Tag:Casey Kotchman
Posted on: May 7, 2008 1:53 pm

Halos finding the road 'heavenly'

After last night's 5-3 win over the Royals in Kansas City, the Angels record away from the Big A stands at a league-best 12-5. Very impressive, considering the team did most of its damage in the friendly confines of Angels Stadium last season and played roughly .500 ball on the road. If we can start dominating like we have at home, and keep up a better pace on the road, the Angels are easily capable of surpassing last season's win total, which would hopefully mean another AL West title.

Nick Adenhart, the sequel. A little better than the original, but still not quite there. 4 1/3 innings with five walks against a fairly young and punchless Kansas City team. I think he walked 9-hitter Tony Pena twice and he's hitting like a buck-fifty. You gotta be able to lay one or two down the middle to hacks like that and Nick just couldn't. Good, live arm, and he did improve from his first outing. Got to within two outs of having a chance at his first big league win, but after walking consecutive batters in the 5th, had to hit the showers. He might get one more shot at that first win four or five days from now.

There was a Garret Anderson sighting last night. Finally. GA singlehandedly carried the offense knocking in five runs, including a 3-run shot, his second homer in two days. Hopefully GA gets it going.

Vlad had a triple-double last night. Make that a triple and a double, and he was robbed on a laser up the middle by Royals second baseman Mark Grudzasomethingorother. All those were hard hit balls to the right side. When Vlad's going good, he hits a lot of balls hard to right field. Watch out.

Howie Kendrick went 3-3 with 2 HR in a rehab start in single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He should be back soon, maybe tonight.

Uh, Casey Kotchman is pretty good. Kotch is batting .333 with 6 HR and 21 RBI and is leading the majors with a .545 average off of lefties....545. That's pretty good.

Posted on: April 24, 2008 7:33 pm

Road Warriors

In a previous post I called this road trip a “test.” Well, half the test is done, and after taking 2 of 3 from the Red Sox (albeit, a flu-ridden, sore neck-ridden Sox club) in Fenway, which has been less than hospitable to the Halos in recent years, I feel pretty confident jotting a big B+ in red pen on the work of the team thus far.

In all honesty, this could have, and probably should have, been a sweep. We were slated to face the two best pitchers the Sox have in Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka, but both were scratched, forcing the Sox to call up some emergency starters from the minors. Hey, emergency starters or not, you still gotta hit the ball, and the Angels did, getting production from up and down the lineup. Offensive heroes were Jeff Mathis, Gary Matthews, Erick Aybar and Casey Kotchman with honorable mentions going to Torii Hunter and Maicer Izturis, who seems to be coming out of his early season slump.

As for the pitching, not bad considering how hot the Red Sox bats have been and how good they are in their ball park consistently. Weaver went in game 1 and kept us in the game without his best stuff, which has yet to make an appearance thus far. Garland was solid in game 2 getting the win, and really, only made one bad mistake which David Ortiz turned into a souvenir. And today, Saunders pitched into, and more importantly, out of trouble, picking up his fourth win of the season.

The bullpen seems to be stabilizing somewhat, preserving wins in two of the three games with Speier, Shields and Franky all looking pretty good. They weren’t lights-out, but against that lineup, who is? My worries about the early season struggles of the pen are slowly being eased with every lead they hold onto. Franky’s velocity is coming back and his changeup is becoming every bit as devastating as his slider.

Off to Detroit to cool off some more hot bats.

Posted on: April 17, 2008 1:50 pm

Royal pain in the butt

That road trip to Boston and Detroit is looking pretty inviting right about now. Seriously, anyone but the Royals...they own us. Last night's 3-2 win ran their streak to six in-a-row over the Halos dating back to last season. They beat Jered Weaver with a few well-placed singles and an error, commited by Weaver himself, that allowed the third and deciding run. Gil Meche seems to own us as well, as he picked up the victory to run his career record versus the Angels to 7-2.

I do own Meche in a fantasy league, so the game was bitter-sweet for me, although I am NOT one of those guys who roots for his fantasy players when they're playing my team. Real baseball always trumps fantasy baseball, and if you don't agree, you're not a real fan.

*steps off soapbox*

Some positives from the game:

  • Weaver again battled and kept us in a ball game without his best stuff. This seems to be a recurring theme for him. Just waiting for his "best stuff" or at least some "better stuff" to appear, because he'll need it for his next start in Boston.
  • Casey Kotchman is turning into a professional hitter. That little inside-out single to left to drive in our only two runs was Gwynn-esque. Cool stat - Kotch currently has more homeruns (4) than strikeouts (3). Pretty sweet. Also that heads-up double play he turned on that infield pop-up was very nice. ESPN showed him look down the line to check where the batter was. Very heady play.
  • The bullpen was good, especially O'Day, who looks like he's going to be a fixture for the season.
  • Aybar had a nice 0-for-4, if such a thing exists. He hit some absolute tracers to left field that seemed to be Teahen-seeking missles because they ultimately found their way into the Royals' left fielders glove. He's swinging the bat pretty good right now.

Hopefully we can solve the juggernaut that is the Kansas City Royals tonight against Brett Tomko. He's pitched pretty well so far, but c'mon he's Brett Tomko. Jon Garland takes the ball for the Halos looking to rebound from a so-so outing in Seattle.



Posted on: April 13, 2008 3:01 am

Winless in Seattle

Pitching, defense and timely hitting wins ball games, and the Angels haven't done much of any so far in this series in Seattle. Another sub-par pitching performance, this time by Garland, two errors and Raul Freaking Ibanez did in the Halos as they lost to the M's 8-3.

Once again, the Halos hit the ball pretty good, amassing 12 hits, including Casey Kotchman's third homer of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth inning. Problem is, scoring only three runs on those 12 hits isn't very good, ie. "timely." The middle of the order didn't do much of anything tonight, as all the production came from the 6-9 spots in the batting order. Another bright spot besides Kotch's bomb was Howie Kendrick going 3-for-4 after missing a few games with a banged up thumb. Dude can flat-out hit. Aybar also had a nice night with three hits and a run scored.

The pitching continues to be a weak spot for the club. Garland battled for a while without his best stuff (although truthfully, I don't really know what his "best stuff" looks like yet) before the M's scored three times in the fifth, getting two on a Richie Sexson homer. I know our pitching staff isn't anywhere near full strength, but veteran guys like Garland need to step up and give us a chance to win games. The bullpen has been atrocious, except for O'Day, whose been getting the job done. Bulger just isn't a big league pitcher yet, but we don't have a lot of options.

Still no reason to panic. The pitching will get healthy and the bats look pretty good from top to bottom. Tough matchup tomorrow with Bedard going (I think McLaren held him back just to face us), although April is not his best month historically and he has looked farily hittable so far. Hopefully we can avoid the brooms. Saunders on the bump for the Halos...and we need a good outing from the lefty.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com