Purgatory Online

Friday, August 27, 2004

The Angels beat the Twins tonight, 9-6, largely on the strength of a five-run sixth inning. The scoring began when, with Kennedy at second and Figgins at first, David Eckstein lifted a fly ball into deep right field. Shannon Stewart caught the ball and, thinking it was the third out, put his head down and began to jog in. Kennedy, meanwhile, had tagged, and when he saw that Stewart was out to lunch, rounded third and just kept on going. Figgins also was able to tag on the play, and ended up on second.

To listen to Hudler and Physioc, you'd think that everything that happened thereafter was Stewart's fault. In fact, however, none of the runs the Angels scored that inning turned out to be anything but Radke's responsibility. This is because Stewart didn't cost his team an out. He allowed baserunners to advance, but consider the next three batters:

Erstad - line drive double down the first-base line
Guerrero - broken-bat single into center field
Anderson - home run

Assuming Stewart makes the correct play, Kennedy ends up on third and Figgins stays at first, but there are still only two outs. So Erstad's double scores Kennedy (and maybe Figgins), Guerrero's single scores Figgins and moves Erstad to third, and Anderson's shot scores three runs instead of two. Net runs scored because of Stewart's blunder: zero.

Anderson, incidentally, is getting his power stroke back. After hitting no home runs from July 8 to August 19, he's hit three in the last week. He's also had at least one hit in 14 of the Angels' last 15 games, and is 11 for his last 30. With Anderson rounding into form and Glaus set to return after September 1, the Angels are suddenly looking like the club that had so much potential last April.

Unfortunately, Jeff DaVanon was removed with a sprained ankle tonight, which will probably cost him at least a few games.

Late word is that Colon will start for the Angels tomorrow afternoon instead of Escobar, who will get an extra day to rest his blistered finger. Colon v. Santana - should be a good one.