figure he's expendable at the price.

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Minor League Scorebook

2007-08-30: Fresno 4, Salt Lake 5 #
Evans: 1-4, 1 RBI, 2 K
Rivera: 0-4, 1 RBI
Gorneault: 1-2, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Wood: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K
Wilson: 0-3
Colon: (W, 2-0), 5.0 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 2.40 ERA
Bulger: (S, 10), 1.2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 3.76 ERA
Bartolo Colon won his second game in rehab with the Bees, going five innings, striking out six, and walking one while giving up six hits. Colon put up four zero frames before surrendering three runs in the fifth, giving up a single, a double, a triple, and a scoring groundout to second.

Juan Rivera went 0-for-4, reached on an error in the first and was credited with an RBI for driving in Terry Evans from third; Evans had reached on a single and stole second and third in Mike Eylward's at-bat. Nick Gorneault and Brandon Wood then had consecutive homers to cap scoring in the inning — and the game, which was put away in the first.

2007-08-30: Arkansas 2, Tulsa 5 #
Rodriguez, S: 0-4
Johnson: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Collins: 1-4
Adenhart: (L, 10-8), 5.2 IP, 4 R, 0 ER, 8 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 3.65 ERA
Rodriguez, R: 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 4.13 ERA
One out away a quality start, Nick Adenhart took his eighth loss as the Travs were all but eliminated from the postseason as they now must win all of their last four games, all on the road, to stay alive. Adenhart and manager Bobby Magellanes were both ejected from the game after Adenhart plunked Rich Guarno in the sixth. Guarno was one of three batters Adenhart hit in the game. All four of his runs were unearned.

Ben Johnson had a solo homer in the loss, his fifth of the season.

2007-08-30: Rancho Cucamonga 8, High Desert 7 #
Statia: 4-5, 1 2B
Infante: 2-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Pettit: 2-5, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 K
Peel, A: 3-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
Schoeninger: 4.0 IP, 7 R, 7 ER, 10 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 3 HR, 6.64 ERA
Rodriguez: (W, 3-8) (in relief), 3.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 6.11 ERA
Brandt: (S, 2), 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 2.76 ERA
Tim Schoeninger made his last start for the Quakes this year, giving up six runs in the first inning. He failed to make an out in the fifth, giving up a leadoff homer to Jesus Guzman and a single to Johan Limonta before being replaced by Francisco Rodriguez. Larry Infante and Aaron Peel both homered, and Hainley Statia went 4-for-5 in the loss.
2007-08-30: Burlington 3, Cedar Rapids 10 #
Mount: 1-5, 1 RBI
Bourjos: 1-3, 1 2B, 2 BB
Ortiz, W: 1-2, 3 BB
Trumbo: 3-4, 4 RBI, 1 BB
Sweeney: 2-5, 1 2B, 4 RBI
Walker: 3-4
Phillips: 0-4, 1 K
Bell: (W, 8-4), 7.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 8 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 4.14 ERA
West: 2.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 0.00 ERA
The Kernels stomped on Burlington, with Trevor Bell posting one of his better games this year. Mark Trumbo drove in in a season-high four runs, as did Matt Sweeney, whose bases-clearing double in the eighth capped scoring for the Kernels. Catcher Brian Walker went 3-for-4, matching his season high.
2007-08-30: Ogden 5, Orem 3 (11 innings) #
Brossman: 1-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Gronkowski: 2-5
Perez: 2-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K
De Los Santos: 3-5, 1 RBI, 1 K
Walden: 7.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 8 H, 6 K, 0 BB, 3.18 ERA
Brasier: (BS, 3), 1.1 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 2.20 ERA
Chambers: (L, 2-1) (in relief), 2.1 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 1 HR, 2.01 ERA
Orem put up eight straight zero frames against the Raptors before Ryan Brasier allowed three runs in the top of the ninth to let Ogden tie it up. Brian Chambers took the loss for allowing Elian Herrera's leadoff homer in the 11th, Herrera's first of the season.

Julio Perez and Jay Brossman both homered, the seventh for each.

2007-08-30: AZL Padres 4, AZL Angels 3 #
Fuller: 1-2, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Loman: 2-3, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
Mann: 3-4, 1 K
Flores: 4.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 5.37 ERA
Plefka: (L, 0-2) (in relief), 0.1 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 23.14 ERA
The AZL Angels ended their season with a loss to the Padres, finishing 14-15. The Angels used seven pitchers in this game, including Jonathan Plefka, who made his third appearance and lost his second consecutive game, giving up three earned runs both times; he made only one out. Robert Coello pitched a scoreless eighth, working around a walk but striking out two. Eddie McKiernan was perfect in the ninth.

Clayton Fuller homered in the loss.

2007-08-30: Tacoma 9, Las Vegas 10 (10 innings) #
Valdez: 2-5
Hu, C: 1-5
Abreu: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
Young: 0-5, 2 K
LaRoche: 2-3, 2 BB
McDougall: 4-5, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Moeller: 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 K
Houlton: 3.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 3.65 ERA
Hoorelbeke: 2.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 5.68 ERA
Akin: (BS, 1), 1.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 6.10 ERA
Riley: (W, 5-4) (in relief), 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 6.75 ERA
The 51's played their final home game of the year, coming up with their second extra-innings victory in three days. Led by Marshall McDougall's two-home-run, six RBI performance, Las Vegas beat the Rainiers with Luis Maza's 10th inning RBI single to drive in Andy LaRoche. McDougall suggested it might be the one-year anniversary of wrist surgery that's giving him the boost:
"I've been fortunate enough to have a couple of good games in my career," he said. "Baseball is contagious, you can feel good all night."

In his last 11 games for the 51s (64-76), McDougall has five homers and 17 RBIs. He underwent wrist surgery twice last season, when he was limited to four games with Oklahoma.

"I don't know if it's that one-year mark [for my wrist], but everything is clicking," the Jacksonville, Fla. native said. "It's one of those things you just don't want to think about it so you don't mess it up."

