April 11, 2010

The week in review April 5-11, 2010

In a word the week was disappointing. Make those two words as in “extremely disappointing.” A 2-5 start is not what I had envisioned for the Angels. This team has too much talent to be this bad. I don’t care if it’s the first week of the season; matching last year’s longest losing streak of four games is totally unacceptable.

Things aren’t going to get any easier for the Angels as they head off to play the Yankees and Blue Jays on a six game road trip. The Yankees are well… the Yankees and the Angels have historically not played well in Toronto over the years (let’s hope my saying that changes their luck).

In any case as I look back on the week, the highlights were dominated by Hideki Matsui, who clearly hasn’t missed a beat since his MVP performance in last year’s World Series. I look forward to watching him all season long and believe he will be a tremendous asset in the post season as well. And yes, the Angels will be in the post-season despite this week’s lack luster effort.

It was also good to see our fellow 514 Fanatics and welcome some new additions to our section; including Bobby and Ashley’s daughter KayLynn and new comers Erik, Michelle, Elisa, and McKala. KayLynn attended her first ever Angel game on Saturday; which the Angels won 4-3. Perhaps we’ve found a new good luck charm.

The stadium looked prepped for the 2010 All-star game with new decorations and had a very festive feel.

We checked out two new concession stands this week – Chix the new eatery that features “freshly prepared chicken” and Major League dogs featuring “famously topped hot dogs from around the league.” Chix didn’t cut it for either Cheryl or me. The service was slow and pretty bad (they kept giving our order to people who ordered after us) and the sandwich wasn’t anything to write home about.

The hot dogs from Major League Dogs were a winner. I tried the Chicago Dog and Kansas City BBQ dog and both were delicious. The KC BBQ dog is a great deal, not only do you get a hot dog, but it includes barbequed beef brisket on top of the dog! Very delicious too.

Overall, the concessions didn’t get the best of reviews as I heard complaints of waits of up to 30 minutes and even one stand running out of hot dogs on Opening Night. One 514 Fanatic (Jeffrey) also noticed that the Angels were selling “blue” cotton candy and wondered aloud at that color choice. I guess when your team is getting beaten, everything looks bad.

As for the baseball… well, as I said earlier – it was extremely disappointing.

The low lights were Howie Kendrick’s two errors, the Angels only throwing out one runner in five attempts, Brandon Wood’s seven strike outs, Joe Saunders giving up four homeruns in two games and the overall poor performance of the bullpen with the exception of Brian Fuentes and Kevin Jepsen. The staff gave up eleven homeruns in seven games and walked far too many batters (26). They also hit two batters. That’s 28 free passes in seven games. Ugh.

The team didn’t do a good job of manufacturing runs this week and only managed to steal one base while being caught twice (once by Erick Aybar, of course).

The highlights aside from Matsui’s offensive display was the solid pitching of Jered Weaver, Erick Aybar’s .385 OBP for the week, Torii Hunter’s .994 OPS and Howie Kendrick’s solid week at the plate.

The True Grich Award – which will be used in this blog to recognize the most outstanding Angel of the week, goes to none other than Hideki Matsui. Matsui lead the team with 5 RBI, and a team high 1.080 OPS.

Other memorable moments included Jered Weaver receiving the Nick Adenhart Award which will be awarded annually to the Angels most outstanding pitcher, Mike Scioscia receiving his Manger of the Year award and Torii Hunter being presented with the Silver Slugger Award. It seems like most of the highlights came off the field, unfortunately.

Bobby Cassevah made his major league debut and pitched well in his first appearance. The 25 year old was a Rule V pick of the A’s this past December and was returned to the Angels in the spring. He was called up this week to replace Robb Quinlan, who was sent to AAA. This could be the end of the line for the 33 year old veteran.

Not the best opening week, but at least there is still plenty of upside for this team and this season.

BallHype: hype it up!

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