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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kaztastrophe: Brewers 11, Angels 8

Scott Kazmir is owed $12M over the course of the remaining year of his contract, plus a $2.5M buyout for his 2012 season the Angels would be fools not to exercise. Fools, that is, unless Kazmir can turn himself around in a big hurry. As it was, Carlos Gomez crushed the first offering from Kazmir in the game for a double, a troubling sign of things to come for the erstwhile Rays ace. Giving up ten of the eleven runs scored, the bulk of the damage came in the first two frames, where he surrendered four runs in each, letting the Brewers bat around in the second. The Angels traded for him, taking a big-market risk on a pitcher who's had multiple injuries in the past; now, it appears all those cumulative ailments are badly sapping his effectiveness. Whatever the Angels may need in the rotation, an automatic gascan is not one of those things, and an attempt to salvage some utility from him in the bullpen now seems inevitable.

This really is too bad, because the Angels offense put up some nice numbers after getting befuddled by Randy Wolf early. Brandon Wood even drove in four, two of them on a long home run to left. Wood's .268/.317/.589 (presumably, prior to today's game) this spring is a bit ominous on the OBP side, but today's performance was much needed by a player who is frankly on the hairy edge of ejection from the majors.

So much the good news; the rest of the offense was fairly tepid, with only Maicer Izturis picking up hits in crooked numbers. The Angels also managed three walks off Milwaukee pitching — Alberto Callaspo, unexpectedly, Peter Bourjos, and Jeff Mathis each greeted first base in this way, and Bourjos further reached on a hit-by-pitch in the sixth. Bourjos may or may not be a major leaguer; it's something only time can tell, but this spring, he's doing an awful good impression of one.

Angels recap

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