Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Out Of Loek: Reds 5, Angels 4
Dan Haren and Bronson Arroyo both pitched reasonably well, though you have to be concerned about the shockingly large number of hits Haren surrendered (nine in all). The Angels got a home run out of Vernon Wells, a rope that stayed up in the left field corner. The team's experiment with Peter Bourjos at leadoff did not go so well, as he struck out twice and only reached base once, on a walk. That's not part of the new, Jerry Dipoto Angels plan that emphasizes OBP.
Kevin Jepsen continued to disappoint, giving up a leadoff home run to Paul Janish in the eighth. Janish hit .214/.259/.262 in limited service last year, which is to say, the league pretty much showed he has nothing to make most competent pitchers fear for their paychecks. However, that adjective does not describe Jepsen, whom I view lately as release-bait. If he makes the team, it will be only as a short-term stopgap until some other roster move eventually forces his expulsion.
Jason Isringhausen posted a zero frame while failing to impress (i.e., I saw few if any swing-and-misses). It's the sort of meretricious thing you expect could land him a spot on the team, especially if the word "veteran" features as a net positive in the eye of the man doing the choosing. I hope and trust that after Vernon Wells, this is no longer the case in the Angels front office.
Finally, a few words about the new(ish) Goodyear ballpark:
- Appearance: spartan almost to the point of indifference (I felt like the game was played inside a newish warehouse); not one of the league's prettier ballparks, it reminded me of a less glamorous version of the soon-to-be-abandoned Phoenix Muni. Grade: D.
- Fan comfort: A large awning over the third base seats and a conventional (northeast) orientation means the park has a goodly amount of shelter from the afternoon sun, always an important consideration for fan comfort. Grade: A- (could be improved with more shade).
- Food choices/quality: Slightly better than some of the other parks (it seemed from memory that Scottsdale has lost some recently, as has the Angels). Both grade as B-.
- Parking: Despite a sparse crowd (well less than capacity, with the outfield sections along the baselines all but completely empty), parking took quite a while to clear out anyway. It seems as though the same morons who designed Camelback Ranch were at work here. This was compounded by the operations staff coning off lanes that didn't need to be coned off. Grade: C-.