Dave’s Free Play, Monday 5/27/13
A nice wrap to the weekend on Sunday, with a 3-1 +2.15 bottom line. For whatever crazy reason, the eighth inning continues to be a mine field for me, as my one loser came via a bullpen meltdown in that frame. The free play on the Braves met a similar fate, when a pitcher who been nails all season fell apart and incredibly, ended up being beaten by Ike Davis of the Mets.
Monday’s holiday card looks reasonably enticing. I’m already on a pair of dogs and one small chalk piece. All three plays plus anything I might add during the day are available by clicking on the tab to the right of the page, and a full week of plays is also an option there. If you’d like info on longer term packages, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Guarantees are included with monthly and/or seasonal purchases.
I’ll frequently use this space to rant about something, with the #umpshow fiasco as a popular topic. But I’m actually now finding myself rooting for bad calls, because each one appears to expedite the move to what is almost certainly now going to be a widely expanded instant replay review being put into place.
The latest gaffe came yesterday in the Angels-Royals game, and it featured a familiar face in Brian Gorman. He has been involved in a number of controversies this season, and managed to apparently break the rules this time.
Jeff Francoeur appeared to swing and miss for strike three on a bottom of the ninth offering by Angels closer Ernesto Frieri. Gorman signaled the Royals OF out, which got an immediate heated protest from Francoeur. He insisted the ball had been tipped and that he should still be at bat. At this point, Gorman decided to check the baseball for evidence, which was useless as it had ended up in the dirt. Gorman then consulted with one of the other umpires, and the call was reversed. One problem with that result is that according to what I know, that’s not a call that can be reversed, which means Gorman went away from the rule book in doing so. And, by the way, the replay certainly offered no proof there had been a foul tip, so he most likely ended up reversing a correct call. That’s outstanding.
Meanwhile, as one would imagine, Angels skipper Mike Scioscia was very upset by the decision and let Foster know about it, at which point he was thrown out of the game. So in the end, Foster reversed his own call with no evidence and then compounded that mistake by exiling the manager who was rightfully protesting.
Just another day at the office for Major League Baseball as far as the horrific officiating is concerned. But in the end, it’s going to lead to the repair that the game has needed for some time. So my sentiments to the umpires are simply, keep up the bad work. It’s going to pay off handsomely by next season.
05/27 05:10 PM MLB (931) LOS ANGELES ANGELS VS (932) LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Take: (931) LOS ANGELES ANGELS
There’s a potential pitching duel on tap tonight at Chavez Ravine as they Angels and Dodgers get the latest edition of the Freeway Series underway. CJ Wilson has gotten his act together of late for the Halos, and the Dodgers are thrilled to have Zack Greinke back in action following his stint on the DL.
History buffs will be looking at the road team tonight. The Angels have had much the best of the Dodgers recently, winning 13 of the last 18 meetings, and the Halos are also a robust 10-3 when wearing the road jerseys.
Greinke has a poor record against the Angels, standing just 1-4 lifetime. But as I’ve mentioned many times before, the more important historical numbers are pitcher vs. batter rather than pitcher vs. team, for reasons that should be fairly obvious. As far as that goes, Wilson and Greinke have nearly identical stats against the probable starters they will face tonight. The season stats for these two pitchers are also a virtual wash. I don’t see any edge either way on that count.
The team data is far more definitive. The Angels are on fire, riding by far their longest winning streak of the season right now. Mike Trout has gotten extremely hot and he’s clearly the rare individual who has the ability to carry an entire team when he’s sizzling to this extent. The Dodgers continue to have a multitude of problems, and they’re looking like teams often look when there’s a likely lame duck coach or manager running the show.
It looks to me like the guys who post the betting lines got this one right, making the Angels a small favorite, even against the likes of Greinke. With far less concern about Wilson now than I had a few weeks ago, I’ll look for the Angels to keep their run intact with the series opening win.