Just another heart-breaking Halo loss. Whatever, it is what it is. A crappy team lost in a crappy way. But does it really matter? That ended being the question of the night, literally.
Does anyone out there think it's better for the #Angels if Richards is good, even in a loss, than if he pitched poorly in a win?— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) August 13, 2013
That question was worded in a way to suggest that the answer is no, but to me the answer is an emphatic yes. This season is a waste. The wins and losses matter not. What matters is making plans for next season and they got a big hint as to what should be part of those plans in this game. That would be Garrett Richards the starting pitcher.
In four starts, Richards has been great and is only getting better. Sure, the Yankees have a weak lineup, but going eight strong innings on the road is nothing to sneeze at. Garrett wasn't just effective, he was efficient as well, using just 101 pitches to get through eight innings. He walked one batter and made really just one bad pitch, that being the solo homer to Curtis Granderson that unfortunately proved to be the insurance run the Yankees needed.
No matter, Richards gave the Angels the most convincing evidence yet that it is time to stop jerking with his role and roster status and finally place their trust in him in the form of a guaranteed rotation spot next year. With the kind of overhaul their rotation needs, that is a big, big help and they won't even remember in a few weeks whether he won or lost what is the best start of his career so far.
-- I am torn on what to say about Mike Scioscia's lineups. There is no rhyme or reason to them anymore. He can't seem to decide on having Trout bat second or third and the four through six spots are so fluid I'm surprised he hasn't changing the batting order mid-game. Seeing Aybar batting fifth when the lineups came out literally made me laugh out loud. As comical as it all is, I just don't know if we should rip Scioscia because, well, what the hell is he supposed to do? Look what he has to work with? Trumbo and Hamilton are both in the toilet right now and all the other guys are total slappies. Still, you'd think he could do a little better than this or at least just pick one stupid lineup and stick to it.
-- Apparently we are supposed to excuse the terrible at-bat Trumbo had in the ninth inning because the umpire had a wide strike zone. I must dissent. While that did complicate matters, Trumbo completely failed to adjust. Anybody could tell Robertson was going to go back to that spot. Trumbo failed to fully grasp that and did not seem to be looking away at all which is why he ended up making feeble emergency swings instead of legitimately trying to just make good contact and poke the ball the other way.
Halo A-Hole of the Game
Oh the irony of using Nelson's Yankee headshot here. With his brutal game-ending strikeout and the two other at-bats he had where he left runners in scoring position he might as well have still been playing for the Yankees. In a related story, Luis Jimenez returned from the DL for Salt Lake over the weekend. It should only be a matter of days now.
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