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Monday, June 30, 2008

Pythagoras Catches Up: A's 6, Angels 1

So the team with the better OBP and better starting rotation beat the Angels tonight in a pretty tedious affair; the Angels got so many balls in the air you'd think it was one of those things they do before the game where the kid tries to shag a fly or something. Greg Smith didn't strike out but a couple, but Jon Garland was at his mediocre usual self, modified by the fact that he had a couple errors bump his run total. Really a sloppy game for the Angels, no better exemplified than by Juan Rivera's clumsy night in the outfield. Trying to prove himself in his second consecutive start over a slumping Garret Anderson, he made a crucial error in the seventh that put a pair of A's in scoring position, and both were eventually cashed in.

Vlad's four for his last week, and at least one of those was a weakly hit infield single; he hasn't had an extra-base hit since the two homers he clocked in Philly. GMJ is worthless, as usual, Garret Anderson hasn't deserved to start at left for at least two years, and Reggie Willits isn't getting enough playing time to tell whether last year was a fluke. Casey Kotchman, part of the Angels' ridiculous new-look lineup, batted eighth. Which reminds me: what happened to Kotchman's OBP and power? Both are down noticeably from last year. Has another season of exposure to Mickey Hatcher wrecked the only Angel who knows how to take a walk? It's a little early to tell, yet; the season's only half over, but his OBP in the first half last year (.291/.365/.490) was also a bit lower than his OBP in the second half (.301/.382/.439), though in general it looks like his walk rate didn't really change that much, with 25 walks total in the first half. He's on pace for around 20 this time, so the change isn't what you'd call terrifying, but it is a data point worth mentioning.

While we're looking at team statistics, here's one for you: the Angels are tied for 12th in the league with Seattle with an aggregate team .256 batting average. For a team as dependent on batting average as the Angels, that's just not good enough, and it's hardly a wonder they're not scoring runs. That is to say, tonight's game and the last week or so are unsurprising.

Yahoo boxMLB.com recap

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