Friday, April 10, 2015
The First Cut Is The Deepest
So there I was. Harmlessly flipping through channels on Tuesday night. The Angel game had ended early so I flipped over to see what the Dodgers were doing. Then I finally saw it. Howie Kendrick in Dodger Blue. Not only was it difficult to see, but it was Howie driving in a go-ahead run against the Padres. Thankfully, the Padres eventually took the game, but the damage was done. My heart was in two.
I'm really happy with what Johnny Giavotella has been doing for the Angels over the last month or so. He had a three-hit game in Wednesday's rubber match with the Mariners and has been solid defensively at 2nd base. But in the long run, he is no Howie Kendrick. Since Adam Kennedy left the club in 2006, Kendrick has been a constant, and been my favorite player, especially through the dark times (2010-2012).
Literally two articles ago was my Ode to Kendrick, so going over all the reasons I'll miss him is redundant. But actually seeing him play baseball in a Dodger uniform for the first time stung a lot more than I was ready for.
Fortunately, the play of the Angels has been good enough to start the season that little things like seeing Howie in a Dodgers uniform and Hank Conger in an Astros uni aren't hurting THAT bad.
The pitching has been marvelous, especially CJ Wilson with his 8 Innings of shutout baseball against the M's on Tuesday. Weaver was a little shaky on Opening Day, but had he not been facing Felix Hernandez, he probably would have had better run support.
Hitting has been a little inconsistent, but like I said earlier, Giavotella has been a pleasant surprise while guys like Calhoun and Aybar try to find their groove. David Freese looks like the player we THOUGHT we were getting last year, and Matt Joyce looks like he could actually contribute while Hamilton is... away. (I'll probably do another article on Hamilton at some point in the near future, meant to do one about a month ago)
Looking forward to the home opener tonight, and with any luck, we can open our season taking 4 of 6 from the 2014 AL Champs (Royals) and everyone's sexy pick to the be the 2015 AL Champs (Mariners). My only concern is that Hector Santiago is on the mound tonight, and to say that he got off to a slow start last season is like saying King Joffrey from Game of Thrones is kind-of a jerk.