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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Second Guessing, Second Thoughts: Angels 4, Athletics 3

I got sidetracked this morning trying to get the OpenSearch autodiscovering Firefox search plugins working, which made me so busy that I had forgotten there were a number of errands I had wanted to take care of. Given the Angels' sloppy play of late, I figured I would be better off not watching the game, and for a good bit of it that was absolutely the case.

Despite an early one-run lead captured by a suddenly-potent Garret Anderson, the A's came right back in the second with a run of their own. No matter how many players they've jettisoned, no matter how much they miss Milton Bradley's bat, the fact that the A's are the worst offensive team in the majors burned like a coal in the back of my mind; what's Lackey, the team's alleged ace, doing choking up leads in close games against a team this ineffective with the lumber?

Lackey, of course, was giving up hits left and right, and a couple walks to boot. It's part of a (small-sample-size) second-half pattern that's seen his WHIP rise by almost a half point (1.54 from a much better 1.15 pre-ASB) and his ERA jump to 3.81. Yet, somehow, he weaseled his way out of jams, including two bases-loaded situations, though my apoplexia found new highs when he allowed a two-run jack to .238-hitting Dan Johnson. Dan Johnson! Seriously, he's the guy you have to get out. It wasn't one of his better moments, but luckily for him, the Angels' offense came through in the seventh, with Casey Kotchman sending the game-winning run home. Kotch went 3-for-4 with the only non-GA RBI in the game, which makes me happy that I spent so much space defending him yesterday.

With Boston crushing Seattle 9-2, the Angels get to a 3.5 game lead over the M's. We'll see how long that lasts, as Seattle plays Baltimore next, while the Angels get to contend with the Boston boys. The next three days will see Jered Weaver versus Curt Schilling (I own both in my fantasy league, so this should be interesting), Tim Wakefield versus Joe Saunders, and John Lester versus Dustin Moseley. All that lead but a half game could be gone by Thursday.

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Comments:
That lead could also be almost doubled by Thursday. Big deal.
 
Likely Outcomes Department, line one...
 
Lackey's ERA has risen to 3.11, not 3.81.
 
His second-half ERA is 3.81.
 
The Angels getting swept and the Mariners sweeping is about as unlikely as the opposite happening, so it's pretty stupid to fret about either one.

But I suppose I'm not surprised. The unlikeliness of a particular outcome has never stopped you from complaining about it before.
 
So Lackey has a sub-4 ERA over a 5 game subsample in which the team has won four of the five games? That's supposed to tell us what again?
 
Also, curious omission of the fact that Angels won against the league's best pitcher in Dan Haren, who had to throw a ton of pitches and just squeaked out six innings.

Also, you should revise your post. Oakland may be the worst offensive team in the league per runs scored, but they are #24 in the Majors. They average 4.27 runs per game, and Escobar, Lackey and Saunders all held them under that mark. Diamonds for coal, and all that.

Also, why cite Dan Johnson's batting average when the guy has 11 HRs, an OBP almost 120 pts higher than his BA, and more walks than strikeouts? The point being: Johnson isn't a slouch. He's a guy that knows the strikezone, can hit strike throwers, and has enough power to put it over the fence.
 
Also, why cite Dan Johnson's batting average when the guy has 11 HRs, an OBP almost 120 pts higher than his BA, and more walks than strikeouts?

Do you really have to ask?
 
Seitz, do you have a thing to contribute here other than coming over and just making pissy comments? I'm waiting.
 
Well, I'm hoping that by constantly pointing it out, I'll get you to think a little bit about bitching over little detail that doesn't break the Angels' way. It's a long season, and at the micro level, a lot of little things happen that probably shouldn't. Chone Figgins gets six hits in a game. Dan Johnson hits a home run off of a good pitcher. Good relievers struggle at bad times. It happens and it's unfortunate, but it usually doesn't portend some great failure on the horizon.

Just think a little bit. I mean, you implicitly criticize me for bringing up an unlikely outcome without even a hint of irony! If you assume the Red Sox have a 55% chance of winning each game against the Angels, and likewise assume that the Mariners have the same odds against the Orioles, there's like a 3% chance of both series being sweeps in the Mariners' favor. Yet I'm the one discussing an unlikely outcome.

Christ, you're upset about Lackey's second half, when he's apparently devolved from great to merely good. What a tragedy.

Is that substantive enough for you? Do you want me to go on?

Maybe your apoplexy over Johnson's home run is the problem. It's a baseball game. More often than not, there will be another one tomorrow. And in a 162 game season, Dan Johnson is going to hit some home runs.
 
Well, I'm hoping that by constantly pointing it out, I'll get you to think a little bit about bitching over little detail that doesn't break the Angels' way.

You're not married, are you?
 

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