Tagged: Los Angeles Angels

5/11 – Game 3 @ Angels

I will admit that I was as nervous as a nervous person when Thornton came into the game in the ninth inning. He has a few blown saves which lead to him losing the closer job so naturally I’d be on the edge of my seat. We had worked so hard to tie the game and then take it to extras (what a job by Santos but I’ll get to that later). That play that he and Konerko made… oh my goodness. Yunieski Betancourt, Brandon Phillips, and now Paul Konerko – OF ALL PEOPLE – getting in to the Behind-the-Back Flip Club. Turned out to be a fun game and I’m glad I stayed up for it.

Adam Dunn started the scoring (for the Sox) in the top of the third inning with a MAMMOTH blast to right field, his fourth home run of the year. Dunn has gotten extremely hot on this West Coast trip and hopefully that will continue into Oakland and when we come back home. I don’t remember exactly when Omar Vizquel replaced Mark Teabag but I know that Vizquel’s first at bat was in the eighth inning and it was a double that scored Alex Rios. This brought the Sox within two runs with some work to do. A.J. Pierzynski hit a double in the ninth inning that scored Adam Dunn and moved The Bridge to second base. Vizquel hit a sacrifice fly that scored Lillibridge who moved to third base on a wild pitch.

Sergio Santos walked the leadoff hitter then got a popout and a double play in the bottom of the ninth inning. We moved to the top of the tenth tied four to four. Alexei Ramirez singled with one out then moved to third base on an Adam Dunn double. A wild pitch scored Ramirez and then The Bridge sacrificed to bring Dunn home. Matt Thornton worked a one-two-three bottom of the tenth for his first save of 2011.
Jake Peavy was better than most of us hoped he would be. Six innings, four runs, four strikeouts, and no walks is fantastic for a guy who hasn’t faced Major League batters in almost a year. His defense could’ve done a much better job behind him (Teabag and Pierre just to point fingers) but he did all he could on the mound. Unfortunately The Project couldn’t get a win but there will be other chances. My only concern now is waking up and reading that he has unusual pains in his shoulder and needs to be shut down. That’s obviously the worst-case scenario but it could happen. Let’s just hope it doesn’t.
Santos will get three points for earing the win and holding the Angels in a close ballgame. Thornton earns two points for a save. I’ll leave Jeff Gray on here to show that he was part of the bullpen at one point this season.
Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1Sergio Santos – 24 points
1Jesse Crain – 19 points
3Will Ohman – 14 points
4Chris Sale – 13 points
5. Matt Thornton – 10 points
6Tony Pena – 8 points
Jeff Gray (DFA 5/11/11) – 9 points
The Sox will head to Oakland on Friday night to face the Athletics. My Humberometer tells me that we’re due for a start from The Kid Nobody Saw Coming (2-3, 2.97). He’ll go up against Brandon McCarthy (1-3, 3.26). Remember that guy? Who did we trade him for again…? Oh yeah, John Danks. I’ll take it.
Go Sox!!

5/10 – Game 2 @ Angels

Rough game coming off of that three-game win streak, and an especially rough game for John Danks, who just can’t seem to catch a break lately. The guy is 0-6 this year and the offense just can’t give him any run support. It wasn’t all the offense’s fault in this game, though, as Danks wasn’t exactly pitching well, allowing six runs in five innings. 
Paul Konerko hit a solo home run in the top of the second inning, his ninth homer of the year, and Alexei Ramirez scored on an Adam Dunn double in the sixth inning. That was all we could do against Cy Piniero in game two of this three game set. 
I can’t figure out what exactly is going wrong with this team because for the last three nights we were so good and then tonight it fell apart. Maybe the 0.71 ERA of Piniero was intimidating? Ed Farmer seemed to think Piniero was doing something to the baseball because of how frequently Joel would take his hat off and then throw a pitch that would suddenly drop out of the zone. Whether that’s true doesn’t matter as Piniero didn’t get caught and pitched pretty well. 
My friend Ethan, who is a Cardinals fan, and I have an ongoing argument about Kenny Rogers’ performance in the 2006 World Series. Remember that game? He had pine tar on his hand which allowed for a little extra control and got caught by the home plate umpire. Rather than being ejected, which Ethan thought was the right call, The Gambler was told to wash it off. Rogers came back out and pitched eight innings of two-hit, shutout baseball against the Cardinals. One of the best postseason pitching performances I’ve ever seen. (In order: Roy Halladay in Game One of the 2010 NLDS, Cliff Lee in Game One of the 2009 World Series, Kenny Rogers in Game Two of the 2006 World Series, and Orlando Hernandez in Game Three of the 2005 ALDS.) Ethan says if Rogers had been ejected that never would’ve happened whereas my argument is that the pine tar clearly didn’t matter as Rogers owned the Cards anyway. 
That really has nothing to do with my opinion on whether Piniero was doctoring the baseball, it just made me think of it and I felt like sharing it with you. 
I make a point to share funny conversations between Ed and Darrin, whenever they have a funny conversation, so here’s one from tonight:
Ed: This infield isn’t as fast as ice but it’s pretty close.
DJ: As cold as ice, did you say?
Ed: Fast.
DJ: Willing to sacrifice?
Ed: …yeah.
My dad and I actually laughed out loud in the car on the way home from magic club. You can’t beat a good (yet slightly obvious in this situation) Foreigner reference. 
Jeff Gray managed to pitch himself out of three jams, one per inning of work, and collected three strikeouts in doing so as he struck out the side in the sixth inning with two runners on base. Two points for Jeff. (As Keleigh pointed out, Jeff probably reads my blog and wanted to earn more points. I’ll comply.) These points let him leapfrog over Pena and Thornton for fifth place. Jesse Crain is creeping up on Sergio Santos for first place, though. Should be a good race. 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1Sergio Santos – 21 points
1Jesse Crain – 19 points
3Will Ohman – 14 points
4Chris Sale – 13 points
5Jeff Gray – 9 points
7Tony Pena – 8 points
7. Matt Thornton – 8 points

