5 RBIs for Cabrera? Yeah, real glad we didn't trade for him two years ago.
So this is what losing is like. I almost forgot what it feels like to have the Angels go through a slump and I have to be honest, it kind of blows.
After their late comeback attempt came up short last night, the Angels have now gone from the hottest team in baseball to losers of four of their last five games. The end of August is hardly the best time to slump, especially with their divisional lead starting to slowly shrink, but there is no need to panic... yet.
Yes, the Angels have hit a bit of a skid, but that happens to every team. Anyone who realistically expected to keep playing at a .600+ winning percentage the rest of the season is living in Imagination Land. It isn't like anything terribly disastrous is going on here. The team is fairly healthy, the bullpen isn't all that much worse than normal and the starting pitching is just as inconsistent as it has been all year long.
Last night's loss was just a bad night. Jered Weaver pitched OK, but really got burned by one bad pitch to Miguel Cabrera. Weaver certainly wasn't close to the form he displayed in his previous start, a shutout, but it wasn't as if he got beaten up all night long. The offense got off to a slow start, but ended up chasing a Cy Young contender, Justin Verlander, before the end of the sixth inning and hanging a crooked number in the runs column that would normally be enough to win a game. But for a Jose Arredondo meltdown, it probably would have been. But even Dondo's latest implosion isn't a major concern since he isn't being counted on to provide meaningful innings (for obvious reasons). Brian Fuentes, Kevin Jepsen, Darren Oliver and Jason Bulger are still doing a quality job of locking down the high pressure innings. The Angels starters just need to do a better job of getting the ball to them without having to use middle relief bridges like Dondo.
Everyone just needs to take a deep breath and ride this out. It won't be fun, but the Angels are better than this and that will come back to the surface before you know it.
- Bobby Abreu going yard last night is great news. He has had a rough month, comparatively (.259 BA, .752 OPS in August), but that flash of power could be what gets him going again.
- Apparently it is now legal to just stick your elbow in front of pitches, so now the Angels have a new trick to try on offense. Little did I know, umpires have no problem with a batter sticking his heavily padded elbow directly over the plate so they can get hit by the pitch, but then Ramon Santiago went and did it. You learn something new everyday.
- What the frack was Mike Scioscia thinking in the second inning when he had Kendry Morales try to steal third with Mike Napoli up with two strikes? A real run-scoring opportunity got flushed down the toilet because the Angels had their slowest runner try to steal third with their biggest swing-and-miss player at the plate. There is a fine line between aggression and stupidity and that moment wasn't even close to the line.
- As if the Angels didn't have a hard enough time filling out the bullpen, now Rafael Rodriguez might be headed for the DL after getting hit on his pitching hand by a comebacker last night. R-Rod is no big loss, but it will leave the taxed Angels' relief corps a man down for the next day or two.
We all know the Angels are kings of the comeback, but even they have their limits. 10-0 is an awfully big deficit to make up and the Halos bats nearly pulled it off. Of course, their task would have been far easier had Jose Arredondo not turned a bad inning into a straight up grease fire, allowing both inherited runners to score and then allowing four more runs of his own. A six-run hole is at least manageable for the offense, but ten runs is just too much. At least try and give the bats a chance.