Random thoughts on last night’s game:
- Kevin Kiermaier has to be my surprise player of the year. I expected him to be in a quasi-fourth outfielder role, defensive sub. I figured he, Merrifield, Biggio and others would share a job. But, when Kevin hit that ground-rule double in the 10th, I thought he must be out there every day or at least as much as we can without his body falling apart. He has a .400/.400/533 batting line (totally sustainable, right?).
- If you would have told me we’d end the 10-game opening road trip 6-4, I’d have been ok with it, and I’m still ok with it. It has been an interesting way to get here.
- Daulton Varsho has been so good defensively (and offensively) that it is too bad that he was the one that lost that ball in the sun. That stuff happens to good and bad defensive players. Announcers always talk about sunglasses, but if the ball is right in line with the sun, the sunglasses aren’t going to help enough. Trying to play it off to the side is a good idea, but running in on the ball is tough.
- I was more upset about Alejandro Kirk missing that catch than I should have been. He should have caught it, but it wasn’t that easy. Despite those two misses, our defense was very good on the day.
- It is unfair that Kikuchi got charged with 3 earned runs on that, but then a great play will be made on a ball hit off him later, and it will all balance. Announcers bring up the idea of a ‘team error’. I’m not a huge fan of the idea. It’s pretty hard to define. And really, the stats aren’t the game.
- I would like to see the alternate universe where the catch was made and see how that universe Kikuchi did. Without the catch, he threw extra pitches and was in a different spot in the order (he got to face Trout and Shotani again sooner than he would have if it were caught. Also, he would have been in a different head space. And we wouldn’t be looking at a 6.75 ERA by his name. But if he pitches the way he should, at the end of the season, we’ll have forgotten. And if he doesn’t pitch as he should, it won’t matter either.
- Isn’t this how you imagined Bo and Vlad would start every season? Bo is hitting .361 and Vlad .439. I imagine their averages at the end of the season will be some lower than that, but this is how we thought things would go when they first came up.
- I’d have loved it if we had a high-leverage arm left in the pen for extra innings last night. I know the plan was for Romano to have an easy ninth inning, but maybe we could hold an arm or two out for the possibility that things won’t always go exactly as planned. But we won, even though the thought of Mayza throwing to Ohtani and Richard to Trout, both with the winning run on base, was enough to age me five years.
If you had to pick a star of the game, who would you go with:
Who would you pick as star of the game?
This poll is closed
Yesterday’s FanGraph. The Angels had a 98.2% chance of winning at one point. And then the Jays had a 98.2% in the 8th inning. Not that you needed this to know that the game was nuts:
Yesterday’s Umpire Scorecard. MacKay leaned towards the Angels. He wasn’t the worst plate umpire we’ve seen, but again, Cavan Biggio got royally ripped off. As a general rule, umpires lean toward the team that’s trailing. Yesterday.....well, both teams spent time trailing at various times.
Matt Chapman is the AL Player of the Week: