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Friday, June 25, 2010

Blackout On Good Baseball: Dodgers 10, Angels 6

There were gaffes a-plenty on both sides last night — including an 18-minute blackout delay that pushed an already long game (thanks to a lot of singles scoring) to 3:52 — but the biggest gaffe might have been Scott Kazmir. Incredibly, with the halfway mark coming up, Kazmir still has only four quality starts, the worst of any starter. Acquired to be John Lackey insurance, he may as well be a fifth starter; he basically is now, anyway.

Unfortunately, he's not being paid that way; he's owed $20M through next year, with a $12.5M club option for 2012. Tampa got out from under his contract at exactly the right time; the only thing I can hope at this point is that he's injured and hiding it.

But back to the other gaffes: the Angels ran themselves out of a first inning rally when Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter erased themselves trying to steal second and third, respectively, Torii to end the inning. And in the bottom of the sixth, Brandon Wood got caught napping between first and second, which eventually led to Jeff Weaver nearly picking him off by the act of merely walking to the basepaths, recalling the ridiculous CS2, unassisted from six years ago. Willits at third decided then to either attempt to score with Weaver's back to him, or just likewise lapsed into somnambulism, for he was eventually the out made, CS 1-4-3-2-5.

Daylight opened up for the Angels after they chased Charlie Haeger — who came within one out of his first season win — because Autopilot Joe called on Ramon Troncoso. Now, I don't know if you are a Facebook friend of Frank McCheap — who, incidentally, has a new vitriolic blog — but I am, mainly despite the bashing. You will find little regard for the McCourts in this corner, but one thing they have not been — at least on the free agency side — is cheap. However, he did yield one entirely useful status update on Wednesday, and that was to keep Troncoso, Belisario, and Sherrill out of close games. That proved pretty good advice, because with two on and two out in the fifth, Troncoso came on and allowed both his inherited baserunners to score. I really don't know what — if anything — is going on in Torre's head these days, but it doesn't appear to be about baseball.

Anyway, as I said before, there was an 18 minute delay early in the seventh inning, which undoubtedly altered the game's character to some degree, because Francisco Rodriguez was wild and bad. Or, the Dodgers offense showed up, take your pick. Either way, the Dodgers avoided a season sweep by the Halos. Reviewing the teams' histories, the Angels have been swept by the Dodgers, since the invention of interleague play, exactly once, in 1997, a year that wasn't too kind to the Angels, when they finished 84-78, losing 0-4 to the Dodgers that year. Oddly, both home and away series that year were midweek affairs, as this one; in any six+ game set, neither team has ever swept, thought the Angels have never won less than two, and this is the third time for them going 5-1 against the Dodgers. Too bad Texas drew Pittsburgh, and the Astros stink this year.

ESPN BoxAngels recapDodgers recap

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