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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Hu Are You? Angels 4, Dodgers 3

Clayton Kershaw's final tuneup of the offseason went well, save for his fourth inning, which was about as rough as the prior three were effortless. After giving up only two base runners in the first three frames, Kershaw gave up a one-out, opposite-field solo blast to Torii Hunter into the former right-field bullpens, a place I have seen maybe a handful of balls leave the yard in my years as an Angels season ticket holder, and none hit by a righty.

Kershaw then gave up a single, a double, and a sac fly to tie the game; his offense got him an early but short-lived two-run lead when the Dodgers scored a ingle run on Rafael Furcal's leadoff double, cashed in on Russell Martin's single and a wild pitch in Garret Anderson's at-bat. Anderson, who took the batter's box to warm applause, eventually struck out, but he finished the game 1-for-2. Whether he advanced his cause to be the Dodgers' lefty off the bench remains to be seen, however, as they have a better option in Xavier Paul.

Reed Johnson provided the Dodgers with their second run of the night, with a two-out solo shot. Santana then walked Blake DeWitt, but struck out Furcal to remind him of what that feels like. The Angels actually racked up the K's in this game, fanning thirteen on the night.

Maybe the game's saddest moment was its conclusion; even though the Angels won this particular intercity (?) skirmish, the real victim was late-inning sub Chin-Lung Hu. Hauled in as a sixth-inning replacement for Furcal, he played adequately up until the ninth. With Justin Miller pitching, Cory Aldridge hit a leadoff triple, Peter Bourjos doubled him in to tie it, and Ryan Sandoval managed an infield single to put men on the corners with nobody out. Miller then fanned Robb Quinlan (who doesn't look too good to make the 25-man following a weak spring), and got Terry Evans on a hard lineout to right. Hainley Statia then came within millimeters of being the goat who blew the Angels' third chance at a win when he bounced weakly up the middle; but Hu gave up the game on a bobbled bouncer up the middle, a bad hop sending the ball just under his glove. He managed to slow it down, so it only got about three feet behind him, but by that time the winning run had already scored and the game was over. You have to feel some pity for the guy; he's been at this a long time, and it really looks now like he's just never gonna be a major league player.

Other stuff: MLB.com box

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Great blog. I liked Hudler; yeah, he was homer but at least he seemed to have fun at what he was doing and paid attention to the game, unlike the late Rory Markus. But Rojas has been a pleasant surprise.

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