Purgatory Online

Friday, April 22, 2005

So the Angels pulled Jarrod Washburn's nuts out of the fire again last night, after he surrendered five runs in the first two innings to a team that hadn't put a crooked number on the board since approximately the reign of Hadrian. If baseball were like Subway, I'm pretty sure the Angels would have enough holes punched in their "Bail Washburn Out" cards to get free twelve-inch combo meals. With chips AND cookies.

To his credit, Wash did settle down and pitch three reasonably competent innings thereafter; also to his credit, he walked no one and never seemd to lose it mentally. But dude is 30 years old now, and it's starting to get a little moldy, this "flashes of brilliance followed by implosions" crap. When's he gonna settle down and get respectibble, huh?

In any event, the offense looked like it was destined to put up another one of those "almost had 'em" efforts similar to the little comeback that wasn't a few days ago, when Byrd got lit up for six runs in six innings and a late inning comeback fizzled with the tying man at the plate in the ninth. Last night, the Angels bounced back fairly quickly, making it 5-3 in the fourth, but then:

Fourth inning - runners on second and third, one out, but DaVanon K's looking and Vlad grounds out;

Fifth inning - Finley on second with one out, but Cabrera grounds out and McPherson K's;

Sixth inning - Figgins on second with two out, but Rivera K's;

Seventh inning - Down without a fight;

Eighth inning - Izturis scores on a Jose Molina single, but Figgins grounds into a double play to end the inning.

Fortunately, that whole "game of inches" thing worked in the Angels' favor in the ninth, as Anderson blooped one into left-center, scoring Erstad from second with two outs. He didn't exactly hit it, as Eric Cartman would say, "with authori-tay," but it worked for me.

And I'm pretty sure I want Orlando Cabrera leading off the tenth from now on if at all possible. Last night marked the second time he's gone deep in that situation, the other being a - wait for it - bail-out job in Texas, in which Washburn gave up six runs in 5.1 innings, after which the relief corps held the line and the bats clawed back into it. Cabrera - whose new nickname is "Cabfare," incidentally - is eligible to upgrade to the steak and cheese or zesty chicken ranch sub, with unlimited toppings and free drink refills.

In other news, Dallas McPherson finally got his first hit of the season, an opposite-field single. Hopefully this will clear his head a little bit, as he had clearly been pressing at the plate. Meanwhile, Adam Kennedy starts his rehab assignment this weekend, well ahead of schedule, and looks to return to the team in about two weeks. Scioscia has said that the team will find a place for Figgins in the lineup, which means there's a realistic possiblity that the 5'7" Figgins will be the team's designated hitter. Good lord.