April 22, 2011

Apparently, Gilligan made it off the island after all

I know it’s only April 22, but I like seeing the Angels on top of the American League West. Seeing the team get off to a good start sure beats the alternative and given the way the team performed last year, I don’t know how Angels' fans might have handled a poor start.

That being said, it’s unfortunate the Angels could not extend their lead to 1.5 games and now find themselves with just a half game lead over the Texas Rangers (who were idle yesterday) after losing 4-2.

Boston’s Josh Beckett looked good last night; in fact, he was scary good. It was obvious that just about everything had to go right to beat him last night; in other words, the margin for error on the Angels side was very small. Enter Erick Aybar.

I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll be saying it again and again time and again; Erick Aybar makes me crazy. I have come to refer to him as Gilligan as in the character from Gilligan’s island. Let’s just say that if the game is on the line and its outcome rests on Aybar’s decision making process, we’re in trouble.

Last night, as you are probably well aware by now – Aybar tried to stretch a double into a triple in the 8th inning. The score was tied and there weren’t any outs. As Aybar was running the bases it was painfully obvious to me (and probably to the other 37,003 fans in the stadium) that he had little if any chance of getting to third safely; at best it would be close and considering the circumstances (tie game in the 8th inning with no outs) it was totally unnecessary and extremely foolish for Aybar to “go for it.”

Imagine Aybar on a desert island; he'd never find a way off. In fact, he could get lost going down a one way street... but I digress.

Even though Beckett was on his game last night and the Red Sox totally out hit the Angels (8-4), the game was winnable. It’s frustrating to see the team lose "winnable" games. Granted stuff like that is going to happen, but it’s hard to stomach just the same. The division title will most likely be a dog fight all season long and every game matters. It wouldn’t surprise me if the west was won by the smallest of margins.

On the bright side, it was great to see Tyler Chatwood continue to progress nicely. It’s also encouraging to see Hank Conger settling in as a big part of the team. Any time we get a little less Jeff Mathis it’s a good thing. Just saying.

Angel fans have to feel good about the contributions of the "young guns" like Chatwood, Conger, Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo. The farm system which has been much maligned of late, seems to have produced some key components that are contributing to the team’s success in a big way.

On another note, how awesome was it to see Troy Percival at the stadium last night? Percival was there as part of the team’s 50th Anniversary Celebration to throw out the first pitch and then sign autographs for fans. Cheryl and I had Percy personalize an 8 x 10 for us.

Percival is one of our all-time favorites (yes, we have many) and I always loved his “old school” approach to baseball. I loved it when Percy would just challenge batters with his best stuff and basically say, "here it is, hit it if you can." Scott Kazmir could learn a thing or two from Percy.

I’ve enjoyed the 50th anniversary celebration so far and it’s been great to see so many of the alumni back at the stadium. Percy has easily been my favorite so far.

1 comment:

  1. I know at the game you don't get this, but whomever throws out the first pitch will usually join Victor and Mark in the booth for the Second Inning, thats usually a lot of fun. I can only imagine they are going to have to drag out Rex Hudler kicking and screaming.