Sunday, August 2, 2009

Blogging from Connecticut

Connecticut ranks pretty high on my list of awful states, mostly because it's perennially between where you were and where you're going. Although the lack of tolls on the highways is a nice touch, it's really no consolation for the complete lack of off-highway amenities and the general idiocy that plagues the roads. Stupid license plates, too. I imagine the state itself is quite nice, but there is never anything here for me.

Naturally, I'm blogging from Connecticut. Apparently Greyhound has decided to replace their 70's-era buses with modern ones featuring power outlets and free WiFi, although the speed and latency of the connection are likely less than optimal for online Crysis. And whoever designs these seats clearly has no concept of what an armrest actually does. Hint: It shouldn't exist only to stab customers in the ribs.

Angels 13, Minnesota 4

Apologies to Matt Janning, but the Angels absolutely demolished the Twins this series. Payback, it seems, for an early season sweep in the Metrodome, but scoring 35 runs in three games seems a little uncouth, for those of us interested in baseball etiquette.

One Twins blogger thinks the Angels are this year's champions, but I'm unconvinced this offense can keep putting up crooked numbers with such frequency. The pitching is still suspect, but an offense like this hides blemishes. It also happens to be how the Angels won in 2002...remember, their top-line pitchers were Kevin Appier and Jarrod Washburn. Formidable, indeed.

Jered Weaver was solid today, and I'd say he was spectacular if not for those long fly balls over the fence. His godlike HR/FB% at the beginning of the season has made quite the regression to the mean, and he didn't help matters by giving up another two amidst his 6.1 inning, 11 (!) strikeout, 4R performance.

By the way, I'm starting to realize that we're witnessing one of the weirdest seasons in recent memory. A team which is unlikely to contend beyond this season (for a year or two, at least) is scoring runs and winning at a historic pace despite missing several parts for some or all of a season:
  • a hitter who has largely carried the offense since 2004 in Vlad Guerrero
  • a center fielder who has been on pace for a career year in Torii Hunter
  • an All Star starting pitcher who had one of the highest average fastball velocities in the majors last season in Ervin Santana
  • the de facto staff ace in John Lackey
  • a record-setting closer now pitching in New York in Frankie Rodriguez
And that's ignoring the death of a top prospect pitcher in Nick Adenhart, the best 8th-inning pitcher in baseball in Scot Shields, and last season's best reliever in Jose Arredondo. Oh yeah, Kelvim Escobar has made his last professional pitch, maybe ever, but definitely for the Angels.

If this team can make the playoffs, I'm feeling a lot better about their chances than I have for the last couple years. Something is working.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

First, Connecticut sucks, its a horrible state, the beaches are decent but even they are mediocre. Connecticut doesnt even have an accent. There is no personality in that state. The only thing I enjoy about the state is when driving home, when I cross the CT River I officially enter NY Yankees territory.

Here are the few positives I have noticed about your Angels that should bode well:
-Chone Figgins is hitting awesome, that dude has a ~.400 OBP, he still gets caught stealing too much but he is having the second best year of his career.
-Consistency, out of your starting 9, only 2 people have an OPS+ under 100, everyone is above average. I guarantee by the end of the season Howie will get it up there too, which will give you 8 people, when you can churn out a team full of above average hitters you can hurt pitchers
-Kendry Morales

Now as for the playoffs, any team that can throw John "slingblade" Lackey and Lil Weaver twice each has a good shot. If Kendrick works it out and Vlad can get some of his hitting back this team boasts 2 very good pitchers, 9 above average hitters, and 3 really good relievers. That is a great recipe for playoff success.

Plus the Angels always beat the Yankees, I dont get it, even when the Yankees are an infinitely superior team the Angels beat them. I blame Sciosia, in my opinion top 3 managers in baseball