Starter D.J. Houlton lasted only 3.1 innings, leading to a cascade of relievers, including Spike Lundberg's 12th relief performance of the year after making the start on Monday.

The 51's finish their season on the road, with four games against Salt Lake.

2007-08-30: Jacksonville did not play
The Suns are four games out of the division lead and have five games left to play at home against division leader Montgomery, starting later today.
2007-08-30: Inland Empire 8, Stockton 9 #
Hoffmann: 0-1, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K
Mitchell: 2-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB
Bell: 2-5, 1 RBI
Hunt: 1-3, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
Gonzalez: 2-4, 1 K
Guerra: (L, 6-9), 4.0 IP, 7 R, 7 ER, 7 H, 2 K, 5 BB, 1 HR, 6.27 ERA
2007-08-30: Great Lakes 2, West Michigan 4 #
Mattingly: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
Taloa: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Santana: 1-4, 1 K
Apodaca: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Wall: 5.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 4.18 ERA
Jones: (BS, 1)(L, 1-3) (in relief), 1.2 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 H, 1 K, 4 BB, 5.49 ERA
2007-08-30: Ogden 5, Orem 3 (11 innings) #
Rosario: 3-6, 1 RBI, 1 K
Kanaby: 5-6, 1 RBI
Garabedian: 3-5
Herrera: 2-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Blevins: 6.0 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 2 HR, 3.49 ERA
Koss: (W, 2-1) (in relief), 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 5.22 ERA
Caraballo: (S, 7), 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 5.12 ERA
2007-08-30: GCL Dodgers 5, GCL Yankees 0 #
Silverio: 2-4, 1 RBI
Lambo: 2-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Orr: 0-4, 4 K
Withrow: 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 5 K, 0 BB, 0.00 ERA
Miller: (W, 1-0) (in relief), 7.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0.00 ERA
The Dodgers six-hit the Yankees in the second game of the GCL Finals for a shutout. 18-year-old Chris Withrow made the start for two innings, but was replaced by Justin Miller, who went the remaining seven innings and got the victory.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Stupidest Manager In The Division: Indians 6, Mariners 5

For the third straight game, John McLaren called on Rick White who had a 7.67 ERA with the Astros with a 1.705 WHIP in a game-critical situation. With J.J. Putz available (and completely unused during the Angels series), White walked in the winning run on a day after he poured gasoline on two different fires, allowing three inherited runners to score on Tuesday and giving up a pair of runs on Wednesday.

Think about this. White has either allowed inherited runners to score or has given up earned runs of his own in six straight games, including his last three appearances with the Astros, and McLaren continues to use him. U.S.S. Mariner:

John McLaren simply doesn’t understand how to manage a roster. In game strategy isn’t everything, but it’s part of the job, and he fails at it.
Thank you, John McLaren, for the Angels' 5.5-game lead in the AL West.

Yahoo Box

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One-Half Game: Yankees 5, Red Sox 0

The Yankees swept the Red Sox behind Chien-Ming Wang's shutout, held up by Joba Chamberlain and Edwar Ramirez. Curt Schilling pitched well enough but was missing velocity, as his heater topped out at about 88. The Bosox offense was also punchless, but of more relevance to the Angels, on an off day the 79-54 Halos advanced to within a half game of the 80-54 Red Sox for the bragging-rights title of best record in the majors.

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Pickoff Moves, Lunchtime Edition

That Other Sweep: Dodgers 10, Nationals 9

I have managed to keep quiet through this entire series against the Nats on the general ground that I'm not really that certain it proves a whole lot, though it does fall neatly in line with the axiom that good teams have to beat the bad ones. Unfortunately, the entire series conflicted with the Angels run, and so I missed all but Shea Hillenbrand's shocking and heroic sac fly, breaking up four straight zero frames for both sides since Matt Kemp's seventh inning solo homer. But Hillenbrand hitting a homer? Mmph. For all but one of the team's RBIs to come from the 6-7-8 part of the lineup is odd, to say the least.

As for Penny... no comment.

RecapYahoo Box

And Speaking Of Sweeps...: Padres 3, Diamondbacks 1

Three straight wins mean the Pad people get the chance for the sweep tonight at the place where the pets go. Maddux was characteristically effective, getting seven innings out of 88 pitches.

With all those losses and the Dodgers' sweep, suddenly the NL West is back to being a horse race, with the boys in blue only 3.5 games back of division leading San Diego, ahead of the Snakes by percentage points. Incidentally, I stumbled across an interesting wrinkle on division standings and elimination numbers this weekend at Wikipedia, wherein the section on "Subtlety" comes up with this bit:

Sometimes a team can appear to have a mathematical chance to win even though they have actually been eliminated already, due to scheduling. In this major league baseball scenario, there are three games remaining in the season. Teams "A", "B" and "C" are assumed to be eligible only for the division championship; another team with a better record in another division has already clinched the one available "wild card" spot:

Team Wins Losses
"A" 97 62
"B" 97 62
"C" 95 64

If Team "C" were to win all three remaining games, it would finish at 98-64, and if both Teams "A" and "B" were to lose their three remaining games, they would finish at 97-65, which would make Team "C" the division winner. However if Teams "A" and "B" are playing against each other in the final weekend (in a 3 or 4 game series), one of them will necessarily have to win at least two games and thereby clinch the division title with a record of either 100-62 or 99-63. The more direct consequence of this situation is that it is also not possible for Teams "A" and "B" to finish in a tie with each other.

Yahoo Box

Drew, Hoo, Hoo

Huh. J.D. Drew, a platoon player for $14M/year. I was right, I was right, I was right, etc. (Gotta make up for all those times I've been wrong.)

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Ervin Santana Is Like A Box Of Chocolates

Stephen Smith gets all huffy about Matt Hurst's blog post calling Santana's supporters "ignorant" for believing that Santana's Boston start, and not his most recent start in Seattle, was "the real deal". In truth, Santana's hallmark has been his inconsistency, both at the major league level and in the minors, something both writers tend to forget. The Angels may yet get to find out what he has left, since Mike Scioscia still considers him a candidate to start Monday against Oakland.


