I thought Josh Beckett wasn't pitching Wednesday?
Wait, that was Jon Lester? huh...
I've realized something of late.
The Angels have enough power bats.
What they've truly lacked since their 2002 World Series championship is gamers.
Scott Spezio. Adam Kennedy, Heck even the X-Factor David Eckstein.
Role players who, when called upon, answered.
I love the Halos.
I love all of their players.
But this bunch isn't hungry enough.
Chone Figgins taking meaty fastballs looking?
Howie Kendrick hacking when Lester just threw 5 straight balls? Howie redeemed himself with a solid 11 or 12 pitch at bat later in the game, but it still isn't enough.
When the table isn't set, the power middle of the lineup can't drive in runs. Period.
I also love Scot Shields, but hasn't he become a liability of late? I realize the Angels were in protect mode in the 7th when they turned to him, but Oliver was cruising, and EVERYBODY knows what Shields is going to throw.
The guys thrown more innings than any closer the last five seasons, and he's a "make you beat him" sort of guy.
Problem is, the Sox are "We can beat you" hitters.
For the Angels to really stand a chance in this series, they're going to need significantly more production from the top and bottom bookends of their order.
I've also said forever, and I know he's beloved in Anaheim, hell, I even love the guy, but Chone Figgins needs to be a Super utility player, and not an everyday third baseman. Not because he can't handle the defensive side, he's been borderline brilliant all year, but the teams always seemed better when he was plugging holes and running away with stolen bases and messing with pitchers heads. He used to have to earn playing time, and since it's been given to him, he's been less than hungry.
Angels needs a wake up call.
I'm fairly confident that it can be found in Friday's game, especially with Santana pitching, though Dice-K isn't anything to take lightly.
Hope the Halos really gut check themselves after tonight's game though. They were pressing, they were swinging at everything, and they were just...not comfortable out there.
Even Lackey, who pitched a great game minus one to Bay, never really seemed at ease on the mound. Granted, it's the ALDS, but seriously, fellas, it's your town, it's your time, and it's ONLY the Red Sox.
Otherwise, I'll be talking quickly about how the Angels lost 12 straight playoff games to the Sox.