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Rangers and Angels

I know it's belated but here are a bunch of things I have thoughts on, mainly from the games in Texas and Anaheim last week.

After the strong performances in Texas it was hard to not be disappointed by only finishing the week 3-3 but it was a solid week for the Rays overall.

I say overall because the team went on the road and played .500 ball. When you break it down into components though you can't be as happy because the pitching was awful. Some allowance has to be made for playing in Arlington but there was no excuse for allowing 19 runs to the offensively-challenged Angels. A look at the pitching on the week:

McClung 8 13 12 4 8 3
Waechter 7 5 7 3 1 3
Kazmir 6 3 7 6 2 0
Fossum 5.1 4 8 1 0 0
Hendrickson 5 4 9 0 0 1
Brazelton 4.1 7 7 2 7 1
Colome 3.1 3 4 2 4 1
Borowski 3 0 1 0 2 0
Harper 2.2 2 4 0 0 2
Orvella 2.2 3 2 4 1 2
Baez 2.1 0 3 0 0 0
Miller 1.1 1 1 1 1 1
Total 51 45 65 23 26 14

Very ugly, it's like the bad old days of the season. A bunch of home runs, few strikeouts, and bad control. Kazmir had a solid start that took too many pitches, Fossum was sorta ok, and everyone else was poor or worse. If you're wondering why I'm giving more credit to Fossum than Hendrickson for fairly similar results it's because of the big gap in park factors where they made their starts, Fossum in Texas and Hendrickson in Anaheim.

Joey Gathright had a solid week at the plate but I still have my concerns about his hitting right now. Defensively was a completely different story though, he was a human highlight reel out there. Lots of great running catches and some nice dives, plays that very few other players have the raw physical ability to make.

As crazy as it may seem after his awful first half if Huff hits in August and September like he did last year then he'll still finish the season with similar rate stats to last season.

Crawford has raised his average almost to .300 now and is showing a little more power than last season. I'm worried about the lack of plate discipline and the low OBP is always going to hurt his value but he's still hitting very well on the season in spite of it. Speaking of hitters with crappy plate discipline, Cantu has had a power vacuum recently. He has hit .312/.333/.387 since the All-Star Break, keeping the AVG and OBP intact (though the .314 OBP still blows) but dropping his SLG on the year to .473. That's still good power for a middle infielder but when your only real contribution is that power you'd like to see better than that. I'm not complaining or down on Cantu really, when you swing at everything you tend to be streaky, it's just a little frustrating. Tons of potential but he's going to continue to have trouble at times until he stops trying to hit anything in the strike zone.

Thursday in Texas Orvella had his first poor outing since July 7th against Detroit. He gave up two home runs and hurt himself with a throwing error, all within one inning. That's unfortunate but it'll happen sometimes and it should be noted just how well he has turned his season around after struggling some early.

Thru July 7th 15.2 5.17 6.9 4.6 1.5 1.15
After July 7th 17.1 2.60 9.9 2.6 3.80 1.04
Total 33 3.82 8.5 3.5 2.38 1.09

Looks like a little time to adjust was all he needed, don't forget that he's only in his second full season of concentrating on being a pitcher and skipped Triple-A completely. The only concern is the home run rate which continues the mild problems he had with the gopher nation in the minors. In the future he will probably occasionally have an ugly blown save every so often on a home run but as long as he maintains his exceptional K/BB ratios then it isn't going to matter much.