Minor League Scorebook



Without comment, as I've gotta go early today... signing papers for the new house ...

2007-08-29: Fresno 10, Salt Lake 5 #
Murphy: 1-3, 1 BB
Pavkovich: 2-4, 2 K
Evans: 1-4
Rivera: 2-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI
Wood: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Wilson: 0-3
Rouwenhorst: (L, 10-9), 5.0 IP, 7 R, 7 ER, 10 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 4.87 ERA
2007-08-29: Arkansas 5, Tulsa 7 #
Sandoval, F: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 K
Rodriguez, S: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 K
Pali: 2-4, 1 K
Johnson: 4-5, 1 RBI, 1 K
Myers: 0-3, 2 BB, 1 K
Collins: 1-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K
Green: 6.0 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 8 H, 6 K, 1 BB, 1 HR, 3.71 ERA
O'Day: (BS, 3)(L, 3-4) (in relief), 0.1 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 1 HR, 4.13 ERA
2007-08-29: Rancho Cucamonga 1, High Desert 2 #
Statia: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K
Marek: (L, 8-10), 8.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 7 K, 1 BB, 1 HR, 4.47 ERA
2007-08-29: Cedar Rapids 8, Beloit 4 #
Phillips: 0-4, 1 BB
Bourjos: 1-4, 1 3B, 1 K
Ortiz, W: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Trumbo: 1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K
Conger: 2-5, 3 RBI, 2 K
Johnson: 2-4, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Mount: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K
Rosario: 0-2, 2 BB, 1 K
Diaz: (W, 3-5), 6.0 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 8 H, 4 K, 3 BB, 4.02 ERA
Arredondo: 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 3.32 ERA
2007-08-29: Orem 1, Idaho Falls 3 #
Estrella: 2-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Tobin: (L, 2-1), 4.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 2.08 ERA
Green: 2.2 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 4.02 ERA
2007-08-29: AZL Brewers 9, AZL Angels 16 #
Contreras: 3-6, 2 RBI, 1 K
Fuller: 2-4, 1 2B, 2 BB
Dicent: 2-6, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
Loman: 3-4, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Wing: 2-5, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Bohlken: 0-2, 3 BB, 1 K
Perez, D: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Reckling: 4.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 7 K, 2 BB, 2.75 ERA
Molina, R: (W, 7-3) (in relief), 2.2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 K, 5 BB, 3.34 ERA
Page: (S, 1), 1.1 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 5.83 ERA
2007-08-29: Tacoma 3, Las Vegas 6 #
Abreu: 2-4, 2 2B
Hu, C: 1-4, 1 RBI
Young: 2-3, 2 RBI
Lindsey: 2-3, 1 K
LaRoche: 1-4, 1 RBI, 2 K
Moeller: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Pinango: (W, 9-7), 6.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 11 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 4.07 ERA
Bauer: 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 3.86 ERA
2007-08-29: Jacksonville 8, Mobile 6 (10 innings) #
Paul: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 K
Dewitt: 1-3, 2 BB
Howard, K: 1-3, 2 BB
Ellis: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB
Dunlap: 0-4, 1 K
Raglani: 1-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 K
Miller: 0-2
Miller: 4.1 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 7 K, 3 BB, 1 HR, 4.50 ERA
Wade: 3.2 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 1 HR, 1.50 ERA
Alexander: (BS, 1)(W, 5-0) (in relief), 2.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 HR, 4.31 ERA
2007-08-29: Inland Empire 2, Stockton 1 #
Godwin: 2-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Alvarez, M: (W, 7-9), 6.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 9 H, 6 K, 2 BB, 5.42 ERA
Ramirez: (S, 1), 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 5.87 ERA
2007-08-29: South Bend 5, Great Lakes 7 #
Mattingly: 3-5, 1 K
Rivera, J: 0-4, 1 K
Berezay: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K
Taloa: 2-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K
Santana: 2-4, 2 2B, 1 RBI
Robinson: 2-3, 1 BB
Coleman: 4.0 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 7 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 5.26 ERA
Figueroa: (W, 1-0) (in relief), 3.2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 7 K, 5 BB, 0.00 ERA
Melgarejo: (S, 3), 1.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 6.27 ERA
2007-08-29: Casper 3, Ogden 2 #
Stanke: (L, 1-7), 5.0 IP, 3 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 6 K, 5 BB, 6.09 ERA
Dasni: 3.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 5 K, 0 BB, 1.46 ERA
2007-08-29: GCL Yankees 11, GCL Dodgers 4 #
Becker: 3-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Collado: 2-3, 1 BB
Orr: 2-4, 1 RBI, 2 K
Rondon: (L, 0-1), 5.0 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 9 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 2 HR, 10.80 ERA
Thompson: 2.0 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 13.50 ERA
Gomez, J: 2.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 HR, 4.50 ERA


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Never In Doubt: Angels 8, Mariners 2

Graph created by and hosted on fangraphs.com.

A magnificent sweep featuring if not his best performance of the year then certainly Jered Weaver's most important performance. The offense knocked out 13 hits and six runs, all earned, off "King" Felix Hernandez, while Weaver got things to play out his way, including a pickoff of Jose Lopez off first in the fifth (which the M's retaliated for in the eighth by throwing out Kendry Morales, also at second base). Two more humiliating runs scored in the top of the ninth on consecutive two-out, bases-loaded walks.

The M's have one more shot at the Angels, but kids, that's a Statement.

