Since the July 1 resignation of Jerry Dipoto, the Angels have gone into full rampage mode – presumably with someone else preparing analytics for the team differently. We’re going to discount the July 1 game itself, a loss to the Yankees, and probably running on the old juice. Since then, the offense has put together a blistering assault on pitching.
Three games in Texas and one game at Coors have produced 43 runs, 58 hits, 8 HR, 12 doubles, plus 17 BBs. They hung 10 runs on 2 starting pitchers in consecutive games, a rare feat in baseball history. It looked more like extended BP last night. I expected big things from Pujols and Trout – before the Trout AB in the second, I muttered “this is going to land in Boulder.” When Matt Joyce and Chris Iannetta (a notorious pull power hitter during his tenure at Coors) both went CF, it was frosting on a very bad Rockies pitching cake.
And that’s on one of our better guys in Bettis. This tweet really got my attention last night:
I’ve got to think that the #Rockies position players are sick to death of starting out behind the 8-ball almost every game.
— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) July 8, 2015
And that went right back to a Tulo quote in a Nick Groke article last Sunday. I’m still not sure if Tulo had his fingers crossed when saying this or not:
“If somebody asks me about young pitchers and if they’re ready or not, I would rush everybody to the big leagues — because velocity plays, stuff plays,” Tulowitzki said. “Sometimes a guy gets to the big leagues and that urgency and that work ethic, they know they have to bring it on a nightly basis, and it makes them better.”
Velocity plays? Stuff plays? So far, it hasn’t. He basically said not to let Jon Gray “waste bullets in the minor leagues,” implying he should be called up. On the one hand, it can’t be any worse than 3.5/5 of our rotation. DLR, despite his soft reputation, has been pretty damn good. Bettis has been bipolar, sometimes very good and sometimes very bad. Rusin has had some mistakes and some bad luck behind him he couldn’t get under control. Kendrick and Hale have been rocket launchers.
On the other hand, there’s more to it. Weiss said the problem with Bettis last night was dead red, dead straight, and those land in dead center field. We’ve seen the same from Kahnle and Oberg in the pen – no early strikes, then pipelined fastballs, then hit really hard.
Mark Mulder was calling the Cards/Cubs game last night and put it this way:
“Some [pitchers] look like they are afraid of contact.”
The Rox appear to be resorting to a non-breaking ball mix, fastballs and changeups, both to save wear and tear on arms and to generate some kind of bad contact that produces outs.
But back to the Angels for a second. What happened? Did Don Baylor or Dave Hansen or Rico Brogna tell the guys forget the numbers, just go hit? Or is the Rangers and Rockies pitching just that bad? I can’t believe the advance scouting instantly got that much better. Numbers never lie, but when you overthink the game sometimes things just get a lot harder.
Speaking of getting harder, I was really sad to see Justin Morneau go on the 60-day DL. Weiss and the broadcast team were trying to paint a happy face saying “he’s improving”, but he’s clearly not. I’m even sadder they used that 40-man spot on a Cubs bullpen discard with a 2.17 WHIP.
Some good news – the Tulo hitting streak is now at 19, and the consecutive on-base streak is 34. It’s something. And, the Jon Gray clock is ticking:
— Darren Copeland (@Darren_Copeland) July 8, 2015
With Rusin on the hill tonight, expect more of the same from the Angels – my over/under is 11.
Orange County Angels
2B Johnny Giavotella (R)
RF Kole Calhoun (L)
CF Mike Trout (R)
1B Albert Pujols (R)
SS Erick Aybar (S)
3B David Freese (R)
C Chris Iannetta (R)
LF Dan Robertson (R)
P Matt Shoemaker (R)
CF Charlie Blackmon (L)
2B DJ LeMahieu (R)
SS Troy Tulowitzki (R)
RF Carlos Gonzalez (L)
3B Nolan Arenado (R)
1B Ben Paulsen (L)
C Nick Hundley (R)
LF Brandon Barnes (R)
P Chris Rusin (L)