Also, I don't typically write because I'm bored, although I do tend to spend more time on the blog during periods of boredom. But today, I'm bored, and I'm writing. Don't expect quality (not that you ever should, really).
At this point, I don't really know what the Angels should do about their bullpen. It's been their most glaring problem, and while I don't think it's their biggest issue*, it's definitely number two, and with the number of games they've blown, fans are calling for wholesale changes.
While it's true that a lot of the bullpen inconsistency is a direct result of rampant injuries to starting pitchers, it's a good idea to take a look at the relief pitchers' tRA vs ERA:
Oliver: 2.18 2.92
Arredondo: 2.82 2.74
Shields: 6.20 6.62
Bulger: 4.18 5.25
Speier: 5.32 5.06
Fuentes: 3.82 4.95
Mixed results here. League-average tRA is around 5 and league-average ERA is around 4.50. It loks like Shields/Oliver are a little unlucky, Bulger is a little more unlucky, and Fuentes is unluckiest.
Bulger's getting killed by his HR percentage, with over 10% of everything hit in the air leaving the park. Fuentes, on the other hand, is dealing with an unholy .386 BABIP, likely unsustainable long-term but still frustrating to observe now. With a similar line drive percentage two seasons ago, he was a BABIP of .248. That was lucky, but his career BABIP is right around .300, so perhaps he's due for some regression to better stats.
Scot Shields is giving up 35.7% fly balls and 35.7% groundballs, both well off his career averages which tend to give him groundballs at a ~50% clip. He's definitely hurt. Arredondo, on the other hand, is trading some outs for line drives, and with his LD% more than 7 points higher than last season, is getting murdered by a .394 BABIP. Ouchies. He's unlucky at the moment.
Overall, it's a mixed bag for the relievers, and their struggles are magnified because the offense sucks. That said, there should be at least small amounts of improvement in the coming weeks.
*Their biggest issue is a lack of team slugging percentage, a problem which would be mitigated by sending Kendrick down, Figgins to second, and Rodriguez/Wood to short or third. This front office can't be as dumb as they act, but...maybe they are.
I'm missing tonight's tip-off because I'll be getting murdalyzed in floor hockey, albeit in my own pads this time. That said, the Lakers are playing above-average basketball at the moment, which probably won't be enough to win game 3. Tonight's game will come down to, as always, perimeter shooting/defense. If apparent headcase Rafer Alston can't overcome his shooting woes, and Jameer Nelson continues to suck, then that just means more time for Courtney "Can't Hit a Layup" Lee and JJ "LOL Duke Sucks" Redick, which happens to be great news for the Lakers.
I'd like to see better defensive strategy from both Bynum and Odom. Bynum's strategy thus far has been "aim for the arms," which isn't particularly effective when there are referees around, while LO has been playing "run away from the guy with the ball," which isn't particularly effective unless he's defending me. Odom gets away with bad defense because he does so many other things quite proficiently...Andrew, not so much.
Sasha Vujacic has, by the grace of god, seen very little playing time. Maybe PJ reads this blog. Also, crow alert: Fisher's been playing well.
- Things no car needs, from personal observation: horn, blinkers, high beams. Everybody uses a horn when they shouldn't, fails to use blinkers when they should, and the only people using high beams are the same assholes using their horn.
- New two-wheeled love interest.
- It's below 50 and raining. Welcome to Boston, please check your pleasant weather at the door.
- PayPal is really good at taking your money, but really bad at returning it.