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Beane Dumps Garbage In Chavez Ravine As Dodgers Claim Loiaza Off Waivers

I have nothing more to say about the $8M the Dodgers will pick up here, other than to repeat those sentiments already voiced by Andrew Grant at True Blue LA:
Why does our roster get filled with proven veterans? They aren't nearly as much of a risk as rookies. Coming into this season, many people thought that there was very little difference between Nomar Garciaparra and James Loney, yet Ned went with the proven veteran because it represented less of a risk. Maybe James Loney wouldn't be able to hit big league pitching, who knows? Nomar had been there before, and we knew what he would do. Somewhat ironically, Nomar has proved to be a much bigger risk than Loney ever could be.
By this metric, Loaiza and his injury-pocked season are less of a risk than playing Eric Stults and finding out what he can be. As Jon ably points out, this certainly means Randy Wolf is done as a Dodger. It's hard not to agree with Andrew's closing:
A good GM needs to be bold. A good GM needs to take risks. If you just sit there and make safe acquisitions all day, you just turn the game into an auction for overvalued talent, and that's a game that no team but the Yankees can win. Until Ned Colletti starts making moves that have some chance at upside with some risk attached, we'll be watching the same type of mediocrity we've been accustomed to the last 20 years.

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Minor League Scorebook


The Travs' new ballpark has won the Ballpark of the Year award from baseballparks.com. I haven't been to it since they completed construction, but hope to get out there next year.


I didn't get to the Dodgers at all unfortunately; I have a flat tire I've gotta take care of, and still haven't walked the dogs.
2007-08-28: Fresno 6, Salt Lake 5 #
Gorneault: 3-4
Rivera: 1-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI
Wood: 1-3, 1 RBI
Wilson: 1-3
Murphy: 1-3
Bonilla: (L, 11-8), 6.0 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 8 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 5.57 ERA
A game that looks much closer than it was; Henry Bonilla pitched a quality start and still took a loss. Marcus Gwyn coughed up a couple runs in the top of the ninth that proved crucial, because the Bees mounted a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth, two of those plated on a Juan Rivera double.
2007-08-28: Arkansas 6, Tulsa 3 #
Coon: 2-3, 2 BB
Rodriguez, S: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Myers: 2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Collins: 1-4
Rodriguez, F: (W, 8-3), 7.0 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 9 H, 6 K, 1 BB, 4.09 ERA
Rodriguez, R: (H, 4), 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 4.19 ERA
O'Day: (S, 9), 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 3.21 ERA
Fernando Rodriguez, Jr. pitched one of his best games of the season, with a quality start plus, fanning six, walking only one, and scattering nine hits over seven innings, only two of which went for extra bases. Rafael Rodriguez earned his fourth hold by pitching a perfect eighth, and Darren O'Day got his ninth save with a scoreless ninth.

Corey Myers hit a solo homer, his third, in the fourth inning, and Sean Rodriguez hit a solo homer, his 16th, in the fifth.

2007-08-28: Rancho Cucamonga 9, High Desert 4 #
Statia: 1-3, 1 2B, 2 BB
Infante: 3-5, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Toussaint: 3-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Remole: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Renz: 0-3, 2 BB, 1 K
McRobbie: (W, 6-1), 7.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 3.48 ERA
Arredondo: 1.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 1 HR, 6.43 ERA
I would be very interested to hear from some of the Baseball America types about Alex McRobbie, the former Blue Jays player. He doesn't seem to strike out a lot of guys but he gets enough to be effective without you worrying whether he'll find success at higher levels (currently a 7.29 K/9). He's had quality starts in five of nine games, and if you add but one out to his two contests prior to last night's, that figure goes up to seven. A 3.48 ERA in the Cal League as a starter is something to be proud of, anyway.

McRobbie got his latest win thanks to a substantial outburst from his offense, with a pair of dingers from Larry Infante and Drew Toussaint as the game highlights; both were solo shots.

2007-08-28: Cedar Rapids 5, Beloit 4 #
Phillips: 0-4, 1 BB, 2 K
Bourjos: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 K
Trumbo: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 K
Conger: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Sweeney: 2-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Mount: 1-4, 2 K
Mendoza: 5.2 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 8 H, 6 K, 2 BB, 4.53 ERA
Browning: (W, 8-4) (in relief), 2.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 2.88 ERA
Madrigal: (S, 19), 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 2.14 ERA
2007-08-28: Orem 5, Idaho Falls 6 (15 innings) #
Moore: 2-6, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K
Perez: 2-6, 3 K
Rosenbaum: 2-5, 1 K
Jimenez: 3.2 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 3.82 ERA
Armstrong: 2.1 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 7.97 ERA
Chambers: (BS, 2), 1.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 1.35 ERA
Brasier: (BS, 2), 3.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 HR, 1.65 ERA
Holland: (L, 4-2) (in relief), 0.2 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 4.50 ERA
2007-08-28: AZL Angels did not play
The Angels get one last day off before their final two games, against the Brewers and Padres. The Angels at the moment are a .500 team, 13-13, and at 4.5 games back of the Giants are eliminated from the postseason.
2007-08-28: Tacoma 8, Las Vegas 5 (11 innings) #
Hu, C: 1-6, 2 K
Abreu: 3-6, 1 2B
Lindsey: 3-6, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 1 K
Young: 1-5
LaRoche: 0-4, 1 K
Freeman: 2-5
Huckaby: 2-5, 1 K
Pollok: 4.0 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 8 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 1 HR, 5.59 ERA
Hoorelbeke: 3.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 5.71 ERA
Meloan: 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 1.69 ERA
Riley: (L, 4-4) (in relief), 1.1 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 6.89 ERA
2007-08-28: Jacksonville 0, Mobile 4 #
Paul: 1-3, 1 BB, 2 K
Dewitt: 1-4, 1 2B, 2 K
Ojeda: (L, 4-7), 4.2 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 1 HR, 5.52 ERA
Troncoso: 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 3.42 ERA
2007-08-28: Inland Empire 6, Stockton 5 #
Hoffmann: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Bell: 0-4
Locke: 3-4
Hunt: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 K
Arias, M: (W, 11-4), 5.0 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 7 K, 3 BB, 1 HR, 5.58 ERA
Wilson: (S, 14), 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 1.09 ERA
2007-08-28: South Bend 1, Great Lakes 2 #
Mattingly: 2-5, 1 K
Rivera, J: 3-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
Santana: 0-4, 1 K
Lizarraga: 3-4, 2 2B
Adkins: 3.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 5 K, 3 BB, 2.74 ERA
Sexton: (W, 3-0) (in relief), 5.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 0 BB, 1.89 ERA
Malone: (S, 1), 1.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 6.09 ERA
2007-08-28: Casper 5, Ogden 2 #
Rosario: 2-4, 1 2B
Herrera: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
Diaz: (L, 2-3), 4.0 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 7 K, 4 BB, 1 HR, 4.78 ERA
Brooks, D: 2.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 6.11 ERA
Sartor: 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 1.76 ERA
2007-08-28: GCL Dodgers did not play


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Going For The Juggler: Angels 10, Mariners 6

Wow. An epic collapse, a slow-and-steady comeback, a lead erased, and a sudden, late-innings offensive outburst to grab a four-game lead in the AL West.

