Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Avenging Angels

Can't you just picture the smile on Jim Bowden's face today? He's probably strutting around in his jet black leather pants, the cock of the walk.

A night after Tomo Ohka bid Devil Ray after Devil Ray a stern sayanora in a complete game shutout, Bowden's own gamble, Ryan Drese (He of the 6+ ERA), outdueled Bartolo Colon with his own eight shutout innings.

The 1-0 score was about the last thing anyone could've expected, but, as this season teaches us daily, we need to learn to throw away our expectations.

Drese's sinker dived ferociously with a hard break from about 11 to 4 on the clockface. Angel batter after Angel batter swung at the pitch, topping it down into the dirt as if Drese were tossing up a shotput. Time and time again, the ball found its way into Junior Spivey's glove (to Bowden's extra delight) Only a handful found their way to the air.

Watching him pitch, you understand why Frank got so upset with Zach Day. Drese allowed just two hits, but did walk four batters. Despite the walks, he seemed in control, rarely falling too far behind the batters. He didn't have the constant 3-1 counts that Day managed to find himself in. Drese threw strikes, and let the Angels batters pound the ground, relying on Spivey and Cristian Guzman to do the heavy lifting.

When you're as extreme a groundballer as Drese or Day are, that's all you need to do. Hopefully Zach was watching.

Drese wins his first of hopefully several Majority Whips for his amazing outing.

It'll be interesting to see how he fares against some other teams. The Angels seem to be a team that would feed into his style of pitching. They're aggressive swingers who frequently didn't wait for Drese to fall behind in the count. They, like we too frequently do, were waiting for the first strike they could put the bat on, instead of one they could lift or line. A more patient team might find some success.

But, the stories coming from Texas about Drese's sinker flattening out were just that: Tall Texas Tales.

  • The story of the night was not just Drese. Chad Cordero, as he's done so many times, walked the tightrope. And I have no idea how he survived this team.

    Entering the 9th, he was facing the heart of the Anaheim lineup. Single to left. Walk. Then another single to right. The third base coach held Darren Erstad, probably knowing the power of Jose Guillen's arm from first-hand experience last year. And besides, with no outs and the bases loaded, you're going to score a few runs, right?

    Steve Finley's corpse struck out. Un de los Molinas popped up. Dallas MacPherson struck out. Amazing.

    The average team will, when the bases are loaded and no one is out, score over 2.5 runs in that inning.

    Somehow, we got out of it.

    Chad Cordero is going to have one of the all-time weirdest stat lines if he keeps up this pace. He has runners on constantly, yet none of them ever seem to score. When they're up by multiple runs, he'll give up the longball, but that's about the only way anyone has scored on him this year -- other than via Guzman error!

    As long as the magic holds up, I'll be happy.

    In the meantime, Bowden can strut around even more confidently, giving Mick Jagger a run for his money. Not only is his team in first place and on an amazing run, but their lead is now up to three games.

    Strut away for at least one day, Jimbo. You've earned it.


    • He's like Jean Dixon. If you make enough predictions, people will remember the 10% you get right, not the 90% you get wrong.

      Of course Jim Bowden is not 90% wrong, but let's look at the last big move. Endy for Marlon. A good move regardless, but looking at it with regards to Bowden...

      Marlon comes in, does well. Everyone, especially Bowden says he's great and it was an incredible steal.

      Marlon bats .310 OBP .320 SLG in June. Bowden takes credit for Church. Ignores that deal to focus on how well he did picking up Drese.

      If Drese does poorly in his next couple starts we could be looking at Jason Kendall behind the plate by the All-Star game and Bowden taking credit after he starts his Nationals career getting on-base at a .450 clip and talking about how he always knew Sunny Kim was a quality pitcher.

      By Blogger Harper, at 6/16/2005 10:26 AM  

    • You're stealing my next post. I'm actually writing that as we speak.

      All I was saying in this is that Bowden can strut around for one day. He looks good today.

      But, as I'm hacking out on the keyboard now, when you take a larger look, it's not as pretty.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/16/2005 10:27 AM  

    • Sorry, but I couldn't write about it on my own blog thanks to the positive promise.

      He looks great today. T-Boz is probably thinking how to make a reverse oreo out of Frank, Bowden and him.

      What? Not an image you want? Sorry again.

      By Blogger Harper, at 6/16/2005 10:33 AM  

    • Boz'll go for that as long as he gets to wear Screech's head.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/16/2005 10:34 AM  

    • I reserve the right to all future jokes, barbs, and snide comments about Ryan Drese and the "Majority WHIP" award.

      By Blogger Sam, at 6/18/2005 11:54 AM  

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