Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Angels, Lakers win, I'm a sieve

Continuing a theme from last night with the title here.

Angels 6, Seattle 5

The improbability preventing Matt Palmer's regression wore off tonight, as Palmer looked hittable (and was). He gave up 5 runs, three via the long ball, and generally struggled with his control, walking three to just two strikeouts.

Luckily for Palmer, he picked up his 5th win anyway, joining Jered Weaver and Bo Belinsky as the only Angels to start their Halo careers 5-0. Palmer got lots of help from "King" Felix Hernandez, who continues to exemplify the million dollar arm-ten cent head pitcher principle. The guy has some of the best offspeed pitches in the game, so he throws lots of fastballs, gives up 11 hits and 6 runs in 5.2, and manages to walk 3 players from a wildly hacking team.

Of course, Hernandez wasn't helped much by his crappy infield defense, with Jose Lopez booting an easy double play ball and allowing a run to score. Yuniesky Betancourt had an error last night as well. The vaunted Seattle defense looks...less vaunted, with Lopez/Betancourt and Skillet Branyan at first. I am unimpressed. Cedeno played today for Betancourt and launched a homer while playing better defense, so we should probably expect to see Yuniesky in the field for tomorrow's game. Hey, it's Seattle.

Anyways, the Angels got 4 innings out of the bullpen, with Jason Bulger allowing an inherited leadoff double to score, but otherwise looking surprisingly dominant along with Scot Shields and Brian Fuentes, with Fuentes striking out the side. The Halos look for a series victory tomorrow with Ervin Santana pitching against Chris Jakubauskas, who sucks and will thus shut out the "potent" Angel lineup. Game's at 7:10 Pacific.

Lakers 105, Denver 103

Before I continue, this needs to be said: I could not give any less of a fuck about Kobe vs. LeBron unless the Lakers actually play the Cavs. The Yahoo Sports comment boards are full of idiots, and I might have to switch to ESPN if they can't get a handle on the rampant idiocy.

I missed most of the first half, courtesy of my hockey commitment, and it's probably a good thing. Los Angeles came out flat in the first quarter, as they seemingly always do, but pulled ahead once Carmelo Anthony cooled down a bit and they remembered that half the game is defense.

The Lakers managed to win the game with timely defense and Kobe Bryant free throws. It ain't sexy, but it's a win, and I'll take it. Pau Gasol missing critical free throws was not funny, cute, or endearing in any crazy Spanish way. Also, you shouldn't be hoisting up 25 threes a game. They're lucky to have made the 11 they did.

Sasha Vujacic is not to be allowed near the three point arc until next season, and maybe not even then.

If the Lakers lose a series to a team with this dumbass, I might have to quit the NBA. Seriously, that guy looks like every 13-year old wanted to in 1997. I wonder if he gets called for a foul if he spears someone with that "hair." Somebody hide that man's Mega Ultra Hold gel.

Jeff's Team 2, Other Team 9 (two periods)

My first time strapping on the pads was enjoyable but forgettable from a performance standpoint. I was way too jacked up before the game, and after the first goal I don't think I spent a second thinking about positioning. By the fifth goal (second period) I was a mental mess, and it showed. I wasn't seeing the ball and definitely wasn't positioning properly, and it didn't help that the other team literally ran the ridiculous backdoor play that always kills Northeastern at least 15 times.

Jeff netted a pair and just missed a third which would've killed the stupid mercy rule. Seriously, if I wanted to play two periods of hockey, I would've signed up for two periods. The team looked substantially better, but our defense is still a speed bump when it needs to be a funnel. I saw at least 5 shots from players in the slot, either on breakaways or free runs across the ice.

On the bright side, there's lots of room for improvement. My best saves were early on, shots that hit me in the chest because I was ready for them. I've also started getting used to wearing full goalie gear, which is nice, particularly since this is something I'd like to do both in college as well as after college. I struggled a bit with movement (I really miss being able to slide on ice), but that should become more natural as I gain some playing time. Anyone with a cheap set of leg pads, let me know.

Also, I now understand something. I used to laugh at Shaq as he walked to the free throw line, literally pouring sweat from his head and face, all that liquid getting into his eyes and soaking his jersey. I didn't get it, I don't really sweat, and besides, he'd been on the court what, five minutes?

Well, I definitely get it now. With a t-shirt, chest protector/shoulder pads, elbow pads, cupped compression shorts, shorts, long socks, leg pads, a catcher, a blocker, a jersey, and a shitty goalie helmet, you get HOT. Fast. Within five minutes I had already begun to feel the sweat leaking down my back. Just awful.

Next game's a while from now.

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