Tomorrow will be a big day because Jake “The Project” Peavy (0-0, -.–) will make his 2011 season debut against Tyler Chatwood (2-1, 4.08). Good luck, Peaves!
Go Sox!!

5/9 – Game 1 @ Angels

Back to back shutouts and three consecutive note-worthy performances out of our starting pitching. This is by far the best we’ve played all season and it’s looking like this is what we’re gonna get for the rest of the year. If that’s the case we’ll finally be watching the team we were waiting for. The offense, defense, starting pitching, and bullpen have all been great for the past week.

Edwin Jackson, after pitching extremely well in his last start but getting screwed over by a fluke no-hitter from a pitcher who’s ERA coming into the game was over 9, earns a win. He went seven innings, allowing four hits while walking one and striking out five. Jackson and Floyd are very similar in that you aren’t sure what you’re going to get out of them when they take the hill but when they’re on they are near unhitable. Thankfully for the Sox both Floyd and Jackson have decided to take their unhitable forms and dominate the faces off of everyone. 
The offense! THE OFFENSE! FINALLY! We are a force to be reckoned with! (I once read that a clear sign of a writer who hasn’t found his voice is the overuse of exclamation marks. Even though I know I have my own voice, I’m gonna take a break from the !’s until my sign-off.) 
Gordon Beckham started off the scoring with a two-run home run in the second inning. Adam Dunn, after singling and moving to second base on a Paul Konerko single, scored on a Carlos Quentin double. Quentin then drove in Alexei on another double to make the score four to nothing in favor of the Sox. Quentin and Ramirez broke out the big sticks in the seventh inning as Alexei hit a lead-off homer and Quentin, three batters later, blasted a three-run shot over the wall in dead center field. 
Chris Sale and Will Ohman pitched the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, and will get two points each for their outings. 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1Sergio Santos – 21 points
1Jesse Crain – 19 points
3Will Ohman – 14 points
4Chris Sale – 13 points
5Tony Pena – 8 points
5. Matt Thornton – 8 points
7Jeff Gray – 7 points

THREE wins in a row for the first time this year, I believe. Feels great to be on a run like this even if it is just three games (imagine how the Indians fans feel). Game two of this series will be tomorrow night at 9:10 central time – John Danks (0-5 [*sigh* yes… 0-5…], 3.83) will go against Joel Piniero (1-0, 0.71 [*sigh* yes… 0.71…]). 
Don’t stop now, boys!

4/17 – Game 3 vs. Angels

Fellow Sox blogger Catherine over at chisoxblog.mlblogs.com/ put it perfectly when she titled her post “Ick.” That sums up my thoughts as well, Catherine. That sums up my thoughts as well. 

I didn’t catch any of this game which means I’ve missed fourteen innings of Sox baseball this season. I was at my church, dressed up as one of the aliens from Toy Story, putting on a show for an awards ceremony. And it was pretty much awesome.

However, so as not to completely disappoint you, I was playing Strat-o-Matic baseball when I wasn’t on stage. I downloaded a baseball schedule generator and I’m replaying the 2003 season but with only sixteen teams (eight in each league). I’m playing the Cubs-Cardinals series first and Mark Prior completely dominated the Cards in game one of the 2003 season. Twelve strikeouts, three walks, five hits, and one earned run through eight innings. Kyle Farnsworth almost blew the save in the bottom of the ninth inning when he gave a up a lead-off home run to Eli Marrero. The Cubs ended up winning the game 3-2. Kerry Wood and Dan Haren will pitch in the second game of the series.

