New Year, Same Issues – The Angels May Not Have 99 Problems But The Bullpen’s One
They were just 4 games during the opening weekend of the season and there are still 158 more games to go, but as it stands right now the Angels bull pen is still really bad. After signing Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi this off season most figured the Halos pen would be a strong point of the club in 2011. Well, Downs suffered a freak injury while playing with his kids and Takahashi was lit up this weekend, leaving Kansas City with a 7.71 ERA. While the bullpen could take form once Downs returns, right now the Halos have serious issues. Fernando Rodney as most expected was shaky in the opening win and was horrible yesterday while blowing a two run lead in the ninth. Kevin Jepsen , Michael Kohn, Jason Bulger, and the aforementioned Takahashi were all brutal and in some form or fashion had a helping hand in the teams 1-3 start.
Hitting with RISP remained a problem ( Hunter and Wells went a combine 1-11) but realistically with some good bullpen work and minus another horrendous Scott Kazmir performance the Angels could possibly be staring 3-1 in the face. But what if”s are for nerds. Instead they are on the wrong side of .500 and stills searching for answers in the pen. Scioscia appears ready to shake things up saying:
"“Some guys did a terrific job on the mound and gave us a chance to win,” Scioscia said, “and some didn’t. There are some things we’re going to sort out. We need to change some things.”"
With that statement, don’t be surprised if Jordan Walden, a rare bright spot in the pen this weekend trots out for the next save opportunity.