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Friday, April 27, 2012

Can Mike Trout Pitch? Indians 3, Angels 2

It's not the infuriating loss — the Angels haven't won this week. Weaver didn't pitch that well, leaving after only six, having a hard time with the strike zone and throwing a ton of pitches frequently. Once the bullpen entered the game early, that was pretty much the ballgame, Takahashi giving up the tying runs in the seventh, and David Carpenter merely being the guy who took the loss because frankly the Angels had run out of other scapegoats.

The top of the lineup was full of zeros on the H and BB column, as seems to be the case generally, and so the news that the team had released Bobby Abreu and called up Mike Trout amounted to something of a shock. For all the world, I was quite certain that the team would send down Peter Bourjos (who has defensive value, but like pretty much everyone, is horrible offensively), optioning him while he still has them for Trout, if that happened at all. Abreu seems to have no offensive or defensive value, so the team managed to make the right call in that dimension. Yet, I can't help but think it's way too much to hope that Trout can help spark a broken offense, far too much to place on the shoulders of a man not even yet of legal drinking age. And the team's main problem — the bullpen — remains beyond his capacity to aid.

This is as early as I have ever called it, but I think the season is over. The Angels have cratered, and while they may recover some of this deficit (presently nine games out), it is unlikely they will get all of it. I have not done a proper study of teams this far out in the division race, but I would wager that the vast, vast majority of them so bludgeoned this early do not make it back.

ESPN BoxAngels recap

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FWIW, the 2002 Angels were 10 1/2 back of Seattle after 20 games.

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