And now it becomes imperative for Beltre to snap out of it not so he can help us climb back into contention, but so we can trade him for goodies.
- If Felix's fastball was looking good through eight starts, it was really off tonight. Though 77 of his 107 pitches (72%) were heaters, only two of them missed bats and only 42 of them were strikes. Even more annoying is that, contrary to Dave Allen's suggestion, Felix threw 71% fastballs to righties and 72% to lefties. Of his 47 fastballs to lefties, only 21 - 21! - were strikes. Meanwhile, 14 of his 18 offspeed pitches to lefties were strikes. Those offspeed pitches also missed six lefty bats. When you're giving opposite-handed hitters way too much of your worst pitch and you have no idea where it's going, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise when those hitters end up going 8-15 with three walks. Though everyone will remember Jose Lopez's crippling error, Felix was done in by his reluctance to go offspeed when the heat wasn't working. Surprise!
- Through Kendy Morales' first two trips to the plate, Felix got five swinging strikes on seven offspeed pitches. In Morales' third PA, with two runners in scoring position, Felix issued a walk on four straight fastballs.
- The Angels currently have six switch-hitters on the active roster, with all but Reggie Willits getting significant playing time. Though all of the good one-sided hitters but Bobby Abreu are righties, Mike Scioscia still has an assload of versatility on his hands. The Mariners, as currently constructed, are hilariously vulnerable to sinker/slider righties. The Angels aren't susceptible to anything like that, because in any given game they can stack their lineup with guys hitting from the other side. I feel like this should get more mention than it does, because it's really valuable, especially in games like this.
- Despite a significant increase in his flyball frequency, Jose Lopez has seen his power fall off to such a degree that, even after adjusting for his low BABIP, his offensive numbers still suck. With his range visibly worse than it used to be - he watched a few more grounders roll by tonight that a better second baseman picks up - he needs to sustain most of his 2008 gains to be a decent overall player, and we're still waiting on signs of life. While Adrian Beltre is currently catching a decade's worth of flak (and for good reason), Lopez has arguably been the less valuable player to date.
- Honestly, Beltre just looks lost, and the only thing keeping me from declaring that something must be seriously wrong is the fact that Beltre has a history of looking lost a lot of the time even when things are going well. Consecutive three-pitch swinging strikeouts against Matt Palmer and Jason Bulger are an excellent way to set your confidence back a couple years.
- Ronny Cedeno and Ken Griffey Jr. hit remarkably similar homers to opposite ends of the park. I didn't think I'd ever say that.
- I can't be the only one to notice that, in recent games, Dave Niehaus has sounded angry and Dave Sims has been unusually subdued.
- Mark Lowe is throwing an awful lot of 98mph fastballs.
Jakubauskas against Santana tomorrow. I'm going to be really sad when we stop playing Boston and LAnaheim because that's when the apathy will really set in.