Friday, April 27, 2012

As Pujols struggles, Angels sink quickly in AL West

We all said, before the 2012 season started, that no park could hold Albert Pujols. It turns out, so far, that they every park can hold him.

By BILL PETERSON
Big Leagues in LA


Albert Pujols had never batted at Angel Stadium when the Angels signed him last winter for ten years and $240 million, knowing he would play half his games there. It never occurred to anyone that it should make a difference. We all said no park could hold Pujols, and many went so far as to suggest that the addition of Pujols would paper over all the club’s other ills and produce a pennant.

The Angels ended a 2-4 home stand against Oakland and Baltimore on April 22. Opening the season, the Angels lost two of three at home to Kansas City. While the Angels struggled at home against mediocre competition, their prize acquisition went homerless in 70 plate appearances at his new home park.

Balls that flew out of Busch Stadium went to die in front of the 387-feet sign marking left-center field at the Big A. The only deeper mark in straight left center is Coors Field, situated in Denver's thin air. A mile above sea level, the hitter must reach all the way out to 390 feet in that direction.

The right-handed hitter's power field in Anaheim not only is all but the most spacious in the game, but it is also the thickest. The ocean cools a surface layer of air over the coast at night and kills fly balls. Torii Hunter said the marine layer was going to get Albert a time or two, and it has.

But it's not just the marine layer keeping Pujols in the park. Pujols also has played this year at Target Field, Yankee Stadium and Tropicana Field without homering in any of them. Pujols is homerless in his first 19 games with the Angels, and now his power outage has become a general slump, one-for-22 since a three-hit night against Oakland on April 19. He’s batting .224 with one go-ahead hit all year.

He'll try to break out of it tonight in Cleveland. The Indians have been terrible at home, 2-6 and down more than two runs per game. The head-to-head results tell us that the Tribe has squeaked a few out against Kansas City, Oakland and Seattle, but is not on equal terms with the Chicago White Sox, and certainly not with the Toronto Blue Jays. The 9-8 Indians are tied with Detroit and Chicago on top of the AL Central. Of those teams, Detroit has been most weighted down by a heavy schedule, going 6-4 against Boston, Tampa Bay and Texas.

But the Tigers are reeling right now, losing six of their last seven. They were a fat and happy 9-3 after sweeping three at Kansas City. Then they went home and ran into a club that really means business, the Texas Rangers, who immediately dealt them 10-3 and 10-4 drubbings. The Tigers and Rangers split a pair of 3-2 games to finish the series, but Detroit's damage carried over to a visit from the light-hitting Seattle Mariners, who outscored the home club 21-9 in a three-game sweep.

The Angels were supposed to be better than all those clubs, including, perhaps, Detroit. Instead, they're 6-13 with their only series win coming against Baltimore at home. Just now, Tampa Bay pitched all over the Angels at Tropicana Field, holding them to five runs in three games. The Angels' only good hitter right now is their man without a position, Mark Trumbo. Except for Jared Weaver and C.J. Wilson, the pitching staff has been disappointing.

The Rangers are the team the Angels need to beat in the AL West, but it seems now that no team can beat the Rangers, who are 15-4 overall and 7-2 in games against the Yankees, Red Sox and Tigers. The Rangers have won every series they have played, and they have won them all decisively. They're blowing teams out -- 5-0 in games decided by five or more runs. The Rangers are at home this weekend against 12-7 Tampa Bay, the best of the AL East power trio so far.

After the Tampa Bay series, the Rangers go on a ten-game trip through Toronto, Cleveland and Baltimore before meeting with the Angels for three games in Arlington May 11-13. The road is long, but the Rangers should be good for at least a break-even trip against the league’s bottom half before seeing the Halos.

After leaving Cleveland, the Angels will play ten games against the Twins and Blue Jays before meeting Texas. Already down nine games to the Rangers in the AL West, the Angels need to accomplish a lot in these next 13 games before their dates in Arlington. They need to win nine of them, hoping to pick up a couple games on the Rangers before they play each other. Then, if the Angels can capture some kind of mastery over their rivals, perhaps with a sweep, they would be finally over .500, they would have announced to the Rangers that they're still around and they would be within shouting distance. This season would start to look a lot more like it was supposed to look.

