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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's My Fault: Royals 4, Angels 1

If a random lefty shuts down the Angels' offense in the forest, does it make a sound? That probably makes no sense, but not much about last night's game did. I forgot my new Trout foam hat — purchased over the weekend — and immediately thought, "They're gonna lose now." Well, of course that had nothing to do with it, but Trout's hitting streak came to an end (even though he did manage to get a walk, he failed to get on base any other time), and the Angels pretty much flailed at random Kansas City lefty Will Smith, a guy who started the game with an ERA over 7.00. Baseball-Reference says it was 7.97, but I remember it as a tad lower than that, which might be due to the fact that I wasn't able to get into my seat before first pitch, about which, more later.

One of the tweeps I follow, @SimpleGame (Kristen), made the observation that Garrett Richards is like Star Trek: the odd numbered starts suck. I don't entirely know if that's true, but he sure has been inconsistent, and last night looked like he might be chased by the end of the third, giving up four runs after two innings and a hell of a lot of baserunners, facing 13 batters total with five hits, two for extra bases and one of those a homer to Lorenzo Cain, and two walks. Really, it was a terrible outing, and not one I really hope to see repeated. It also doesn't give me much hope that the Angels will ever manage to catch the Rangers (who also lost last night 2-1 to the Red Sox), because they've got to get better pitching from their starters.

The good news was that the Royals did no further damage past the second, and in fact Jerome Williams looked quite solid in a new long-relief role following Richards' exit after the fifth. Terry Smith in the radio booth was making Kansas City out as a good offensive team, which jibed with my recollection. However, upon looking it up, their record is much worse than that in reality, turning up 12th in the league in runs scored, so this was not as great a feat as he made it sound.

The Royals brought in a pair of relievers who gave me brief hope — the goat from Monday's game, Greg Holland, and ex-Dodger Jonathan Broxton — but both blew off past bad outings, and in the case of Broxton, sported a fine 2.27 ERA at the end of the game. The Angels never got past second from the second inning on in one of their more futile displays of offense in the post-Trout era.

Perhaps the worst moments in the game came in the sixth, when Torii Hunter missed Eric Hosmer's line drive, sending him sprawling in the outfield. He came up lame after the ball got to the wall and went for a triple, but he was unconvincing to me, limping around for some time after. And then in his next at bat in the bottom of the frame — he was the inning's leadoff man — he fouled off a ball on his leg and danced out of the box. Later, Pujols took a foul ball off his arm, hard, but stayed in the game. I have to wonder whether we'll see production declines from both Hunter and Pujols over the next few weeks because of those hits.

Finally: about that first pitch. I went into Chronic Tacos before the game, and it took me — no exaggeration — half an hour to get through the line. Yes, the food's good, but it's not that good, and I won't be making that mistake again. I've been there three times, and twice the line has been this bad or worse, wrapping around the corner of the building. Their strategy, which works well enough in a regular store, for some reason just takes too long to execute in the ballpark. Bummer.

ESPN BoxAngels recap

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I like ST III.
You'll notice the new Trek movies are unnumbered.

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