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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Torii! Torii! Angels 11, Orioles 6

The Orioles can hit: they're third in the league in home runs and fifth in slugging, so the high-scoring games we've seen lately aren't a surprise or anything. Still, it was one of those days where the ball was flying out of Camden Yards, and on both sides; Torii Hunter in particular got a pair that really helped the Angels win, his eleventh careers two homer game, driving in five. Juan Rivera also powered a three run blast into the left-field bleachers, and even Casey Kotchman got into the act with a two-run homer in the third, for a total of four longballs off Angels bats unaccustomed to that kind of activity.

Jon Garland was just awful, leaving balls up, a mistake in this ballpark at this time of year:

"This time of year, the ball usually flies out of here pretty good," Garland said. "The ones I gave up were going anyway, they were both attacked pretty good and I just didn't get the ball down."
Kotchman's homer now gives him as many longballs as he had all of last year, which is a good thing. On the other hand, his sudden amnesia about the walk is not, and whether or not this is Mickey Hatcher's doing — and I believe it likely is, rather than just being a fluctuation — it's something to be concerned about. His power numbers are still down from last year, and his value as measured by OPS+ is still heavily dependent on Mr. Ball Four. It seems like a strange time to be bagging on Mickey Hatcher, but it's maybe especially important when the Angels appear, superficially, to be doing everything right.

Yahoo boxMLB.com recap

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