I do believe that’s the first time I’ve ever mentioned Strat-o-Matic baseball in one of my posts. It was my “big” present for Christmas and I haven’t really played it since February, when the excitement of finally owning the game wore off. I’m a huge fan of MVP Baseball 2004 and 2005 for Gamecube (I’ve played four seasons of a Marlins dynasty in MVP 2004. Don’t ask why I picked the Marlins cuz I don’t know either) but I don’t want to be starting at a screen all the time. I needed something portable, too. So I got Strat-o-Matic for Christmas and I’m just rediscovering it recently and I have no idea why I ever stopped playing it.

I should post more about Strat in the future. (And if you’ve never heard of it, http://www.strat-o-matic.com/products/baseball. It’s amazing.) 

Oh! The Sox lost 4-2 to Dan Haren. The Angels bullpen collected three holds and a save, so hats off to them. Jesse Crain struck out four batters out of the Sox ‘pen – two points for him.

The Sox are headed to Tampa to play another four-game series against the Rays. Edwin Jackson (2-0, 2.89) will pitch against David Price (1-2, 3.92). 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 8 points
2. Jesse Crain – 7 points
3. Will Ohman – 5 points
3. Chris Sale – 5 points
3. Tony Pena – 5 points
4. Jeff Gray – 2 points

Even though we can’t get our act together lately, I still love this team.
Go Sox!!
(What’s going on with the typeface? Notice how it just changes after the Strat-o-Matic link? Strange.)

4/16 – Game 2 vs. Angels

Alright, who let this Chatwood kid onto the Angels roster? Seriously. He’s like ten. And he throws funny.

He’s a pretty darn-good pitcher, though. He made professional baseball players look like most of the kids I’ve played baseball with. 
I don’t have much to say about this game. Glad to see Quentin finally hit another home run, and Konerko is still on fire. When Floyd gave up those runs in the third inning I didn’t have quite the same “Well, this game is now immediately over, we have no chance whatsoever of coming back against this guy” feeling as I did last night when Weaver was pitching. But when I saw how Chatwood could control his pitches (and the placement and the movement) I knew it was pretty much a done deal. 
I don’t usually get into the Cubs-Sox rivalry but it’s really bugging me that Alfonso Soriano is hitting more home runs than Adam Dunn. Just had to get that off my chest. 
Will Ohman loses a point for being Will Ohman but Tony Pena will get two points for a pretty good outing. 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 8 points
2. Will Ohman – 5 points
2. Jesse Crain – 5 points
2. Chris Sale – 5 points
2. Tony Pena – 5 points
3. Jeff Gray – 2 points

Next game is tomorrow at 1:10. Dan “I’m good again” Haren (3-0, 0.73 [Yeah. 0.73. I’ll put it here twice so you know it isn’t a typo. Zero. Point seven. Three. Okay? Okay.]) vs. Mark “No snarky nickname” Buehrle (1-0, 4.26). 
Go Sox, I guess.

4/15 – Game 1 vs. Angels

You know what? I’m alright with this loss. There are some that really frustrate me, there are some that make sense, and there are some that I’m just at peace with. This is one of those.

Gordon Beckham drove in a run in the bottom of the third inning and Adam Dunn clubbed a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning (after a half-hour rain delay), and that was as close as we got. The Angels got all of their scoring done in the top of the fourth inning and with Jered Weaver on the mound I knew that was the end of the game. No chance we get close against Weaver – even though Dunn’s homer came off of Jered, I knew it was just because of the delay.
Good job out of the bullpen for Ohman and Santos, two points for both of you. Jeff Gray makes his debut appearance on my Bullpen Points Leaderboard, he’ll also receive two points.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 8 points
2. Will Ohman – 6 points
3. Jesse Crain – 5 points
3. Chris Sale – 5 points
4. Tony Pena – 3 points
5. Jeff Gray – 2 points

Santos is starting to pull away a little bit. I’m glad we have him to count on out of the bullpen. Thornton has been a huge disappointment and even Chris Sale has let us down a couple of times. Santos is looking really good as of late and hopefully his performance will continue. 
Sox and Angels will go again tomorrow at 3:05, Gavin Floyd (1-0, 2.40) vs. Tyler Chatwood (0-1, 7.20). 
Let’s get a nice streak going and make a run at the Indians and Royals in first place!
…wait, what?
Go Sox!!