I hate the Angels. Like, a lot.
Other people pick different teams to rag on constantly - the Yankees, or the Dodgers, or the Marlins - but not me. Nope. Angels all the way. They're the only division rival that really feels like a rival, y'know? The Athletics are too smart for me to root for their downfall, and the Astros are basically just a punchline. The Rangers were almost hateable back when they had Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson, I guess, but... well...
Look, I know that hate in the context of baseball is kinda irrational. And I know that most of my excuse for watching and writing about baseball is "to practice rational thought". But hating the Angels feels good. It's fun. Also, fuck them.
So, in the context of enjoying this game, I choose to believe that the Mariners set this game up humiliate the hated Angels. I know that in real life Robinson Cano is in the Dominican Republic dealing with family issues, but I choose to believe that the Mariners put Willie Bloomquist in the lineup just to prove that they don't need their $240M man to beat Mike Trout and the Legion of Overpaid Douchecanoes. I know that Roenis Elias is actually a fairly interesting pitching prospect, but I choose to believe that the Mariners started him today just to say "you're not even worth facing one of our starting five." And then won the game. In glorious fashion.
Hey, look, a guy can dream...
- Elias actually did pretty well for himself out there. Five innings, two hits, only one run... OK, so the peripherals weren't anything snappy (as many strikeouts as walks), but the super-peripherals were more encouraging. Dude was throwing 95 from the left side in spring training, and by the way, drool over this curveball for a minute. Scouts on Twitter seemed enthused. He's not on any of the top prospect lists, which strikes me as a little strange considering he throws 95 as a lefty and ran a sub-3.5 ERA in AA last year. Keep an eye on him.
- Don't keep too close of an eye on him. The last time people got all excited about a AA pitching prospect in Spring Training, Brandon Maurer imploded. I mean, I guess the other options are Randy Wolf and Blake Beavan, but do the Mariners really want to risk doing that to another pitching prospect?
- Today the Angels' broadcast talked about a lot of funny things. They talked about how Kyle Seager started slow last year and then got hot in the second half (134 wRC+ in the first half, 82 in the second) and Michael Saunders had a great WBC but couldn't carry it into the season (they didn't mention his injury). On the other side of the coin, Aaron Goldsmith said the words "small sample size". See, even the Mariners' broadcast crew is better!
- Tyler Smith hit his first home run of the spring today. Do you know what Tyler Smith looks like?
- Not actually.
- (Pictures from ESPN and MLB).
- Mike Trout went 0-for-3 today, dropping his Spring Training batting average to .394. Usually I try to punch people who cite Spring Training statistics, but he's Mike Trout, and the regular season's basically just spring training to him anyways, so...
- In the bottom of the ninth, with the Angels on the ropes and the Mariners' low-level prospects in the game, Yoervis Medina walked a runner. He got two more outs, and almost had a third, only second baseman Ketel Marte booted a play. It looked like the Angels' big break - until Brennan Boesch lined out right to Endy Chavez. The Mariners' victory was complete. Suck it, Angels.