Hey, y’all. It’s that time again. LET’S DISSECT SOME SHITTY BASEBALLING!
Before we start, I’d suggest that you loop this and listen to it whilst reading because … ugh.
The Week That Was
LAA – 3-3
LAD - 3-3
Southern California’s Burgeoning Pissing Contest: The Leader In The Clubhouse
You know what? Maybe this section of the column was a stupid idea. Given the way things have gone this season, applauding and/or rewarding the efforts of either team feels a lot like giving out an award to a kid who went 0-for-5 with five punchouts and “misplayed” six fly balls right field because he was too busy chewing on his glove.
There is no winner here.
(Also: Is that a dog?)
Box Score Of The Week
LAA – Jason Vargas: 5/19 vs. CHW – 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
Vargas has quietly emerged as the Angels best … err, most consistent starter in Jered Weaver’s absence. While I realize that being the cream of a crop of starting pitchers who sport a 4.94 ERA and 1.53 WHIP (both 26th worst in MLB) is not all that impressive, the Halos really need quality starts because their bullpen is hot garbage. He’s thrown two complete games, posted a 2.21 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .207 BA in his last five starts (and that includes a subpar 10 H, 5 ER outing against the floundering Houston Astros on May 9th). The Angels will take as much of that as they can get until Weaver returns, Joe Blanton goes from being awful to serviceable (not holding my breath on that one, BTW), and the front office figures out how to trade for a starter, because lord knows they need one*.
*I know Alberto Callaspo wouldn’t command much on the trade market, but with Luis Jimenez (maybe?) ready to step in at third base, I wouldn’t be opposed to a Callaspo, Kole Calhoun and A.J. Schugel swap for Cliff Lee. Who says no? Oh, everyone? OK. I’ll shut up now.
LAD – Clayton Kershaw: 5/14 vs. WAS – 8.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, 132 pitches
Kershaw was masterful again last Tuesday, stifling the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium. His jaw-dropping pitch count — the most by a MLB starter since Justin Verlander threw 132 on Aug. 6 last season — can be chalked up to the Dodgers ‘pen
being taxed for six innings of work the previous night godawful. At this rate, Dodgers fans will be lucky if his arm doesn’t fall off in July.
Note: He followed this start up by picking up a W in a CG, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K start against the Milwaukee Brewers (on 107 pitches), lowering his ERA to 1.35.
BREAKING: Clayton Kershaw is really, really good at throwing a baseball. My column:
AL & NL West Standings Update
LAA – 17-27 (4th place and 11 games behind the league-leading Texas Rangers)
LAD – 18-25 (Last place and seven games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks)
Headline Of The Week
“New year, same old Angels and Dodgers” from T.J. Simers’ column in the LA Times on 5/18.
In which our go-to troll compares the Angels and Dodgers to his sixty-something year old wife in a bathing suit, before engaging in his usual prickish banter.
When I think of our local baseball teams and their supporters, I envision my wife in a bathing suit.
Aaaaand we’re done.
Quote Of The Week (From Either Side)
From Mike DiGiovanna’s “White Sox ace has Angels trumped again” on 5/17.
“You’re not going to chew up this deficit in one day,” Scioscia said. “We’re not going to wake up tomorrow in first place. You can only win one game a day. You have to put your heart and soul into that game, play hard and grind it out. You have to focus on the process and play good ball.”
Whoo boy. The Bullshit Baseball Cliche-O-Meter just exploded. This SciosciaQuote runs the gamut. We’ve got a few snippets pulled from the “One Day At A Time” chapter in The Manager’s Guide To Cliches*, a prime selection from the “Heart And Soul: Gritty, Gutsy Grinders” chapter and a nod to the “Trust The Process: Playing The Game The Right Way” chapter. The only thing missing is a mention of page-turning, cap-tipping, and/or hat-removal. (See: the “Tip Your Cap: Coping With Assorted Failure” chapter.)
Stay with it, Sosh.
*I need to write this book.
/starts crowd-funding page
Dodger Nation: Zack Greinke put a big smile on my face with his outstanding command of the mound and RBI single in last night’s win.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 17, 2013
“Command of the mound”, eh?
/pictures Greinke barking orders between pitches at the brick dust and/or rubber.
/pictures a pitcher without “command of the mound” slipping and tripping and being unable to navigate the finely manicured swath that is the pitching teat.
