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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Now How Much Wood You Pay? Angels 6, Blue Jays 3

Really, I had something useful to say about yesterday's 7-5 win over Toronto, mostly snark aimed at the bullpen; Kevin Jepsen recovered from a Jason Bulger implosion that made it into a game again. Bulger ended the day with an 11.69 ERA, which fairly estimates the level work he's done this year. A good offensive game starring Kendry Morales' solo homer, and another fantastic outing by Jered Weaver, the team's best pitcher at the moment.

When I started listening to today's early east coast starter, I somehow managed to arrive just in time to hear Brandon Wood muff three straight plays in the third; and he's hitting less than a supermodel's weight. Fortunately, Joe Saunders didn't take it personally and managed to get out of the inning anyway; I was shocked to see Wood still in the game the next frame. About as horrible as anything I've seen, though I should mention that we haven't even seen a month of him as a starter. (Sean Rodriguez hasn't crossed the Mendoza line, either, but he would have made pretty good Brandon Wood insurance in case the latter flames out ... oh, well.)

Top 8th: Juan Rivera ripped a hard-hit single down the right-field line to make it 5-2 Angels. It was the first scoring either team has done in five innings. Not coincidentally, Saunders hadn't left the game, and he stays in entering the bottom of the frame.

Bottom 8th: With Toronto shortstop Alex Gonzalez on second with two outs, Adam Lind singled to center. Reggie Willits, getting the start in right, returned the ball slightly off-line to Mike Napoli. Gonzalez screwed up, too, failing to touch the plate — and Napoli tagged him for the last out. (Gonzalez actually caught Napoli's shin guard instead of the plate, though it was fairly close.)

Top 9th: The Angels got another insurance run off a Reggie Willits leadoff hustle double, and an RBI single from Howie Kendrick, making it 6-2 Angels. It looks like Mike Scioscia's bringing in Kevin Jepsen to finish the game.

Bottom 9th: That didn't last long. Jepsen surrendered consecutive doubles to Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay to make it 6-3 Angels; but Fernando Rodney, summoned to finish things for reals this time, held the Jays scoreless, retiring all three men he faced. The Halos pick up their first series win despite Wood's miscues (and another 0-fer day), and do it on the road, too.

ESPN BoxAngels recap

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Comments:
No, S-Rod hasn't busted Mendoza. OTOH, in the five games he's started, he's scored four runs and made no errors. At least he's being useful, and probably would be getting more chances if Reid Brignac were not playing out of his mind.
 
My favorite Angel team in the Sixties was the 1967 California Angels. That Angel team had a part-time third baseman named Paul Schaal who batted .188 and frequently batted lead-off. Brandon Wood is now batting .088. There is no way to go from there but up in average (in the majors or in the minors). The key Wood stat I watch is his walks. If he does not walk why throw him strikes?
 

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