Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Death, Taxes, And Angels Losses: Rays 3, Angels 2
"You have to dig deep," right fielder Torii Hunter said. "We can't get down in the first two innings and say, 'Here we go again.' We have to fight a little harder. I don't think we believe we're trying that hard. We're just going through the motions. We have to do what we're capable of doing. That's everybody; not just the players."I don't for a moment think bunting there would have been a wise choice, but it's the old-school choice, so if you're Scioscia, that's a real dagger. The fact is this team's offense has utterly shut down. It's perhaps not too surprising considering the organizational chaos they launched with the well-received and very tardy news that on-base percentage was, at last, no longer a stranger in the Angels' arsenal. Unfortunately, they've got a closet full of DHs, a shortstop with a hacktastic bat who looks backwards to the old Angels platonic ideal of clutch two-out hitting (if he was ever good at that — career .268 with two outs), and two first basemen with one of them pretending to play third or the outfield once in a while. Trumbo's continued absence yields the biggest head-scratchers all year, especially considering the Angels pretty much have consigned him to the bench lately, while he's outhitting everyone else.
Hunter's remark seemed to be a veiled criticism of Scioscia for not having Maicer Izturis bunt after Hunter and Vernon Wells opened the second with singles. Izturis flied to left. Erick Aybar reached on catcher's interference to load the bases, but Chris Iannetta struck out and Bobby Abreu grounded out.
Asked if the game could have changed with some early execution, Hunter said, "You mean if we bunted in the second? What can we do? All we do is play the game."
Helen: Is Trumbo sick?
Me: The working theory seems to be that Scioscia hates the number 44.
Seriously, Abreu got a leadoff double — supplanting the hapless Aybar in the leadoff spot — and then nothing the rest of the night. The team's desperation is not quite so deep, however, that they feel obliged to call up Mike Trout, who is tearing up AAA presently, hitting a torrid .419/.483/.689 as of publication time for that Times story (presumably, this morning). In a sense, I get that, because if Albert Pujols isn't going to do anything for you, is it fair to throw that failing on Trout? On the other hand, if they wait another couple weeks, the team, already down 8.5 games, could be well into double digits by mid-May.
Update 4/26: A vital question:
Q: Who’s more useless to their team right now: Pujols or Aquaman?ESPN Box
Oof. Rough times for El Hombre right now.