It's almost too dizzying to think about.

Look, Santana's implosion was hardly unexpected. No, this isn't his last appearance in an Angels uniform, because Salt Lake's schedule has only a week or so to go. What happens, he gets one Sunday start and comes back up? Would that fix him? Of course not. That's a subject for next year, but he's almost certainly out of the rotation after this game. He gave up a leadoff triple to Ichiro, and that really set the tone, for he only made his first out after facing six batters, ultimately giving up four runs on two triples, a double, a single, and two walks.

The Angels, of course, have seen five-run deficits before and not flinched, and in the postseason, too. But first they needed to shut down the Mariners and stop the bleeding. To rescue rode Dustin Moseley, whose 54-pitch, 5.1-inning game was nothing short of miraculous, facing the minimum in three different innings. As a result, Moseley is expected to return to the rotation as the Angels' fifth starter.

Meantime, the Angels girded themselves to the task of getting back in the game, a job started by Howie Kendrick's leadoff walk in the third. Jeff Mathis followed that up by plunking a single into right, but Jose Guillen then made one of those mistakes that Angels baseball is supposed to induce. With Kendrick breaking for third, Guillen's throw was offline and ended up ricocheting up into left field foul territory, and Howie tore off running for home, scoring the Angels' first run.

The Angels posted two more in the fourth on consecutive two-out homers by Gary Matthews, Jr. and Kendry Morales, two of the Angels' switch-hitters taking Jeff Weaver deep into the right-field bleachers. In the bottom half of the frame, Jeff Mathis threw out Kenji Johjima trying to steal, one of two baserunners caught stealing in the game. More impressive was his throwdown on Ichiro in the seventh: had Ichiro succeeded, the Mariners would have had their speediest baserunner in scoring position with their second-best average hitter at the plate. As it turned out, Jose Vidro struck out to end the frame with the score tied 6-6.

Matthews led off the eighth with a single followed by a stolen base where, as yesterday, he somehow missed a tag, and wouldn't you know it but Kendry cashed him in with a ball walloped in the gap. What ensued was an epic collapse of the Mariners' bullpen, perhaps partly due to poor usage: Brandon Morrow, recently struggling, then walked and singled the bases loaded. Rick White, who's been tough on Vlad (2-for-12 career), came in only to deliver a two-out, two-run RBI single. That apparently rattled him, because White then uncorked a wild pitch that advanced Orlando Cabrera and Vlad to third and second respectively. Who else but the Angels' Mr. Clutch, Maicer Izturis, came through with yet another RBI single to push OCab across, though it ultimately meant Vlad got caught at the plate.

And that, really, was the ballgame. Justin Speier was leaky but effective enough; Scot Shields put up another good game with two zero frames. Vlad went 4-for-5 with three RBIs, Kendry Morales went 3-for-5 hitting in the seven hole, missing the cycle by a triple, and even Jeff Mathis went 2-for-3. The sum product of all that offense is that the Angels get some real breathing room in the division race. The M's, on the other hand, have to contend with a 5-3 Yankees win that edges the Mariners to only one game atop the Wild Card standings. As Rex put it in the postgame wrap, tomorrow the Angels go for the juggler. I'm not sure what that means, but I like the sound of it.

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Pickoff Moves, Lunchtime Edition

Dan Evans, Astros GM?

Richard Justice in the Houston Chronicle seems to think so:
Evans knows personnel, and more importantly, he has been around winning organizations. He knows how to construct one. He knows how to put a productive minor league system together.

He was dismissed after two years in Los Angeles when ownership asked him to make Draconian cuts in their player development system. In those two years, he brought in some of the best scouting and development people in the game.

The franchise's overall talent level increased from 28th to first in that time. The core of young talent the Dodgers are running out there today is a tribute to the work done by Evans. And he did something else in his short time on the job. He surrounded himself with around a dozen former managers and general managers.

That leaves me just about speechless. Clearly, in at least one market, Dan Evans' career timeout is over with, especially when a major metropolitan newspaper writes so glowingly about a GM who wasn't even on the deck when his team made the postseason (and still did remarkably little once there). Either Justice hasn't been paying much attention or is in "anybody-but-the-incumbent" mode, which, according to a co-worker who is a big Astros fan, wouldn't be too hard to understand. Now, I'm as big a defender of Evans as you'll find on this planet, and even I am not of the opinion that the 2004 team that won the division was exclusively his doing. The real question is: will Evans be allowed to wear pink polo shirts without the local media trashing him?

(Via BTF.)

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UTK Quickies

From today's Under The Knife (all emphasis mine):

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Minor League Scorebook


It's that time of the week, so hold on...


2007-08-27: Fresno 0, Salt Lake 8 #
Smith, Ca: 2-4, 1 BB
Gorneault: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Eylward: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Rivera: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Evans: 0-4, 1 BB, 2 K
Wood: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Brown: 2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K
Murphy: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 K
Shell: (W, 7-3), 6.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 4.95 ERA
Pullin: 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 6.14 ERA
I had somebody over here the other day asking about Matt Brown and why wasn't I keeping tabs on his progress. Mainly that's because he didn't make Baseball America's top 30 prospect list this year, but that's far from being any kind of statement as to his quality as a player. Tonight he homered twice, once in the fourth and once in the sixth, both two-run shots off Travis Blackley. Brandon Wood also homered, a leadoff solo blast in the third; with the two jacks, Brown only trails Wood by two homers on the season (19 for Brown vs. 21 for Wood), but Brown has slightly better rate stats (.280/.358/.522 vs. .267/.338/.481). All those dingers came off the former Mariners top prospect Travis Blackley; life's not getting any easier for him in the Giants organization.

