Cardinals 9, Angels 5 Game 2 - Angels 10, Cardinals 7 Game 3 - Cardinals 6, Angels 5 Los Angeles Angels of AWESOMENESSAn Angel series loss to the Cardinals in which the Halos just gave it away. Game 1 -
- It is official, the Baseball Gods want Brandon Wood in the line-up. The Angels were hoping to sit him most of this series, but fielding issues with Kevin Fransden forced Sosh to start Wood on Friday. But then Fransden looked to be making some headway with his three hits on Saturday only to get hurt in a collision on Sunday, forcing Wood into the game once again. Never before have the Baseball Gods been so committed to getting a .156 hitter more playing time. Maicer Izturis better take his time coming off the DL otherwise he might be smote by the Baseball Gods.
- It is about damn time Mike Napoli finally got hot and he made up for his overdue hot streak by getting molten lava hot this series, clubbing homers in each game, accounting for three of his six hits in the series.
- The silver lining to this series loss is that Scott Kazmir took another big step forward toward rejuvenating his season. His velocity doesn't look like it is ever going to come back, but he was once again able to use his slider more and it helped him put together another nice start, going seven innings while allowing just three hits.
- Speaking of disheartening, Fernando Rodney finally hit rock bottom. He has been scuffling for the better part of two weeks now, but it wasn't until tonight that he lost total command of the strike zone and was made to pay for it, blowing his first save as an Angel (which I am actually surprised didn't come a lot sooner). Getting a win over Chris Carpenter would have been nice, but Frodney had to go and blow it and give away a win.
- To be fair, Fernando did get an assist Sunday from Mike Scioscia's quickly eroding bullpen management skills. First, his first misstep was using Jason Bulger for just 2/3 of an inning in which he threw a total of seven pitches and not extending him out for another inning of work. That thus forced Sosh's hand into using the craptastic Scot Shields for two innings, only Shields couldn't get through the second inning (shocker!) before having to be bailed out. This is where matters get even worse. Sciosca had three options here: Bobby Cassevah (a groundball machine who could have gotten a double play but also got roughed up the previous day and could be demoted soon), Trevor Bell (a starter who isn't used to coming into games with runners on base, much less the bases loaded) or Brian Fuentes (the team's closer and easily the most talented reliever left). Naturally, Sosh chose Bell who promptly came in and allowed the game-winning single and the Angels lost without ever using their best reliever, Fuentes (term best used very loosely). Again, just giving the game away.
- Fielding was a big issue for the Halos in this one as the committed four errors plus allowed a passed ball over the three games. Shoddy glovework continues to be one of the unsung major weaknesses of this Angel club, probably because there isn't a whole lot they can do about it given the state of their roster other than just hoping certain guys (Aybar, in particular) pick it up defensively.
- The shake up in the batting order that moves Howie Kendrick into the two-hole has worked wonders for the Angel offense as they are scoring just a hair under six runs per game since. Even Erick Aybar is starting to show signs of coming around. However, It has been pretty brutal on Howie Kendrick who has seen his batting average drop from .288 to .260 in just ten games.