That’s a long way for the Angels to get back even close to where they started. But if the Angels can’t cover it quickly, then it will turn out that their great hope for 2012 is not the addition of Pujols, but the addition of a fifth wild card berth for the playoffs.

Labels

Los Angeles Dodgers (117) Los Angeles Angels (90) St. Louis Cardinals (60) New York Yankees (50) Texas Rangers (48) San Francisco Giants (37) Cincinnati Reds (35) Matt Kemp (34) Minnesota Twins (33) Oakland Athletics (33) Houston Astros (32) Chicago White Sox (31) First Division (31) Kansas City Royals (31) Henry Aaron (30) New York Mets (30) Atlanta Braves (29) Clayton Kershaw (29) Cleveland Indians (29) Detroit Tigers (29) Albert Pujols (27) Baltimore Orioles (27) Boston Red Sox (27) Chicago Cubs (27) Don Mattingly (27) Center League (25) Andre Ethier (24) Dick Allen (24) Harmon Killebrew (24) Tampa Bay Rays (24) West League (23) Milwaukee Brewers (22) Second Division (22) East League (21) Pittsburgh Pirates (21) Third Division (21) Washington Nationals (21) Mike Scioscia (20) Mike Trout (20) San Diego Padres (20) Arizona Diamondbacks (18) Seattle Mariners (18) Fourth Division (17) Hanley Ramirez (15) Adrian Gonzalez (14) American League (14) C.J. WIlson (14) Dee Gordon (14) Miami Marlins (14) Toronto Blue Jays (14) Jered Weaver (13) Josh Hamilton (13) Philadelphia Phillies (13) National League (12) Yasiel Puig (12) Zack Greinke (12) Colorado Rockies (11) Howie Kendrick (10) Mark Trumbo (10) A.J. Ellis (9) Bryce Harper (9) Bud Selig East (9) Carl Crawford (9) Chub Feeney League (9) Dan Haren (9) Dodger Stadium (9) James Loney (9) Joe Cronin League (9) Jon Lester (9) Kenley Jansen (9) Billy Beane (8) Bud Selig West (8) Erick Aybar (8) Ernesto Frieri (8) Garrett Richards (8) Justin Verlander (8) Golden State Warriors (7) Yoenis Cespedes (7) Andrelton Simmons (6) Angel Stadium (6) Bobby Abreu (6) Bud Selig (6) David Ortiz (6) Hyun-Jin Ryu (6) Juan Uribe (6) Miguel Cabrera (6) Prince Fielder (6) Torii Hunter (6) Anaheim Ducks (5) Chris Capuano (5) Chris Sale (5) David Price (5) Ervin Santana (5) Harmon Killebrew Award (5) Jerry DiPoto (5) Jim Leyland (5) Joe Blanton (5) Joe Maddon (5) Los Angeles Clippers (5) Mark Ellis (5) San Antonio Spurs (5) Scott Van Slyke (5) Alex Rodriguez (4) Carlos Beltran (4) Chicago Blackhawks (4) Columbus Blue Jackets (4) Connecticut Huskies (4) Fredi Gonzalez (4) Henry Aaron Award (4) James Shields (4) Jason Vargas (4) Jose Altuve (4) Kendrys Morales (4) Mark Teixeira (4) Mat Latos (4) Matt Holliday (4) Minnesota Lynx (4) Ned Yost (4) Nelson Cruz (4) Nick Punto (4) North Carolina Tar Heels (4) 2014 World Series (3) A.J. Burnett (3) Adam Jones (3) Adam Kennedy (3) Alberto Callaspo (3) Alex Wood (3) All-Star Game (3) American League Championship Series (3) Andrew McCutchen (3) Billy Butler (3) Brandon Phillips (3) Chub Feeney (3) Cory Rasmus (3) David Dombrowski (3) David Freese (3) Dick Allen Award (3) Dustin Pedroia (3) Eric Hosmer (3) Florida Marlins (3) Francisco Liriano (3) Huston Street (3) J.B. Shuck (3) Jack Morris (3) Jacoby Ellsbury (3) Jerome Williams (3) Jerry Hairston (3) Joaquin Benoit (3) Joc Pederson (3) Joe Cronin (3) Joey Votto (3) LA Galaxy (3) Lance Lynn (3) Los Angeles Lakers (3) Magic Johnson (3) Major League Baseball (3) Miami Heat (3) Minnesota Wild (3) National League Championship Series (3) National League Division Series (3) Pittsburgh Penguins (3) Robinson Cano (3) Ryan Braun (3) Scott Downs (3) Stan Kasten (3) Tim Lincecum (3) Vin Scully (3) Winnipeg Jets (3) Adam Dunn (2) Al Alburquerque (2) Alcides Escobar (2) Alex Gordon (2) Alex Rios (2) Alexander Cartwright (2) Allen Craig (2) American League Division Series (2) American League traveling championship (2) Anibal Sanchez (2) Arte Moreno (2) Austin Jackson (2) Barcelona (2) Barry Bonds (2) Bartolo Colon (2) Baseball Hall of Fame (2) Bayern Munich (2) Billy Hamilton (2) Borussia Mochengladbach (2) Boston Bruins (2) Brandon Crawford (2) Brandon League (2) Brian McCann (2) Bud Norris (2) Buster Posey (2) Carlos Gomez (2) Central League (2) Chad Billingsley (2) Chase Headley (2) Chase Utley (2) Chicago Bulls (2) Chris Davis (2) Chris Iannetta (2) Chris Johnson (2) Chris Paul (2) Chris Young (2) Cleveland Cavaliers (2) Cliff Lee (2) Clint Hurdle (2) Cole Hamels (2) Corey Seager (2) Craig Kimbrel (2) Cy Young (2) Dallas Keuchel (2) Davey Johnson (2) Derek Jeter (2) Doug Fister (2) FC Dallas (2) Florida Panthers (2) Frank McCourt (2) George Springer (2) Gerrit Cole (2) Giancarlo Stanton (2) Gio Gonzalez (2) Greg Maddux (2) Hall of Fame (2) Hank Conger (2) Hisashi Iwakuma (2) Jacob deGrom (2) Jason Grilli (2) Jay Bruce (2) Jeff Bagwell (2) Jerry Sands (2) Jimmy Rollins (2) Joe Girardi (2) Joe Kelly (2) John Lackey (2) Jordan Zimmermann (2) Josh Beckett (2) Justin Upton (2) Juventus (2) Kelvin Herrera (2) Lee Smith (2) Logan Forsythe (2) Los Angeles Sparks (2) Luis Mendoza (2) Lyle Overbay (2) Madison Bumgarner (2) Manny Machado (2) Marlon Byrd (2) Melky Cabrera (2) Michael Wacha (2) Mickey Hatcher (2) Mike Fiers (2) Mike Moustakas (2) Mississippi State Bulldogs (2) Montreal Canadiens (2) Montreal Impact (2) Nathan Eovaldi (2) National League West (2) National League traveling championship (2) Ned Colletti (2) New York Rangers (2) Nick Swisher (2) Oklahoma City Thunder (2) Oregon Ducks (2) Paul Goldschmidt (2) Pedro Alvarez (2) Pete Kozma (2) Real Madrid (2) Ricky Nolasco (2) Roger Clemens (2) Roy Williams (2) Russell Martin (2) Ryan Vogelsong (2) Ryan Zimmerman (2) Seattle Storm (2) Shane Victorino (2) South Carolina Gamecocks (2) St. Louis Blues (2) Stephen Strasburg (2) Steven Strasburg (2) Ted Turner (2) Terry Francona (2) Tony Cingrani (2) Tony LaRussa (2) Toronto FC (2) Toronto Maple Leafs (2) Torri Hunter (2) Tottenham Hotspur (2) UCLA Bruins (2) Victor Martinez (2) Villanova Wildcats (2) Virginia Tech Hokies (2) Washington Capitals (2) Werder Bremen (2) Wil Myers (2) World Series (2) Yu Darvish (2) interleague traveling baseball championship (2) A'ja Wilson (1) AC Milan (1) AS Roma (1) Aaron Hamilton (1) Aaron Harang (1) Adam Dunn (1) Adam LaRoche (1) Adam Wainwright (1) Al Campanis (1) Alabama Crimson Tide (1) Alan Wiggins (1) Alejandro De Aza (1) Alex Avila (1) Alex Guerrero (1) Alexander Ovechkin (1) Alysha Clark (1) American League West (1) Andrew Heaney (1) Andrew McCtchen (1) Andrew Miller (1) Andy Pettitte (1) Annibal Sanchez (1) Anthony Rizzo (1) Aroldis Chapman (1) Astros (1) Atlanta Hawks (1) Atlanta United FC (1) Auston Matthews (1) Babe Ruth (1) Baltimore Orioles Kansas City Royals (1) Barry Larkin (1) Bayer Leerkusen (1) Ben Wade (1) Benji Molina (1) Bert Blyleven (1) Bert Campaneris (1) Bill Foley (1) Billy Buckner (1) Blake Griffin (1) Bo Porter (1) Bobby Cox (1) Bobby Thompson (1) Borussia Dortmund (1) Boston Celtics (1) Brad Ausmus (1) Brad Havens (1) Brad Lidge (1) Branch Rickey (1) Brandon Maurer (1) Brandon McCarthy (1) Brandon Morrow (1) Brandon Moss (1) Brandon Snyder (1) Breanna Stewart (1) Brendan Ryan (1) Brett Lawrie (1) Brett Wallace (1) Brian Cashman (1) Brian Harper (1) Bruce Bochy (1) Bryan Price (1) Buck Showalter (1) Buffalo Sabres (1) Bundesliga (1) Butler Bulldogs (1) Buzz Williams (1) C.J. Kron (1) CBS (1) Caleb Joseph (1) California Angels (1) Candace Parker (1) Carlos Correa (1) Carlos Frias (1) Carlos Gonzalez (1) Carlos Marmol (1) Celta Vigo (1) Chad Qualls (1) Charlie Coyle (1) Chelsea FC (1) Chiapas (1) Chicago Sky (1) Chris Archer (1) Chris Carpenter (1) Chris Perez (1) Chris Tillman (1) Christiano Ronaldo (1) Citi Field (1) Clay Bucchholz (1) Clemson Tigers (1) Cleveand Indians (1) Club América (1) Colin Cowgill (1) Colorado Avalanche (1) Columbus Crew (1) Coors Field (1) Cornbelt Conference (1) Cotton Nash (1) Craig Biggio (1) Curt Schilling (1) Dale Murphy (1) Dallas Wings (1) Dan Straily (1) Daniel Nava (1) Danny Duffy (1) Dansby Swanson (1) Darryl Sutter (1) Darwin Barney (1) Davey Lopes (1) David DeJesus (1) David Murphy (1) David Ousted (1) David Peralta (1) David Wright (1) Dawn Staley (1) DeMar Derozan (1) Dean Chance (1) Detroit Red Wings (1) Devan Dubnyk (1) Devon Travis (1) Dick Jacobs (1) Didi Gregorius (1) Dillon Gee (1) Dioner Navarro (1) Don Mincher (1) Don Sutton (1) Dr. James Naismith (1) Draymond Green (1) Drayton McLane (1) Drew Hutchison (1) Dries Mertens (1) Duke Blue Devils (1) Dustin Byfuglein (1) Dusty Baker (1) Earl Weaver (1) Ed Creech (1) Edinson Volquez (1) Edmonton Oilers (1) Edwin Jackson (1) Efren Navarro (1) Eintracht Frankfurt (1) Elena Della Donne (1) Elian Herrera (1) Empoli (1) Ender Inciarte (1) Endy Chavez (1) English Premier League (1) Eric Sogard (1) Eric Staal (1) Evan Gattis (1) Evan Longoria (1) Everton FC (1) Farhan Zaidi (1) Felix Hernandez (1) Football Association (1) Frank Viola (1) Frank Wren (1) Fred McGriff (1) Freddie Gray (1) Freddy Galvis (1) Garrett Williams (1) Gene Mauch (1) Geno Auriemma (1) Genoa (1) German traveling soccer championship (1) Gerry Hunsicker (1) Gonzaga Zags (1) Goran Dragic (1) Grant Green (1) Green Bay Packers (1) Greg Holland (1) Guggenheim Baseball Management (1) Halle Berry (1) Happy Chandler East (1) Happy Chandler West (1) Harry Carey (1) Hassan Whiteside (1) Heath Bell (1) Henry Aaron Award. (1) Houston (1) Howard Kendrick (1) Ian Kinsler (1) Ichiro Suzuki (1) Indiana Fever (1) Indiana