Brandon Wood also has a little seven-game on-base streak going. Juan Rivera went 1-for-4 with an RBI double; he's hitting .231 in small sample sizes with Salt Lake, and rapidly approaching the 50 AB threshold the Angels want him to get before returning to the big club. (With his Cal League rehab games, he now has a total of 49 at-bats in the minors.)

Finally, a very solid game by Steven Shell, who made his third straight start and got his third win in five games (the first two were in relief on August 11 and 14) by pitching a four-hit shutout through six innings.

2007-08-27: Springfield 10, Arkansas 3 #
Sandoval, F: 2-5, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 K
Rodriguez, S: 0-2, 2 BB
Collins: 1-4, 1 K
Fuller: 3-3
Gonzalez, M: (L, 7-4), 4.0 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 8 H, 4 K, 3 BB, 2 HR, 3.33 ERA
Stertzbach: 1.2 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 6.45 ERA
Miguel Gonzalez's worst outing since a four-inning no-decision on May 20 was responsible for a the majority of the ten runs scored against the Travs on their final game at home on the season. Travs pitching hit four batters in the game, two of them by Gonzalez — and yet he exited the game with the second-best ERA in the Texas League (3.33).

Cody Fuller went 3-for-3, and Freddy Sandoval went 2-for-5 with a triple in the loss.

2007-08-27: Rancho Cucamonga did not play
2007-08-27: Cedar Rapids 3, Quad Cities 6 #
Mount: 1-5
Bourjos: 1-4
Trumbo: 1-3
Conger: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K
Sweeney: 2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Johnson: 0-2, 2 BB, 2 K
Shearer: (L, 1-2), 2.2 IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 H, 1 K, 4 BB, 1.93 ERA
The Swing got out to a four-run lead early and never looked back, helped by four errors by the Kernels, who allowed three unearned runs. Starter Kelly Shearer — who appears to have been used in an emergency start, his first of the season — took the loss after only 2.2 innings. Mark Sweeney homered, a solo shot in the ninth, his 17th of the season.
2007-08-27: Orem 1, Idaho Falls 8 #
Brossman: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 K
Davitt: (L, 0-3), 4.1 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 6.04 ERA
2007-08-27: AZL Angels 8, AZL Royals 2 #
Contreras: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
Castillo: 1-5, 1 RBI, 4 K
Loman: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 K
Knazek: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Perez, J: (W, 1-1), 6.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 10 K, 0 BB, 1 HR, 3.90 ERA
Seth Loman blasted a grand slam in the fifth for his ninth home run of the season. Jose Perez collected his first win in a dominant six inning performance, allowing only one run on a solo homer while fanning ten.
2007-08-27: Tacoma 7, Las Vegas 6 #
Abreu: 2-5, 2 2B
Young: 2-4, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
LaRoche: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 K
Moeller: 2-2, 1 RBI, 2 BB
Lundberg: (L, 7-6), 4.1 IP, 7 R, 7 ER, 10 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 5 HR, 6.33 ERA
Akin: 3.2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 6 K, 0 BB, 4.82 ERA
Andy LaRoche got his first hits since coming back from the DL, and Chad Moeller was perfect at the plate in a game the 51's lost due to an amazingly bad outing by Spike Lundberg. Lundberg gave up seven runs, all earned, on five home runs, three of them back-to-back-to-back jacks in the fourth given up to Jeremy Reed, Mike Morse, and Bryan LaHair. The trio felt obliged, at first because of hecklers in the crowd:
"It's funny because the hecklers were kind of giving him a hard time. I said 'Way to go get that one' and he said 'I had to,'" LaHair said. "After Jeremy said that, I was laughing pretty hard. Then I hit one and told him 'I had to.' It was a funny thing, a little joke between us."
The five homers were a career high for Lundberg; after that power display, he turned around and hit the next batter, which at least makes you think it might have been an intentional pitch.
2007-08-27: Jacksonville 7, Mobile 15 #
Gonzalez, J: 2-4, 2 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Dewitt: 1-5
Ellis: 4-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB
Dunlap: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Paul: 1-3
Orenduff, J: 0-1, 1 K
Hammes: 0-1, 1 K
Orenduff, J: 2.1 IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 4.03 ERA
Hammes: (L, 5-8) (in relief), 2.1 IP, 8 R, 8 ER, 5 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 5.11 ERA
Justin Orenduff followed up his best performance of the year with his worst since May 23, though he did not get tagged for the loss thanks to an offense that rallied to tie the game 5-5 after four and a half frames were in the books, but then the Bay Bears put a ten spot on the board, four of those due to Rusty Ryal's grand slam. Zach Hammes loaded the bases twice, plunked two batters (one of them with the bases loaded), and left the bases loaded for Joey Norrito, who gave up the Ryal's slam.

A.J. Ellis was perfect at the plate (4-for-4) and homered in the loss.

2007-08-27: Inland Empire did not play
2007-08-27: Great Lakes 4, Lansing 7 #
Mattingly: 0-4, 1 K
Berezay: 2-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Robinson: 0-1, 2 BB, 1 K
Smit: (L, 0-4), 5.0 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 H, 7 K, 5 BB, 6.86 ERA
Sanfler: 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 5.43 ERA
2007-08-27: Casper 4, Ogden 5 #
Kanaby: 3-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Wallach: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 K
Vetters: 2-3, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 K
Gallagher: 2-3, 1 2B
Brantley: 6.1 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 H, 7 K, 2 BB, 4.06 ERA
Koss: (BS, 1), 1.2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 5.60 ERA
Caraballo: (W, 2-3) (in relief), 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 5.40 ERA
2007-08-27: GCL Dodgers 6, GCL Cardinals 1 #
Baez: 2-3, 2 2B, 1 BB
Garcia, Y: 0-2, 2 BB, 2 K
Dutton: (W, 5-2), 7.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 7 K, 3 BB, 3.28 ERA
Paredes: 1.2 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 4.50 ERA
The Dodgers won their final game of the season, trouncing the Cards with the help of a big three-run fourth inning that saw Franklin Jacobs drive in two on a double.


