Once again the Angel bats hit the snooze button until late in the game and the vaunted outfield defense lets Dan Haren and his mighty beard down as the Halos continue to struggle to beat Boston.
Angels 3 Red Sox 4
So after a four and half hour marathon of local sporting events that saw me break a personal record for most times I changed the channel, I'm left with a bit of an empty feeling. I woke up in the morning with a real sense of hope that my evening would yield some truly special results and sadly I was disappointed on two of the three fronts. The Lakers did win, which I have come to demand to the point that when they don't I stomp around the house like a deranged water buffalo. The Ducks managed to throw away a key game five playoff win at home in the final minute and overtime. Then there were the Angels. Going into my sportsapalooza I knew that this game would be wild card. Beating the Red Sox is a Herculean task for the Angels on a good day and with Lester on the hill it was going to be even harder. On top of that they broke out the throwback 80's uniforms in an apparent attempt to remind us all of the futility of the 1986 playoffs. Good call guys!!
-- I guess we have gotten spoiled by the outfield defense of Hunter, Bourjos, and Wells to the point that when they put forward a collective stinkfest like last night we get outraged. After all, two huge errors (really three since I think Hunter should have caught that ball against the wall) really cost Haren the game. He was cruising until the outfield let him down and he never seem to recover from having throw all those extra pitches. Bourjos' dropped third out that led to two runs was especially shocking but it also showed that it's hard for a young player to command the outfield. Center fielders have to be in charge and I don't think Peter has gotten comfortable telling others what to do yet.
-- Speaking of Dan Haren, he clearly was not his usual sharp self. Although he glided through the first couple of innings you could tell he did not have his best stuff. The Red Sox made him work and the pitch count got out of control. I can forgive him one less than stellar outing since he has been so good this season.
-- Trevor Bell showed me he is going to be a factor in the ever changng cast of bullpen characters which I think spells the end for Jason Bulger. Bell can do everything Bulger can and will be nice insurance if the Angels bring Kazmir back and he needs to be taken out in the first inning.
-- Congrats to Mike Scioscia for rediscovering his running game. Three stolen bases and Bobby Abreu's mad dash on the passed ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia reminded all of us that the Angels are fun to watch when they play the speed game. By the way, every time I get upset about Jeff Mathis behind the plate I will remind myself that at least we don't have the Red Sox catching tandem. Yikes.
Halo A Hole
The three amigos get my co Halo A Hole award for the suprisingly poor performance on Friday. If you go into the season claiming to be one of the best outfield trios in the game then you can't have a game like last night's. I demand perfection from now on!!