Purgatory Online

Friday, June 24, 2005

Back from a great trip to the O.C. and points north - a meetup with Rob, The Rev, and Rich, two (count 'em!) extra-inning wins by the Angels, a drive through the spectacular mountain terrain along the Pacific Coast Highway north of San Simeon, a couple of days in Salinas and my first real visit to San Francisco made for a memorable vacation indeed. Oh, and my anniversary was in there somewhere, too.

Lots happened while I was gone, so here are the high points:

- An interesting and welcome sight: Tim Salmon hanging out in the dugout during both of the games I attended (Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th). Rob points to a Baseball Prospectus article claiming that Salmon believes he can play in September; clearly Timmy is feeling The Itch. I don't know how much of a help he might be, but if everything breaks right maybe the Angels will have a wide enough lead at the end to get him a couple dozen at-bats.

- Steve Finley is on the DL, which is probably an example of addition by subtraction even if it means more playing time for Jeff DaVanon and Juan Rivera. Word is that Finley's injury stems from a rotator cuff tear sustained during the second game of the season, which sounds fishy as hell but doesn't spill a lot of beer with me as long as he's no longer in the lineup. Curtis Pride has been called up from his rehab in Salt Lake to take Finley's roster spot.

- Adam Kennedy...Christ almighty, Adam Kennedy is hitting .336 out of the nine spot. .336!

- I wasn't able to catch the first two games of the Texas series, but saw the last one on Wednesday night. Chone Figgins is getting slick at third. And praise Jesus, we finally saw Bengie Molina used as a DH while Jose caught, resulting in a combined Molina line of 5 for 7. More, please. Even if Bengie only DHes against left-handers, it'd be a start.

- Santana had a bad start and Jered Weaver had one that's being considered a qualified success, albeit against much, much, much worse hitters than Santana faced.

- Brendan Donnelly was suspended for ten games for having an illegal substance on his glove, a sentence that strikes me as a tad harsh. It's being appealed a week from today in Kansas City, at which time it's expected he'll probably end up with an eight-game suspension that he'll have to serve immediately. The Angels will probably recall Bootcheck or Gregg from Salt Lake and option Curtis Pride back down at that time.

- The Angels now have the best ERA in the majors, a fairly stunning development. I don't think it was completely crazy to say they had a chance to have a solid starting staff, but best in the majors? Awesome.

- The green team has won five out of their last six and seven out of their last ten, and are still in last place, 10 1/2 games behind.

Tonight, the Angels enter the home portion of their home-and-home interleague series with the Dodgers. The Angels are 9-6 so far in interleague play. After sweeping Texas and resting the bullpen with strong starting performances and an off-day, they should have all of their weapons ready to take advantage of a struggling Dodger club.