Pacers (1) Italian traveling soccer championship (1) Ivan DeJesus (1) J.B. Schuck (1) J.J. Hardy (1) J.J.Hardy (1) J.P. Howell (1) Jack Kent Cooke (1) Jack McKeon (1) Jackie Robinson (1) Jake Marisnick (1) Jake Odorizzi (1) Jake Peavy (1) James Paxton (1) James Shielss (1) Jamie McCourt (1) Jamie Wright (1) Jared Weaver (1) Jarrod Dyson (1) Jarrod Saltalamacchia (1) Jason Giambi (1) Jason Hammel (1) Jason Heyward (1) Jason Isringhausen (1) Jason Zucker (1) Javy Guerra (1) Jeff Samadrzija (1) Jeff Samardjzia (1) Jhonny Peralta (1) Jim Abbott (1) Jim Eppard (1) Jim Eppel (1) Jim Fregosi (1) Jim Hickey (1) Jim Johnson (1) Jim Palmer (1) Jimmie Hall (1) Jimmy Nelson (1) Jimmy Piersall (1) Joc Pedersen (1) Joe Mauer (1) Joe Morgan (1) Joe Saunders (1) Joe Thatcher (1) Joe Torre (1) JoeGirardi (1) Joel Berry II (1) Joel Hanrahan (1) John Angelos (1) John Farrell (1) John Helyar (1) John Jay (1) John O'Donnell Stadium (1) John Roseboro (1) Johnny Cueto (1) Johnny Giavotella (1) Jon Niese (1) Jonathan Papelbon (1) Jonathan Quick (1) Jonathan Schoop (1) Jordan Lyles (1) Jose Abreu (1) Jose Bautista (1) Jose Peraza (1) Jose Quintana (1) Jose Reyes (1) Jose Valverde (1) Joseph Wapner (1) Josh Donaldson (1) Josh Harrison (1) Jozy Altidore (1) Juan Marichal (1) Juan Pierre (1) Juan Rivera (1) Justin Jackson (1) Justin Turner (1) Kansas City Royals Pittsburgh Pirates (1) Ken Rosenthal (1) Kentucky Wildcats (1) Kevin Correia (1) Kevin Jepson (1) Kevin Kiermaier (1) Kevin Malone (1) Kevin Tapani (1) Koji Uehara (1) Kole Calhoun (1) Kris Bryant (1) Kris Jenkins (1) Kris Medlen (1) Kwami Leonard (1) Kyle Kubitza (1) Kyle Seager (1) L.J. Hoes (1) La Liga (1) LaMarr Hoyt (1) Lance McCullers (1) Larry Dolan (1) Leicester City FC (1) LewWolff (1) Liga MX (1) Ligue 1 (1) Liverpool (1) Logan White (1) Lords of the Realm (1) Lorenzo Cain (1) Los Angeles Kings (1) Louisville Cardinals (1) Lyon (1) Major League Soccer (1) Major League Soccer standings (1) Marcell Ozuna (1) Marge Schott (1) Mariano Rivera (1) Mark McGwire (1) Mark Mulder (1) Mark Reynolds (1) Mark Scheifele (1) Martin Prado (1) Marvin Miller (1) Masahiro Tanaka (1) Matt Adams (1) Matt Carpenter (1) Matt Dominguez (1) Matt Harvey (1) Matt Joyce (1) Matt Moore (1) Matt Shoemaker (1) Matt Wieters (1) Max Kruse (1) Max Scherzer (1) Maya Moore (1) Memphis Grizzlies (1) Miami Hurricanes (1) Michael Bourn (1) Michael Cuddyer (1) Michael Roth (1) Michael Young (1) Mikael Granlund (1) Mike Bolsinger (1) Mike Ilitch (1) Mike Illitch (1) Mike Leake (1) Mike Matheny (1) Mike Minor (1) Mike Mussina (1) Mike Napoli (1) Mike Piazza (1) Mike Zunino (1) Mikko Koivu (1) MilwaukeeBrewers (1) Minnesota United FC (1) Mookie Betts (1) NBA (1) NBA Ear of Corn (1) NBA East Ear of Corn (1) NBA West Ear of Corn (1) NBA east traveling championship (1) NBA traveling championship (1) Napoli (1) Nashville Predators (1) National Football League (1) National Hockey League (1) National League Divisional Series (1) Nebraska Cornhuskers (1) Nes York Yankees (1) New England Patriots (1) New Jersey Devils (1) New Orleans Saints (1) New York FC (1) New