Bats are slowing, Jered Weaver is, relatively speaking, cooling off, and the Halos are mired in second place a whole game back of Texas.Â Compared to the Dodgers’ dazzling demise, that’s obviously nothing, but the signs aren’t entirely promising down in the O.C. either.
As to Mr. Weaver, he was always going to have to come down from that 6-0 start with an ERA of 0.99.Â That having been said, losing his next four starts hasn’t helped matters.Â After a killer seven inning effort that got him no decision on Monday, his ERA has “soared” to 2.35.Â Okay, so there’s nothing to worry about there.
Actually, the whole starting staff looks great.Â The only guys with an ERA over 3.15 are Ervin Santana and REV rookie Tyler Chatwood.Â Santana, who usually implodes in odd-numbered years, is at 3.95 and looks almost identical to the solid starter of last year.Â Chatwood has had a couple disasters, but he’s been rock solid otherwise and is at 4.06 with a winning record.Â Not bad at all for a young’n all of seven weeks into his major league career.
The ‘pen is in pretty good shape, and Jordan Walden is officially The Closer Of The Present.Â Fernando Rodney (shock!) and Hisanori Takahashi (okay, this one really is surprising) have been disappointing, but not disastrous.Â On the other hand, Rich Thompson and Scott Downs have made up for the disappointments, so again, things are basically good here.
The bats?Â Don’t ask.
The big bats aren’t bashing.Â Vernon Wells III was at a trainwreckish .183 when his groin went pop a couple weeks ago.Â Bobby Abreu has been the very definition of meh.Â Jeff Mathis is under .200 behind the plate.Â Torii Hunter? Hitting .236 and, at one point, going 29 games between dingers.Â Kendrys Morales? Done for the whole year.
The kids?Â Going through the inevitable growing pains.
The fastest centerfielder in the history of life has lost 60+ points off his batting average in the last 18 days and is now hitting .239. Â The Catcher Of The Future has lost 50+ points in the same period and hasn’t hit a home run since May Day.Â Mark Trumbo, locked in for the year at first base with Morales’ ongoing injury issues, has two homers in the last three weeks.
That leaves the bulk of the run production duties to the three middle infield guys – Messrs. Kendrick, Aybar, and Izturis – who are doing their jobs quite nicely thank you very much, but who can’t possibly carry the team on their own.Â (Though Howie Kendrick is certainly trying to.)
Bottom line: this ain’t pretty, but everybody struggles at some point during a season, and if this is the ugly part of the Angels’ 2011 campaign, there’s plenty of hope behind the Orange Curtain, assuming of course that a few of the big guns begin firing again.Â If that doesn’t happen, when Texas or Oakland goes on a tear, turn out the lights.
Considering their friends up north are only hoping that their owner will soon be deported to Estonia so the real rebuilding can begin, that ain’t bad at all.