Monday, May 16, 2011
By Jeff Flinn - Contributor

Thumbs Up

*The starting pitching only walked 2 batters in 20 2/3 innings. Haren was his usual solid self. Weaver and Santana both walked just 1 batter each.

*Three Halos batters stood out in this series:  Aybar, Izturis, and Callaspo, as they supplied all of the critical hits, the few that there were. Aybar is now hitting .351.  Kendrick has 19 XBHs, dwarfing Hunter's and Wells' totals.

*Walden got back on the beam on Saturday with a solid 9th inning for a save.

Thumbs Down

*The defense let up a little after some solid play for the past several series, committing just two errors plus the hit that Rodney allowed in the 8th inning on Saturday could possibly have been ruled an error on Aybar.

*Weaver and Santana's command has been off, but they still kept the team in the game for the most part.
*Can the Halos PLEASE STOP sending runners from 3B on contact when the ball is hit towards 3B or 1B?
I can understand taking the chance with the SS and 2B (longer throw to the plate), but not when the corner defense is playing in, and especially NOT when that 3B is someone like Beltre who has a gun for an arm! 

*After an eight game stretch where the Halos had about a .300 BA with RISP, they laid an egg against Texas  going THREE for FREAKING THIRTY-ONE with RISP.  Take away the previous eight games plus the White Sox sweep earlier, and this team is TERRIBLE with RISP. They have decent hitters, and lead the AL in BA.  What the heck is the problem when runners are in scoring position?  Too much pressure? A mental thing? Too aggressive in approach?  Although they did managed to draw four walks off of Wilson, whom I'm guessing wasn't impressed with himself.

*Another HUGE worry and thumbs down lately is Torii Hunter, who is tanking again after a seeming resurgence. Now I can understand why some are willing to trade Hunter after the 2011 season.  His past 3/4 of a season going back to the 2010 ASB has not been much above mediocre. NINE XBH's in 41 games = not acceptable Torii!   Not acceptable!!!! Especially when you're the cleanup hitter!!!

*This team just doesn't have any kind of imposing presence in the lineup. Maybe they should play like the 1980's Cardinals, but that team also didn't run on contact on balls hit to the 3B or 1B, plus they successfully stole a ton of bases. Be aggressive, just don't be stupid about it!
Love to hear what you think!

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