By Glen McKee, Captain Obvious’ Executive Officer -
Another season of baseball has started, another first week is done, and the Angels stink like they always do at the start of the season. What better way to celebrate such an inauspicious start than by looking back at the week and reliving the misery? This is the first of a weekly column in which I remind myself of why I shouldn’t root for my favorite sports team.
The Bad – When I was a supervisor in the military and had to debrief junior personnel on their annual evaluation I was taught to start with the areas that needed improvement and finish with the areas in which they excelled, to finish on a positive note and give them (false) hope for the future. I’ll follow that rule here but be warned: the first section will be much longer than the last.
- The middle of the lineup. Trout, Pujols, and Cron are batting a combined .139 with 0 home runs and 3 RBI. I couldn’t easily access the stats for LOB but I think it’s around 115. I could give you more miserable stats about them (for instance, 14 Ks) but you get the picture. They’ve been terrible, and when you can’t even look forward to a Trout AB, this team is in trouble.
- The starting pitching. This actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Three quality starts (Weaver/Rockpile, Richards his second time, and Santiago) but it’s still worrisome. Heaney started great, got nailed for four runs, and then went on the DL. Shoemaker could only make it through three innings. Lots of 0-2 counts turning into walks or 3-2 hits. Same as it ever was.
- The bullpen. Salas made his first appearance with runners on base and got lit up. Everyone in the whole fucking world, except for Mike Scioscia, knows that you don’t bring Salas in with runners on. Bedrosian, Morin, and Rasmus looked (let me consult my thesaurus to find another word for “terrible” so I don’t overuse it) dreadful. The bullpen had to pitch too much, but they didn’t do a good job.
- The offense in general. Lots of GIDP, and that was just on Sunday. One freaking home run, by Escobar. One regular hitting above .300. Five regulars hitting below .200. Let me check my thesaurus again: horrendous. That’s the word.
- The defense. Five errors already, three of them by Escobar. Escobar looks (thesaurus check) horrific at 3B so far.
- The management. My one complaint here is that when our starting pitchers were getting hit like piñatas there were rarely any visits from the pitching coach. It’s a bit early in the season to let them suffer on the mound without some encouragement.
The Good – Believe it or not, there was some good in the week. The devil you say! Indeed there was.
- The back end of the bullpen. In two appearances, Street and Smith have appeared in three games each. Combined stats: 1 win, 1 save, 0.00 ERA, 5.2 IP, 4 K, 0 BB. That’s solid. Achter was called up and acted like a good bullpen piece in his only appearance.
- A few of our hitters. Calhoun, Nava, and Pennington are leading the pack with a .333 average each. Escobar, the Butcher of 3B, has been the leadoff hitter this team has needed for years with a .275 average and a .385 OBP. Pujols might have just about as many RBI as he does GIDP. I said “might have just about.”
- The standings. Today is the first time I’m checking them, and…not only are not alone in last place in the AL West, we’re in a three-way tie for last and only 1.5 games out of first! Somehow, fucking Oakland is off to a 4-3 start, which makes me angry.
- It’s still early. Well, it is.
- 2002! I know that Roger Loge is bringing it up, so yeah. 2002 happened and we sucked at the start of the season. In no way do I believe this has any effect on our current season, but every year we have to mention 2002.
- The schedule. Three games at Oakland, a day off, and three games at Minnesota.
- My prediction. Because no matter what this team cannot beat the optimism out of me, we’ll take two of three from fucking Oakland (without Sogard and his stupid glasses, the Athletics stand no chance against us) and two out of three from Minnesota in some decent weather out there. 4-2 this week and the offense will wake up.