Monday, August 27, 2007

The Just-In-Time Shutout: Angels 6, Mariners 0

There was a moment in the eighth after Ichiro struck out that for me defined the tenor of the game from Seattle's standpoint. After Ichiro swung and missed a ball in the dirt, Jeff Mathis briefly lost the ball — not by a lot, but enough — and the Mariners' centerfielder jogged to first. Jogged, that is, not ran. I don't know about how he's feeling physically; maybe he's nursing a hamstring pull, or maybe it's just late in the season, but it seemed to me that if he runs full out, he maybe forces Mathis into making a throwing error and reaches first base.

Pretty clearly, he figured it wasn't worth it. The M's had barely made anything happen all game; the closest they came was in the third with Ichiro and Jose Vidro on third and second respectively with two out, itself the subject of an interesting sidebar. Coming into the game having lost their last two games to Texas, and apparently getting screwed on a safe call at second earlier in the game (replays showed Gary Matthews, Jr. safe, though the radio announcers said he should have been called out), nothing was going right for the M's. The Angels were getting too many breaks and the Mariners weren't getting timely hits. More, their obvious team leader was demoralized.

Back, briefly, to the bottom of the third. The key play was Jose Vidro grounding out to Kendry Morales with men on the corners. Kendry took a fairly big chance and threw the ball to the plate to preserve the shutout. This allowed both runners to advance to second and third, but with two outs. It's not the first time I've seen Kendry take a chance on a play to improve the Angels' situation; his defense is often surprising, and by that I mean in a good way. More than once I've seen him try for a 3-6-3 or a 3-6-1 double play and make it work. Kotchman's overall package is just terrific: he's a smooth, agile defender in all aspects, but there are times when you see Kendry take a chance that you just know Kotchman wouldn't, and that play might have been one of those times.

The Angels took a lead on Garret Anderson's leadoff homer in the third and never looked back. Anderson, in fact, ended up with three RBIs in the game, two more in the third with the bases loaded on what was ultimately ruled a ground-rule double because of fan interference. (Incidentally, has anyone else noticed that GA's average with runners in scoring position has crept up to .229 over the last couple weeks?) The Angels put together a suicide squeeze off Jeff Mathis in the fourth, and scored twice in the sixth, once on Kendry's RBI single and another time on a wild pitch by Bautista.

Finally, Lackey turned the ship around in a big way following two straight losses to the Red Sox and Yankees, posting a dominant complete-game shutout, his second complete game of the year. He looked for the world like that 2.91 ERA Lackey who showed up in the first half. A great, great outing at exactly the time the Angels needed it. The Angels now sport a three-game lead in the AL West, and can do no worse than a one-game lead at the end of the series should they drop the other two games.

Update: Lackey was playing through a case of strep throat.

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Astros Fire Purpura, Garner

I just don't get midseason managerial firings; either the team is working or it is not, and nine times out of ten it's the GM that needs to be canned. (Jim Tracy needed to go, but that was at least handled in the offseason.) Regardless, the Astros have fired both GM Tim Purpura and manager Phil Garner, which means Tal Smith and Cecil Cooper get those jobs with the word "interim" stuck in the middle. Longer term, that may mean more requests to talk to Angels personnel about these apparently open jobs; I wonder whether Grady Little will get extended by the Dodgers, or might end up in Houston's consideration as the "most likely veteran candidate" role.

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Meta: Buh-bye, Seitz

One of my less-proud moments, true, but, hey, Seitz, you've been nothing but a provocateur all season. I'm not allowed, apparently, to suggest the Angels are anything less than a playoff team. Also, please show exactly where I've "misappl[ied] another SABR stat or use[d] your typical multiple endpoints to prove it", because if you're talking about this, I still maintain that we don't know whether Kotchman can hit lefties (and the recent evidence was encouraging). But since you don't feel compelled to provide anything besides personal attacks (one of the defining hallmarks of so many of the posters over at Halos Heaven, what a surprise), I imagine I'll be waiting a long time for that response. Insist on reading things into my posts if you like. (I was "interesting to read", apparently, until I started disagreeing with the groupthink.) It's just amazing how quickly the Angels blogosphere has declined into the kind of name-calling schoolyard that chased me off the fan forums three years ago.

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Pickoff Moves

Boomer, Not Bust: Dodgers 6, Mets 2

Sure, David Wells' first outing as a Dodger didn't even net him a quality start, but who's complaining when the Dodgers managed to salvage a victory out of it? I followed the game loosely while at the theater watching The Bourne Ultimatum (heck of a good spy thriller, by the way), and found myself shocked to discover the win after I got out. The Dodgers aren't going anywhere this year, but it's good to see something positive come out of the Wells signing.

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Roster Notes

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Minor League Scorebook

2007-08-26: Salt Lake 10, Colorado Springs 7 #
Smith, Ca: 3-5, 1 RBI
Gorneault: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 K
Eylward: 2-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Rivera: 0-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
Evans: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Wood: 3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI
Wilson: 1-4, 1 2B
Murphy: 1-1, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Thompson: (BS, 1), 1.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 2.28 ERA
Gwyn: (W, 2-1) (in relief), 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 3.02 ERA
Homers by Terry Evans and Tommy Murphy helped launch a five-run ninth that propelled the Bees past the Sky Sox. Rich Thompson gave up his second earned run in three games to earn his first blown save with Salt Lake this year.
2007-08-26: Springfield 16, Arkansas 0 #
Rodriguez, S: 1-4, 1 K
Johnson: 2-3, 1 K
Pali: 2-4
Smith, Co: 2-4, 1 K
Mosebach: (L, 0-1), 6.0 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 11 H, 1 K, 4 BB, 1 HR, 9.00 ERA
Bobby Mosebach made the first AA start of his career, and it was a near-total disaster, with a throwing error, a hit batter, a passed ball, and a second inning in which he missed the plate with his first eight pitches, all events that contributed to a seven run (six earned) maiden outing. Things got so bad that 3B Ryan Leahy made his pitching debut with the Travs, and was the only pitcher to post a perfect inning in the game. Only one Trav made it as far as third in the blowout, and with the loss, Arkansas falls a game and a half behind division winner Springfield.

