Wednesday, April 11, 2012

By Brian Waller, Columnist 

Rough game for the Halos. Really, no other way to start this off then to simply get that out of the way. Weaver wasn't his sharpest, the offense was decent at best and the bullpen was...well the bullpen was it's usual self on Wednesday night as the Angels dropped game 2 of the 3 game series with the Minnesota Twins 6-5.

Weaver pitched well early on in the game but had a poor 4th inning and an uninspiring 7th inning which ultimately led to his and the Angels' demise. He went 6 innings allowing 7 hits and 5 earned runs while walking 1 and striking out 7. A mistake pitch to Josh Willingham in the 4th inning got the Twins rolling as he smashed it for a 2 run home run, it was a pitch that had a lot of the plate, a location I'm sure Weaver didn't intend to hit. Scioscia left him in a bit to long in the 7th as he gave up back to back hits to start off the inning.

Rather than go with Scott Downs the skipper went with Hisanori Takahashi, a move disliked by some but I wasn't totally against it. Takahashi gave up a ground ball that hugged the first base line, as Torii Hunter chased the ball he stumbled into the wall causing 2 runs to score. I may catch some flak for this but I think Takahashi was more a victim of circumstance than he was poor pitching, if Pujols, who was playing off of the line, catches that ball it is a game changing double play. On the flip side though, Takashashi was in a hitter count and caught too much of the plate, he simply missed his location.

While I am covering pitching I will acknowledge that LaTroy Hawkins and Jason Isringhausen combined for 2 scoreless innings allowing only 1 hit between them and striking out 1. Solid outings for them both.

I have to give Torii Hunter some props, he hustles as hard as any player in Major League Baseball. He went 2-for-4 today but his hustle alone turned what would have been singles into doubles. His base running is questionable at times as I have found myself with my hands in the air exclaiming "what are you thinking Torii!" but today I have to say, he put the team in a position to score some runs.

I was probably one of the bigger Vernon Wells advocates during the spring, I was convinced he was going to have a bounce back season in 2012, lets just say I am wavering in my faith now. Wells went 1-for-4 today and left two runners on base, including the tying run in the 9th inning. Wells' stated during the spring that he was refining his approach at the plate and focusing on driving the ball up the middle or the other way, he apparently has lost sight of that new approach as 80% of his foul balls tonight were pulled...even the outs he made were pulled.

After trailing 3 to 1 in the 5th inning Peter Bourjos got the Halos back on top with a huge inside the park home run. Every time I see him run I am more and more amazed at the speed he has. It doesn't matter if he is chasing down fly balls in center filed or racing around the base paths, the kid truly gives his all out on the filed. Very impressive game for Bourjos, both with the glove and the bat.

Player of the Game:

Peter Bourjos

AB     R       H     RBI's     BB     SO     LOB     AVG.
3         1        1        3            0         1           1      .214

Next Up: Dan Haren takes the mound for the Halos opposite Twins' pitcher Francisco Liriano.

Player to Watch: Erick Aybar. He has been good with the glove and has had some very solid at-bats recently. I look for him to have a good game tomorrow using his speed along with a few timely hits to propel the Halos to victory and a series win.
Love to hear what you think!

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