I think we all expected the Angels pitching staff to be the brunt of our jokes this year. This was a starting rotation only mothers and sabermetric GM's could love. I must have stared at the rotation for about three days trying to convince myself this would work out. Jason Vargas can be decent at times. Tommy Hansen has the stuff if he can stay healthy. Weaver and Wilson are certainly paid to be top flight pitchers. The one weak link in all this was Joe Blanton. There is never going to be a single person who will ever convince me he should be a major league starting pitcher. Tonight's performance did nothing to dissuade that thought. Good thing we didn't sign him to a multi year contract. (wait, they did what? How much you say? I will now drink a gallon of lighter fluid.
-- Let's focus on some positives, shall we? Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick are both hitting the cover off the ball right now. Pujols went 4-4 and Kendrick had three more hits. Each are already light years ahead of last year's start and hopefully this will continue.
-- Okay, so that was the positive. Sorry, there isn't more. Back to the negatives. The rest of the Angel offense is just dreadful. The hitters inability to drive runners in when they are in scoring position is baffling until you realize this group swings at anything within the same area code as the plate. For a team that was supposed to be more about plate discipline, they sure strike out a lot.
-- It's probably not fair to bring a rookie into his first home game with the bases loaded facing a legit home run hitter, but if Dan De La Rosa is going to be anything useful out of the pen, might as well see it early and under pressure. Too bad he folded like a poorly stacked house of cards.
SPECIAL NOTE (before I get to the Halo A Hole)
-- I actually went to this game with my wife in what has become our yearly anniversary tradition. My wife and I met in 2002 so obviously the Angels have been a big part of our relationship. Even in games like tonight, going to the ballpark with the woman you love is still the best way to see a game. Happy Anniversary to my lovely, patient and understanding wife. She truly is the best!
Halo A Hole
I know Joe is trying his hardest. I am also sure that he will soon be the highest paid mop up reliever in baseball with a very comfortable seat in the Angels bullpen next to Jerome Williams. This can't come soon enough.