So in conclusion, no, the Tacoma Rainiers can't seem to pitch well against Los Angeles either.
It seems fitting that a game like this should transpire just days after my whole "beanball arguments" post. Since I made a vow not to get too involved in these things, I'll just say this - pitchers retaliating by throwing at heads is probably the most disgusting thing you'll ever see in this sport. Granted, getting drilled in the temple by a Jorge Campillo fastball would be more of a mild nuisance than anything else, like having a puppy wake you up by licking your face, and yeah, he probably didn't so much mean to hit them as he meant to give them a scare and send a message, but that kind of behavior reflects poorly on the entire team, and there's no place for it in the game. If you have to throw at a guy, throw at his back. He'll get the point without also getting a concussion.
(For the record, no, I don't think the first brushback to Vlad was intentional - it was just an inside fastball at the letters. Had it been done on purpose, then Campillo wouldn't have responded the way he did later on. I do not, however, blame Vlad for getting upset. Warnings had just been given out to both dugouts, and in the heat of the moment any inside pitch can seem like a threat. Moral of the story: if your gameplan is to pitch Vlad inside, don't follow it up with a meatball at the knees.)
Biggest Contribution: Jose Guillen, +13.9%
Biggest Suckfest: Ryan Feierabend, -38.2%
Most Important AB: Guillen double, +17.8%
Most Important Pitch: Anderson double, -20.5%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -48.8%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -7.2%
Total Contribution by Opposition: +6.0%
A lot of announcing teams out there get on my nerves. Chicago, Texas, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Cleveland, ESPN - for reasons spanning from blatant homerism to a complete and utter lack of attention being paid to the game on the field, I can't really stand any of these broadcasts. In my book, though, none of them can hold a candle to Physioc and Hudler's special brand of verbal pestilence. With them, it isn't about being cheerleaders, ignoring the game, or telling pointless anecdotes. No, it's about the way they seemingly take every opportunity to spread a staggering amount of misinformation. I make fun of the Angels all the time for having the least intellectual fan base on the planet, but if these are the guys from whom they're learning, is it really their fault?
Rex Hudler complimenting Raul Ibanez for playing through injuries like a professional. Steve Physioc lauding Jeff Mathis for keeping the team afloat after Napoli went down. Both of them heaping praise on Garret Anderson for being so clutch after a weak groundball double and a pop-up single in front of a deep outfield. Physioc saying that if Jered Weaver keeps hitting the same low spot with his fastball, it should be called a strike. Physioc denying that the Angels play in a pitcher's park. Hudler claiming that Lackey jumping into the mess on the field would "definitely" make the Mariner hitters afraid of him on Sunday. Both of them talking about how Maicer Izturis is a dangerous hitter, because he was fifth in the lineup, and the fifth hitter in a lineup is usually dangerous. Physioc claiming that Campillo's curveball is his best pitch. And so on and so forth. These are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. The entire broadcast was a constant, steady stream of statements that were just factually incorrect, and it's like this every single time.
Everybody jokes about how when a bad announcer starts talking they "put the game on mute," but Physioc/Hudler really and truly make me consider watching without sound. It's the only escape. I'm generally able to look past my hatred and admire a lot of things about the Angels organization, but their announcers are a huge problem, and the more they talk, the more blown opportunities there are for the next young fan to grow up with something resembling legitimate knowledge.
Potential clinching game tomorrow. Also a potential rainout tomorrow. I've got tickets, but considering how things went down tonight, I'm not sure if I actually want them to be able to play.