Saturday, April 13, 2013
Mauling All Angels: Astros 5, Angels 0
Some years ago, when the A's were wretched and the Angels on what now appears to be the final season of their long post-2002 competence, Philip Michaels wrote that the A's are like Lourdes for other teams: they'll cure what ails ya. So the Angels now, afflicted by bad pitching, starting (as last night with Tommy Hanson) and relief, and offensive offense.
I'll be taking some days off from the park. Maybe they'll figure it out; maybe they won't. But this isn't their year, and the sooner they stop letting contracts like Hamilton's, the better.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
As If 2012 Never Ended: A's 9, Angels 5
C.J. Wilson's annoying habit of exploding one inning of every single start continued, and right away with the first, in which he surrendered three runs in a horrid mess of walks and singles, as a drunk man might keep retching long after disgorging the contents of his stomach. But then — and only after surrendering a solo homer to Coco Crisp to start the second — he settled down, and actually managed to outpitch the A's starter, Jarrod Parker, the latter only lasting 3.1 innings.
Usually when you can chase the other team's starter, it's a pretty good sign you've got a shot at a win. But by this point, the Halos were still down 4-2. They eventually turned that around in the sixth to make it 5-4 in an inning that saw the dubiously hired Josh Hamilton make his lone contribution, a sac fly to tie the game.
So the end of hope. The Angels held the A's at bay through two outs of the seventh, with Scott Downs — who has been dreadful this year, mostly — posting a very respectable inning, to give way to Kevin Jepson, who had been doing fairly well. As it happened, that was a horrible mistake, for as the Register's Jeff Fletcher tweeted, pinch hitter John Jaso hits righties better over his career by about .250 points of OBP (.789 vs. .539). While it wasn't exactly predictable that Jaso would homer, he did, and so, later, did Brandon Moss, who uncharacteristically hit 21 last year. A lesson, perhaps made starker by the enthusiastic boos that accompanied Jepson when he slunk back into the dugout after finally retiring DH Nate Freiman, four batters after his entrance into the game.
The game featured a mess in the offense, too, as the Angels stranded thirteen base runners, and headliner Josh Hamilton went 0-for-4 with a sac fly as duly noted before. Not a propitious start for the homestand, or the season. It is the sort of thing that makes you wonder whether the owner can be fired.
- The sudden Dodger Stadium-length concession lines at the park that I expected were a Freeway Series, early season anomaly continued unabated. People I know at certain concession stands who were competent and fast (the bartender Chet at the tequila stand in my section, 530 or thereabouts) are gone, replaced by someone I do not know who is vastly his inferior. And everywhere, long, long, slow lines.
- Verizon data is finally slow and awful during the game. My 4G LTE WiFi card is next to useless during the game, constantly downshifting to 3G, though AT&T is scarcely better.
- I haven't done a thorough look-see at the concessions, but the Chronic Taco in the Pavilion section is woefully understaffed and painfully (and to my eye, unnecessarily) slow. That's too bad, because it's probably the best food in the house at the moment. I recommend their same-branded stand in the third base entryway.
- In case you missed it: Jered Weaver will be out 4-6 weeks thanks to a comebacker in his last start that nailed his elbow.
I wonder, given how badly he pitched Sunday in Texas, whether it wasn't a stress fracture worsened by impact.Update 4/11: Duh, injury was to his non-pitching elbow.