The Travs play their last home game of the season later today; their season ends with a four game road trip to Tulsa followed by a three-game series in Springfield starting September 1.

2007-08-26: Rancho Cucamonga 0, San Jose 2 (10 innings) #
Statia: 0-4
Holler: 6.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 6 K, 1 BB, 0.00 ERA
Incinelli: (L, 2-2) (in relief), 1.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 2 K, 3 BB, 1 HR, 4.05 ERA
One game after posting his strongest start all year with Cedar Rapids, Blake Holler found himself promoted to Rancho and making the first Cal League start of his career. It was an impressive one, but Jared Incinelli gave up a walkoff homer to Travis Ishikawa in the bottom of the tenth. The Giants otherwise five-hit the Quakes.
2007-08-26: Cedar Rapids 0, Quad Cities 1 (11 innings) #
Phillips: 0-5, 3 K
Bourjos: 1-4
Trumbo: 0-4, 3 K
Mount: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Conger: 0-1
O'Sullivan: 8.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 2.07 ERA
Madrigal: (L, 5-4) (in relief), 1.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 2.17 ERA
Sean O'Sullivan is finishing the season strong, posting quality starts in seven straight games and all but one of his starts since July 6. In that span, he has a 1.17 ERA (6-1) with strong peripherals (7.96 K/9, 3.39 K/BB, 0.90 WHIP, 69.0 IP). He got a no-decision for his efforts, though, as Warner Madrigal eventually took the loss thanks to an unearned run in the 11th: Mark Trumbo, trying to get Jose Ramirez, going first-to-third, instead threw the ball away.

The loss ended a ten-game winning winning streak for the Kernels, who find themselves 3.5 games back of Quad Cities, and a game back of Lansing for the second half Wild Card.

2007-08-26: Casper 7, Orem 2 #
Perez: 2-4, 1 K
Giovanatto: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Fish: (L, 3-3), 4.0 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 3.08 ERA
2007-08-26: AZL Angels 3, AZL Athletics 4 #
Loman: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
Perez, D: 2-4, 2 K
Anton: 6.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 12 K, 1 BB, 3.21 ERA
McKiernan: (BS, 1)(L, 0-1) (in relief), 1.2 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 2.35 ERA
Michael Anton twice fanned the side in this game, going crazy with the strikeouts. At 22, he's fanning everything that moves.
2007-08-26: Tucson 10, Las Vegas 4 #
Hu, C: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 K
Young: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 BB
Lindsey: 1-2, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB
McDougall: 1-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI
LaRoche: 0-1
Cyr: (L, 3-6), 7.0 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 1 HR, 5.47 ERA
Riley: 1.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 2 K, 3 BB, 6.50 ERA
Eric Cyr took his third straight loss in his third straight quality start, and his fifth straight loss of five decisions. Marshall McDougall homered, a three-run jack in the seventh.
2007-08-26: Jacksonville 7, Mobile 2 #
Dewitt: 1-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Howard, K: 2-2, 2 BB
Ellis: 1-2, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB
Dunlap: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 K
Paul: 1-3, 1 2B
Gonzalez, J: 1-2, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K
McDonald: (W, 7-2), 6.0 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 1 HR, 1.63 ERA
Wright: (H, 2), 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 2.73 ERA
Alexander: 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 4.16 ERA
The game was in the bag after a pair of hit batters and a walk loaded the bases, and James Tomlin hit a sac fly to drive home Kevin Howard from third. The Suns really put the game away with a four-run ninth, three of which came on Juan Gonzalez's three-run homer, his ninth of the season, and Blake Dewitt's solo blast (his fifth).

James McDonald got his fourth win of the month, and goes 7-2 on the year for the Suns. It's only his fourth quality start for the Suns, though, so you could sort of see why management might be a little nervous about calling him up.

2007-08-26: Lake Elsinore 2, Inland Empire 6 #
Justis: 2-3, 1 RBI
May: 2-4
Hoffmann: 1-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K
Bell: 0-4, 2 K
Bastardo: (W, 6-5), 8.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 10 K, 0 BB, 1 HR, 4.50 ERA
Alberto Bastardo's second straight win and without a doubt his best game of the season. Jamie Hoffmann belted a three-run jack to cap scoring in the four-run first.
2007-08-26: Great Lakes 7, Lansing 8 #
Mattingly: 3-5, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 K
Berezay: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Perez: 3-5
Santana: 0-3, 2 BB, 1 K
Taloa: 2-5, 2 2B
Peterson: 3-5, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
Rivera, J: 1-5, 2 K
Robinson: 3-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Johnson: (L, 3-6), 3.0 IP, 7 R, 7 ER, 6 H, 4 K, 4 BB, 5.16 ERA
2007-08-26: Idaho Falls 9, Ogden 2 #
Garabedian: 2-3, 1 BB
Krise: (L, 1-6), 5.0 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 7 H, 2 K, 3 BB, 7.58 ERA
Gearhart: 2.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 HR, 3.81 ERA
2007-08-26: GCL Dodgers vs. GCL Marlins: Cancelled #
Due to rain; the game was the two teams' last meeting of the year, and would have no bearing on the standings with the Dodgers 10 games above the second-place Marlins in the GCL East standings. (The Dodgers have the second-best record in the GCL, 39-15.) The Dodgers play their final game of the season later today, on the road against the Cardinals.


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