Purgatory Online

Friday, October 14, 2005

Enough of this bullshit. Let's be clear: if you are seriously thinking of going to tonight's game to throw things at an umpire, or threaten him, or are obsessed enough to vow revenge, then you are functionally retarded and need to quit worrying about a damn game and find the proper pharmaceuticals. Holler and make signs if you want - I mean, I still think that's a waste of time, but whatever floats your boat - but anything beyond that and I hope you go to jail. The Angels have a pennant to win, and the last thing they need is for this nonsense to interfere with how they go about doing it even more than it already has. Let me put it another way: if you were a ballplayer, which would you rather have: 45,000 fans cheering you on in a game that's being played right now, or 45,000 fans booing an umpire for a terrible call in a game that's already over?

Let's look at Jon Garland.

vLHB - .276/.314/.453, 464 BF, 2.02 BB9, 4.04 K9, 9.46 H9
vRHB - .234/.281/.336, 381 BF, 1.68 BB9, 4.95 K9, 7.75 H9

Garland doesn't walk many batters, which is a boon to the Angels since they don't take many. Instead, he relies on a sinker that induces groundball outs, producing a 1.26 G/F ratio versus lefties and a 1.59 ratio versus righties. The Angels may also have something of an advantage in that Garland hasn't pitched since October 1. Sinkerball pitchers are often said to be more effective when they're a little tired; extra energy on the ball tends to keep it up in the zone a little longer. Frankly, I'm not at all convinced this is so, but I'm sure we'll hear it a few times as the game goes on.

With the splits clearly favoring lefties, we can expect to see Steve Finley back in center and Chone Figgins at third. I would also not be at all surprised to see Casey Kotchman DHing tonight, leaving Juan Rivera on the bench for a second straight game. Although I am convinced that Rivera is now an everyday player in Scioscia's eyes, those splits are very tempting. I'd put the odds of a Kotchman sighting at about 40%.

The last time the Angels faced Garland, Guerrero DHed and DaVanon played right field. That's an...unlikely alignment tonight. On that occasion (September 10), both Anderson and Finley went deep off Garland, and the Angels shanked him for seven earned runs in six innings.