I want so much to say the Sunday's comeback win over the Mariners has inspired hope in me for this struggling Angel squad. I really do.
At no point in this season has their offense ever displayed the kind of resiliency as that allowed them to come back from down 8-1 to win the game. I just wish it hadn't come on the heels of the Bullpen of Doom coughing up an otherwise dominant effort from Matt Palmer the night before and getting shut down by an unknown rookie the night before that.
Instead, I find myself more and more convinced that this team is destined to hover around .500 all season long. Alternating between a week where they look like they will turn the corner and one where they will head into an excruciating funk. I had hoped that somehow the team would be rejuvenated by the return of John Lackey and Ervin Santana. When that flopped, I turned my hopes to the return of Vladimir Guerrero. Nope, nothing. Don't think I will be so foolish as hope that Kelvim Escobar is the answer. There doesn't seem to be anything that can wake this club up.
Typically, the big comeback would be such an event to build off of and go on a big run, but we all know better by now. There is no real fight in this team, no real leader. They will go about their business in a passive fashion, echoing Mike Scioscia's "one game at a time mantra" all the way to an 82-win record. Barring a major shake-up, there is nothing to bring this team to life on a regular basis.
Very good, but for entirely different reasons
- Get a load of Juan Rivera! He did his best Torii Hunter impression on Friday, robbing a home run and nearly doing the same thing the next hitter. Plus he is raking now and being rewarded with a bump up into the five-hole.
- The non-important relievers are kicking ass right now. Darren Oliver continues to be lights out while Bulger and Speier seem to have gotten themselves locked in. Too bad they aren't the ones pitching in the late innings.
- Matt Palmer is making it awful hard on Mike Scioscia to decide where Kelvim Escobar will slot in on his return. Seven shutout innings, even against a wimpy Mariner line-up, is very impressive and Escobar profiles as a much better reliever.
- Howie Kendrick might be done. Getting pinch-hit for to leadoff the tenth inning in Sunday's game shows just how little confidence Sosh has in Kendrick right now. The Brandon Wood/Sean Rodriguez watch officially begins... wait for it... now.
- Three games with no walks for Bobby Abreu. WTF? The guys finally gets moved into the two-hole and decides that now is the time to start swinging at everything. That one home run he hit must be going to his head.
- Still want to say that your arm is fine, Ervin? If not, I would sure love to hear your excuse for getting banged around yet again. Or perhaps you could explain why your fastball is currently clocking in at 89 mph instead of 95 mph. Inquiring minds want to know.