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Monday, June 06, 2011

Angels Doomed By LOBsters: Yankees 5, Angels 3

Mark Teixeira got soundly booed again and did in his former team with a couple home runs, exactly the way this impotent script was supposed to play out. Tony Reagins underbid for the services of a competent first baseman, and he comes back to haunt the team. Of course, this narrative forgets the presence and now absence of Kendrys Morales, but in a year that has been so probable, the likely has happened, and to ill effect.

The Angels looked their best offensively in the third, when they tied things against Yankees revivified starter and ex-Angel Bartolo Colon. (Remember when the Angels actually won bids on the services of good free agents? Me neither.) But the Angels kept stranding baserunners, as the limitations of smallball became increasingly evident. In all, the Halos stranded ten, two more of which would have sufficed to tie the game.

During the course of the game, the radio team — I think it was Terry Smith — suggested that the Halos lack a true cleanup hitter. It was all I could do to keep from screaming into the afternoon air, "Mark Trumbo"! Even if you believe in Mike Scioscia's ancient religion, Trumbo is outhitting Hunter, and not by a little: .256/.346/.488 including three home runs, where Hunter has an anemic .225/.337/.268 with two extra-base hits of any variety (a double and a triple). While I do not claim that the broadcasters are necessarily close to the understanding of the people helming the team, they do get a chance to talk with them on a daily basis and are thus infused with some of it. I do not for a second doubt that Scioscia doesn't feel Trumbo is sufficiently advanced at this point to take over batting fourth, but at this point, what could he possibly lose by moving him up, say, to fifth in the order? Indeed, Hunter led the team yesterday with a -.411 WPA, capping a ridiculous afternoon with a GIDP to end the game while the tying runs were at first and third.

Finally, one comment about this violation of rules 7.06(a) and 7.06(b):

Basepath obstruction: it's not just for home plate anymore! Of course, the Rev informed me on Facebook that Bobby Grich used to do this with impunity and was never called for it. You want to end those kinds of collisions at the plate, calling this and plate-blocking what it is — a clear violation of the rules — and you've made a big step to preventing the kinds of injuries sustained by Buster Posey.

ESPN BoxAngels recap

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