Bats: 10, Bullpen: 3; I Sure Hope the Angels Get It

Ah, the Angels game today. Losing the third straight game to the Royals 12 – 9 in the 13th inning was…

So…um…yeah…Baby showers anyone? I went to my husband’s cousin’s baby shower today. I absolutely loathe baby showers. Isn’t that funny? I mean, I like kids. I love helping friends and family celebrate good news, but I loathe baby showers…

Right. The game. This is a baseball blog after all, so I probably should talk about the game. I have a fun, bantering relationship with the husband of one of my cousins and, helpful Dodger loving fellow that he is, he left the following questions on my Facebook wall round about inning 11: “Four runs in the last three innings and you’re still going extras? Are the Angels aware they’re playing the Royals? Further, are they aware that these are not the same Royals they’ll call neighbors next year?” Yeah, about that…well see…it was like this…

You know what the problem with baby showers is? It’s the stupid games. If we could just have a normal party, co-ed or still ladies only, without having to diaper a balloon or pluck tiny pins from rice or guess…well, you get the general idea…and I digress. Again.

So, back to the game and the questions on my Facebook. Well, when you start out the game with Scott Kazmir on the mound, he allows five runs in the first one and 2/3s innings, we pull him and then go the bullpen in the 2nd inning. Our bullpen. The Arson squad part duex. In the second inning. You knew the game wasn’t going to be pretty. Oh, and our “closer”? Walking 3 batters and allowing two earned runs in 1/3 of an inning? I’m just…

You know, today’s shower was actually fun! I think this really just proves my basic argument though. The wonderful ladies who planned it dispensed with the silly games…Oh, I’m doing it again aren’t I? That weird tangent thing? Yeah.

It’s not like the game didn’t have it’s high points. The offense was amazing! The Angels hit five homeruns! Five! And Howie Kendrick hit two of them. We hit doubles. We hit triples. Bobby Abreu went five for five. Peter Bourjos went first to home! Have I mentioned before that the kid’s just a little fast? There were a number of truly heroic defensive plays too. Torii’s catch. Maicer’s catch. Jeff Mathis’ tag at the plate. Fleet Pete flying in to bail Vernon Wells out of a jam and keeping two of the runners from scoring, at least.

We scored nine runs for crying out loud! Customarily, when a team scores nine runs, including five homeruns, etc., that team wins…unless our bullpen is involved. So I think you all probably understand why I would rather talk about anything, even that most dreaded of social obligations the baby shower, than about today’s game.

In all seriousness, it’s only four games and the Angels traditionally start out slow. We fans usually spend most of April moaning and groaning about how it’s the end of the world and the Angels usually shape up and then some by May and do well, with occasional bouts of ugly, for the rest of the season. The problem is that last season we didn’t. And, some of the reasons we didn’t are some of the same reasons we just lost three straight to the Royals. I usually don’t call for radical changes in early April but, after last season, spring training and this week, it’s time to call the Scott Kazmir and Fernando Rodney experiments a failure. Bring Matt Palmer back up from the minors and look for a closer. An effective one.


  1. Jeremy Visser

    How is Wells looking in left? I’m interested in seeing it this weekend — I’ve only ever seen him in center for the past 10 years or so…

  2. blithescribe

    Jeff – No, not the way you want to start at all. You are lucky indeed – though the co-ed ones are never quite as bad. No stupid games.
    Mark – I know. Right?!
    Jeremy – There’s a learning curve for him and he has to relearn every stadium he’s played in. Sunday was not one of his better days in left. But Thursday through Saturday he absolutely rocked. I expect that we will see a few off days here and there but the way he moves, well, I think this particular experiment will ultimately be quite successful.
    Catherine – Exactly, but there is still time…if they don’t cling to tightly to problems that can’t be resolved. I wish that were so, LOL, but I’m of age where friends and family are having babies like crazy.
    — Kristen

  3. blithescribe

    Bwa’ha ha Jeff!! Doesn’t that imply that there is a point at which your mind leaves naughty mode?
    — Kristen

  4. raysrenegade

    Can there really be a balance or baseball parity rearing its ugly head recently. Not that Boston, Tampa Bay or the Angels did not do things to collectively put a loss in the column, but each team also had inspirations this Spring of vaulting upward and onward.
    Sure it is early, and non of the three will sit at the bottom long, but isn’t a bad streak better now in the beginning than possibly in late September with playoff implications or even a solid finsih on the line…Even this the three MLB squads will overcome.
    But the Rays playing the Angels for two games doesn’t help either team’s confidence right now

    Rays Renegade

  5. mattpeas

    One word can describe Pittsburgh fans right now: optimistic. Optimism is flowing from black and gold nation. it took a 3-1 start through just four games for people to realize that the pirates aren’t here to lose every single game. now, if we started 1-3, people would say “i told you so” and cobwebs would start to grow on the wheels of the bandwagon. its funny what the first week of the season can do to you

  6. blithescribe

    Matt – The Pirates had a pretty good opening weekend, that’s for sure. You’re right. It is funny how much such a small sample size of games sets the tone for the next several months with the fans. Starting 3 – 1 vs. 1 – 3 makes all the difference in terms of fan support even if the total win loss record for the month is identical in both cases. No bandwagoners or anti-fans here though. I may gripe about my guys from time to time – or, you know, a lot – but I am always hopeful and cheering for them to take it all until it’s numerically impossible…and then I’ll still root for them to win as much as they can.
    Russel – I saw that! *happy dance* If it were just this season, I’d agree with you. But Fernando Rodney has been routinely blowing saves or nearly blowing saves since the Red Sox came to town last season in July. Before that, blown saves weren’t as common but the nearly blown saves were almost a given. And it’s more because of walks than giving up hits, which is unforgivable in a closer. I wish it were otherwise. It’s not like he’s had a bad attitude or anything, quite the contrary. I say Scioscia let this go just long enough, especially when I can’t remember a single truly quality Rodney outing during ST. Walden has been the Angels’ closer of the future. I guess the future begins now.
    — Kristen

  7. blithescribe

    Rays Renegade – Sorry, I missed you in my last sweep through. Yes, I would rather have a bad streak now than later in the season and I suppose not having any bad streaks is unrealistic. Yeah, both our teams have been through the ringer this weekend – your’s especially with Longo going to the DL. I hope he heals up and is back quickly. I don’t like to see any of the players hurt and I have a soft spot for former dirtbag ballplayers to boot.
    — Kristen

  8. Michael David

    I never went to one baby shower..ever. I guess that they’re just not for the daddies. The Tigers are off to a horrid start, too, but it’s a long season and it will still be fun to see how things play out. Have fun with Rodney…we suffered with him for years, and he was solid on his contract year. Go figure.
    ‘Minoring In Baseball’

  9. theheirloom

    I have been to one baby shower – and the guessing the diaper game was unsettling to be kind here. As for Rodney – he’s not the first person I’d give a closer job to even if he was playing for the Winnipeg Goldeyes. One save was fine – but that’s all he’ll give you.

    I’m just lucky to see the Twins pull one out last night at Yankee Stadium – and hope they show up when they get home this weekend. My neighbors are getting restless. As for being a Red Sox fan – don’t read my Twitter. I’m still holding out for Win #1 and just simply do not understand what is going on with Francona’s guys…

    Ah, well…back to talking about stadium and perimeter security…

    – Randy

  10. blithescribe

    Mike – Consider yourself lucky. 😉 It is a long season and things will get better. As for having fun with Rodney, Scioscia removed him from the closer roll. That’s the most fun with I’ve had with him in a year.
    Randy – Isnt that traumatizing? Your Rodney description sounds sadly accurate. I’m sure things will pick up soon – there’s too much talent on the Twins for it not to.

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