I've never fully gotten into the Fire Mickey Hatcher movement, but after this game, I would like to volunteer myself to become President of the Fire Hatcher Committee.
Normally, I would say that while Mickey doesn't appear to be a great coach, the Angels' problems at the plate extend far beyond what any hitting coach is responsibe for. Tonight though, COMPLETELY on him.
The Angels faced Tyson Ross a few weeks ago and he carved them up by pounding the strike zone and getting the Angels to swing at a pitcher's pitch early in the count. In that game, Ross cruised through six innings on 91 pitches, 61 of which were strikes. The Halos made him look like an ace. Since then, Ross has been getting pounded by every team he has faced.
But guess what happened tonight? Ross got to face the Angels again and, just like last time, they swung at his pitch early in the count and made him look like an ace. If the Halos had a hitting coach that wasn't totally incompetent, they would have come into this game having made adjustments to their plan of attack against Ross that failed to miserably the last time. Nope, they have Hatcher and his sole plan of attack for any pitcher which is "if it is possibly in the strike zone, swing away." Another fine Hatcher hatcher job.
Oh, I guess we should give Mickey some credit, the Angels did manage to work one walk against Ross this time and made him use 94 pitches, 60 for strikes, to get through six innings. Baby steps, right?
Ugh, we are never going to be rid of Hatcher, are we.
- Dan Haren still isn't right. He was better tonight, but that is sort of a back-handed compliment. His command was still shaky, but more importantly, his velocity was still down. Haren's heater maxed out 90 MPH, continuing the disturbing trend of his season. Danny has never relied on blowing guys away, but he has lost nearly 1.5 MPH off his average fastball velocity this season and that is a big red flag. I continue to hope that his issues are just these back spasms and nothing more serious. That being said, the Angels might want to consider putting Haren on the DL for just the minimum 15 days to give him a chance to get well and rested because pitching through the problem just isn't working.
- This Albert Pujols thing is getting out of hand. I am compelled to make sure that I watch every single one of his at-bats, but for all the wrong reasons. Even if I am doing something else around the house during the game, I make sure to check out his AB if only for the hope that he will do something good and that one little thing will be at least part of him turning his season around.
- Speaking of Pujols, it is time to drop him in the batting order. I'm far from the first person to suggest this, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good idea. Not only is he killing them by being so unproductive in the three-hole, but he is preventing better players from being maximized. Specifically, Mark Trumbo is killing the baseball right now and appears to have evolved his plate discipline by leaps and bounds. He needs to be in the three-hole where his production won't be wasted because he has The Out Machine batting two spots in front of him.
- Eight shutouts this season so far. EIGHT SHUTOUTS! EIGHT FUCKING SHUTOUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think Mickey might be Rasputing reincarnate. NOTHING can seem to kill him.
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