Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Kazmir's Longest Outing Still A Loss: Rangers 4, Angels 3More of the same, though Kazmir completing seven innings (his longest outing of the year) should be viewed positively, even if it comes at the expense of one run too many to qualify for a quality start; Kazmir was, after all, pitching in Hell, or Texas. A seemingly accidental hit by 2010's favorite piñata, Brandon Wood, overshadowed the fact that he didn't strike out at all for the second game in a row. He's now struck out four times in his last 29 plate appearances, giving us a glimmer of hope for his future success, even though he's only hitting .154/.148/.154 over that depressing span.
No, the real problem would seem to be the top of the order, i.e. Erick Aybar, whose conversion to leadoff man appears to have gone about as well as that iceberg safety test the Titanic made. After an icy .253/.330/.333 May, he's only gotten worse, posting a .200/.268/.262 line in May. Part of that is a lousy .236 average on balls in play, but the guy's had three no-hit games in a row, and hasn't reached by error, walk, or hit-by-pitch, either, during that span. I don't know how much longer the Angels can hold out like this, but something needs to be done, and soon.
In that, he wasn't unique; none of Howie Kendrick, Hideki Matsui, or Kendry Morales got hits either. But then, they're not paid to be singles hitters who get on base a lot.
Dodgers Batter Astros Even Without Ethier: Dodgers 6, Astros 2With Andre Ethier still unavailable, the Dodgers found a way to beat up on the worst team in the National League. Mostly they accomplished that with help from Casey Blake and Blake DeWitt, the latter getting himself a couple of RBI triples. Wandy Rodriguez and Brandon Lyon, the latter the former Diamondback, coughed up all the runs the Dodgers scored. It didn't even seem like they were trying; John Ely posted yet another fine game, for the moment looking like an island of stability in a rotation of turmoil.
Ethier To Hit The DLNo duh. If you're gonna have your best player out for a while, best to do it while you're mostly facing mediocre or bad teams. The Dodgers will be looking at the Astros, Tigers, Cubs, Rockies, Snakes, and Braves over the next week or two, a schedule which gives them a fair chance at at least a .500 record over that span, and maybe better.
Xavier Paul is his most likely replacement.