Tuesday, May 31, 2011

By Jeff Flinn - AngelsWin.com Contributor

Thumbs Up

*Weaver pitched his best game since April, 9 innings of 2-hit shutout baseball against a team that may finally be emerging from its' season long funk. Haren was dicey, but did induce 15 GBs and allowed just 3 runs in 6+ innings. Chatwood was also dicey in 5 2/3 innings, but did keep it just close enough for the Halos to start their best rally this season.

*Downs continues to pitch stellar baseball, needing just 16 pitches to get 5 outs this weekend and getting out of Haren's 2nd and 3rd & 0 out jam with just one run scoring on a ground ball out. Rodney actually had a clean 8th inning on Sunday, and touched 100 MPH on the radar gun. Now if only he could ever be consistent for any stretch of time. Walden pitched well Friday night.

*Hitting wise, the Halos took advantage of a weak Twins' bullpen on Friday night to stage a great comeback, the first one in quite some time where they were down at least 4 runs in the 7th inning or later (down 5 runs for good measure and tied it with a 5 run 8th inning). The RISP BA was at .250 for the series (5-20).   It's slowly improving. Aybar was the hitting star with 5 hits in the 3 games, a HR and a triple, and 6 RBI's. Abreu and Hunter each had 4 hits in the 3 games. Callaspo had 3 hits on Friday night. Bourjos had 3 hits with the key triple in the 9th inning on Friday night.   Even better news, he K'd just twice in the 3 games, an improvement over his May-to-date stats. Trumbo had a big 9th inning HR that traveled some 435 feet. Mathis had another 2 hit game on Sunday and scored 2 runs.

Defensively, the Halos had mixed results although they had some good plays, including Bourjos stealing a possible HR from Thome.

Newest Halos' player Russell Branyan had his first Halos rbi on a sac fly and his first Halos hit. Kendrick should be available by Saturday finally. Wells may finally be available by the last series of the next home-stand.

All in all, it was good to take that series because the Twins may be starting to come to life finally in 2011.

Thumbs Down 

*Haren had one big hiccup in walking the weak hitter on 4 pitches to start the 7th inning. Walden walked two batters including a weak hitting utility player on 4 pitches on Sunday, and made it too much of a Don Stanhouse like adventure.  

*Jepsen is HORRIBLE so far in 2011, and gave up three straight hits to end Saturday's game. He's allowed 16 hits in 8 2/3 innings, has a 4/7 Ks/BBs ratio, a 2.65 WHIP and 10.38 ERA.
*The offense struggled for the most part against the Twins' starting pitchers, only doing ANYTHING against the mediocre Pavano. You STILL just never know what this offense is going to do from game to game.

*Can someone please tell me why Thompson was not brought in instead of Jepsen on Saturday night?? Why would Mike trust Jepsen more in that spot (runner on 1st and 1 out)?? Thompson's stats since 2010 up here = 43.1 innings, 29 hits, 42/11 K's/BB's, 0.92 WHIP, 1.88 ERA. Just what has Jepsen done since 2010 to earn getting that key spot before Thompson? Thompson has pitched just ONCE in the past EIGHT days, while Jepsen had just pitched on Friday night (albeit 5 pitches)! What does Mike see in Jepsen????   He NEVER, EEVER pitches tight to hitters, and thus they know to only look for pitches middle of the plate and out!!
Love to hear what you think!

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