/pictures Magic and Jose Mota having a passionate discussion about commanding the mound, competing being the name of the word, and playing hard until last out until also something good happens for you. Also, pictures it being taped and broadcast on Fox Sports West and immediately becoming the greatest show on television. Can we make this a thing?
In my opinion, Magic knowing very little about baseball — but tweeting like he does — has been more entertaining than any of the Dodgers games this season. Unless, by chance, you hate the Dodgers and love basking in the schadenfreude of the team snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, because the Dodgers are awesome at totally blowing it*.
*Thirteen of the team’s 25 losses can be hung on the bLOLpen.
DERP Of The Week: Mike Trout
Not even the Golden Boy is immune to the power of DERP.
DERP WILL INFECT US ALL.
SciosciaFace Of The Week
What caused this version of SciosciaFace?
- He pulled Jerome Williams after six innings and 74 pitches (2 ER, 5 H), only to watch the bullpen implode. Again.
- Something called a Robert Coello is currently his “most effective” reliever.
- With the threat of extra innings looming, his 10 p.m. reservation at Maggiano’s is in jeopardy.
- Nothing. Nothing at all.
Bonus Content: The Five Stages of SciosciaFace
What follows is a step-by-step-guide to SciosciaFace. Try it at home! (Or don’t.)
Gently cup the nose and mouth with the left hamhand and inhale deeply.
As you exhale, slide the open palm down your face and neck, harvesting snot niblets, spittle, chin gudge and curdled neck sauce in the process.
Roll the viscous bits of your facescape into a ball between your index finger and thumb, forcibly shove them into your noseholes and inhale deeply. Mmm, failure.
Now, spread your index finger and thumb to create a glutinous web and really savor the fruits of your labor. Breathe it in. Breathe it in until the nostalgia is gone. This is living, friends.
And when the nostalgic goop has vanished into your nasal cavity, wear your disdain on your face.
Repeat as necessary. (Or never.)
MattinglyFace Of The Week
As reader Brian K so accurately stated in the comments of last week’s Battle Of LA column:
“MattinglyFace is quite similar to Jack-O-Lantern on Nov. 10.”
Jack-O-Lantern status: Dec. 4. Odds are, that this will only get worse as Donnie’s tenure continues, until we’re left with something like this. (At which point, Mattingly will probably still be managing Los Doyers and this column will have devolved into typing “FUCK” in 200px Arial font before submitting it for editing.)
Who Controls The Future
The Angels will try to equal their longest winning streak of 2013 (three games … THREE … what in the actual fuck?!) as they play host to the Seattle Mariners (20-25) in a nonsensically brief two-game set.
- Tuesday, 5/21: Jerome Williams vs. Aaron “The Harangutan” Harang (1-4)
- Wednesday, 5/22: C.J. Wilson (3-3) vs. Brandon Maurer (2-5)
And then, they’ll get Yosted by the Kansas City Royals (20-21).
- Thursday, 5/23: Joe Blanton (0-7) vs. Ervin Santana (3-3)
- Friday, 5/24: Jason Vargas (3-3) vs. Luis Mendoza (1-2)
- Saturday, 5/25: TBA vs. Jason Guthrie (5-1)
- Sunday, 5/26: Wilson (3-3) vs. Wade Davis (3-3)
The Dodgers wrap up a six-game roadie by finishing up a three-game set against the surprisingly shitty Brew Crew (17-26) in Milwaukee.
- Tuesday, 5/14: Zack Greinke (2-0) vs. Hiram Burgos (1-2)
- Wednesday, 5/15: Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-2) vs. Wily Peralta (3-3)
Thursday, 5/16: The Dodgers are homeward bound to get pummeled by a Cardinals (28-16) team that is not only good, but frustratingly rich in prospects … which is the polar opposite of the Angels and Dodgers. (Note: Jump to the Cardinals bandwagon, stat.)
- Friday, 5/17: Chris Capuano (1-2) vs. Lance Lynn (6-1)
- Saturday, 5/18: Matt Magill (0-0) vs. John Gast (2-0)
- Sunday, 5/19: Clayton Kershaw (5-2) vs. Shelby Miller (5-2)
Until we meet again … at which point we’ll have a home-at-home, four-game set between two of the worst teams in baseball under our collective belt. What was once a Freeway World Series preview has been reduced to an underwhelming battle of attrition.
Woe is us, friends. Woe. Is. Us.