York Knickerbockers (1) New York Red Bulls (1) NewYork Yankees (1) Newcastle United (1) Nick Markakis (1) Nick Saban (1) Nino Niederreiter (1) Nolan Ryan (1) North American traveling soccer championship (1) North League (1) Oakland Raiders (1) PNC Park (1) Pachuca (1) Palermo (1) Paris Saint-Germain (1) Paul Maholm (1) Paul Molitor (1) Paul Splittorff (1) Pedro (1) Pekka Rinne (1) Pete Carroll (1) Peter Bourjos (1) Phil Hughes (1) Phil Jackson (1) Philadephia Eagles (1) Pittsburgh Steelers (1) Preston Tucker (1) Prince Fielder (1) Quad Cities Angels (1) R.A. Dickey (1) R.A.Dickey (1) Ralph Garr (1) Randy Choate (1) Real Sociedad (1) Reggie Jackson (1) Reims (1) Rich Gale (1) Rich Hill (1) Rick Monday (1) Rick Reichardt (1) Rickey Henderson (1) Robert Cannon (1) Robert Lurie (1) Roberto Hernandez (1) Roger Scruton (1) Rogers Hornsby (1) Rohinson Cano (1) Ron Cey (1) Ron Washington (1) Roughned Odor (1) Rubby De La Rosa (1) Ryan Howard (1) Ryan Ludwick (1) Sacramento Kings (1) Safeco Field (1) Salvador Perez (1) Sam LeCure (1) San Francico Giants (1) San Francisco Giants (1) San Jose (1) San Jose Sharks (1) Sandy Koufax (1) Scott Diamond (1) Scott Dres (1) Scott Kazmir (1) Sean Marshall (1) Sebastian Giovinco (1) Second Divison (1) Seimone Augustus (1) Serie A (1) Seth Smith (1) Sevilla FC (1) Shin-Soo Choo (1) Sonny Gray (1) South League (1) Southern California Trojans (1) Spanish traveling soccer championship (1) Sporting KC (1) Staples Center (1) Starlin Castro (1) Stephen Drew (1) Steve Carlton (1) Steve Garvey (1) Super Bowl (1) Swansea City (1) Sylvia Fowles (1) Taijuan Walker (1) Texas A&M Aggies (1) Texas Christian Horned Frogs (1) Tim Federowicz (1) Tim Holbrook (1) Tim Hudson (1) Tim Raines (1) Todd Frazier (1) Toluca (1) Tom Glavine (1) Tom Seaver (1) Toronto Raptors (1) Toronton Blue Jays (1) Trevor May (1) Trevor Rosenthal (1) Tronto Blue Jays (1) Ty Cobb (1) UNAM (1) Utah Jazz (1) Vancouver Whitecaps (1) Vernon Wells (1) Victor Vázquez (1) Vladimir Guerrero. (1) WAR (1) Wade Davis (1) Wade LeBlanc (1) Wade Miley (1) Walter Haas (1) Walter O'Malley (1) Wandy Rodriguez (1) Warren Giles League (1) Washington Mystics (1) Washington Natinals (1) Washington Redskins (1) Washington Senators (1) Watford (1) Wellington Castillo (1) West Ham United (1) Will Myers (1) Wilmer Flores (1) Wily Peralta (1) Wins Above Replacement (1) Wisconsin Badgers (1) Yadier Molina (1) Yan Gomes (1) Yankee Stadium (1) Yuli Gurriel (1) Zach Britton (1) Zach Parise (1) Zack Cozart (1) baseball continental traveling championship (1) baseball traveling championship (1) college football (1) continental traveling hockey championship (1) drug testing (1) eastern hockey traveling championship (1) hockey traveling championship (1) pro basketbal traveling championship (1) pro basketball Ear of Corn (1) realignment (1) steven Souza (1) test (1) traveling championship (1) western basketball traveling championship (1) western hockey traveling championship (1) western pro hockey traveling championship (1) women's pro basketball First Division (1) women's pro basketball traveling championship (1)