Sunday, May 15, 2005

Halos split doubleheader

The Halos (or better: the Hals, because they have no "O" - all probs for this atrocious pun go to Matt Allen, not me) managed to split the doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers on saturday despite doing hardly anything against the starters Bonderman and Maroth. They somehow managed 18 hits (only 4 for extra bases) and 5 runs and only drew 2 walks in both games combined. To be fair, it's hard to draw a walk if you're constantly behind in the count 0-2 or 1-2. As I recall it, Jose Molina, who was the only one who walked against Maroth, had to battle back from 0-2 to draw a free pass. While Detroit's starter struck out 13, Colon and Washburn both fanned three and walked three. And while Colon was limited to 5 innings due to a rain delay, Washburn battled for 7 innings to keep the Angels close.
So what was the offense's problem? Not enough patience?
I'm a big fan of OBP and I really think the Angels need to draw more walks especially at the top of the order. Imagine what Figgins and Erstad could do if they were on-base at least 35% of the time (I'm modest here). But today, patience certainly wasn't the problem. It doesn't help to be patient if the opposing pitcher throws strikes with the first pitch all day long. The Angels' hitters were constantly behind in the count. Most often, they had to put the ball in play with 2 strikes on them and hardly ever had a three ball count. They watched so many first pitches in the zone that I thought, "come on, be more agressive". I think you have to hit at least some first pitch strikes to make the pitcher be aware that he can't throw anything at you to start the AB. Sometimes, patience is just not what you need.
Speaking of patience, I don't understand why the Tigers even bothered to swing the bat at all against Esteban Yan when he clearly couldn't find the zone to save his life. He's listed to have thrown 18 pitches, only 8 for strikes, at least half of them on swings at something out of the zone. Oh, and a wild pitch, too. Still, he managed to get out of the inning with only a walk, no hits (obviously, there just was no pitch to hit) and no runs. While this looks like a good inning on paper, I wouldn't have the confidence to throw him in a close game again any time soon.

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