Angels Golden Sombreros In 2011


Ah, the golden sombrero. Perhaps my favorite head attire next to the headband/sunglasses look, it’s making a comeback bro, and my fancy dinner galea. I’ve been writing about/obsessed with golden sombreros for some time now, most recently at Off Base Percentage. My love of the golden sombrero is how I became good friends with the talented Mike Rosenbaum, editor of The Golden Sombrero. For those uninitiated to the golden sombrero, I’m not talking about an expensive Mexican napping hat.

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who strikes out four time in one game. It used to be Ryan Howard and Mark Reynolds hogging all of the strikeout glory but plenty of other players are getting in on the act. Let’s blend up some margaritas and see how the Angels fared in 2011…

Jeff Mathis, April 9 vs. Toronto
Bottom 4th: Mathis struck out swinging against Brett Cecil. Mathis fouled off three straight pitches before going down swinging. Success!

Bottom 6th: Mathis struck out swinging against Carlos Villanueva. Mathis actually took a ball before striking out. More success!

Bottom 11th: Mathis struck out swinging against Octavio Dotel. Mathis ran the count full before the big swing and miss. It’s in extra innings so I don’t want to bash him too hard but the sombrero still counts.

Bottom 14th: Mathis struck out swinging against Jon Rauch. Prior to this at bat, Brandon Wood struck out swinging. Plenty of disappointment in this inning before Maicer Izturis singled home Peter Bourjos for the walkoff win.

Peter Bourjos, April 13 vs. Cleveland
Here’s my post from Off Base Percentage. I was a little too hard on Bourjos…

Peter Bourjos is pure fun to watch play center field. Even when he doesn’t get a good jump or read, his speed allows him to make difficult catches look effortless. Unfortunately, he has almost no reason to even take a bat to any of his plate appearances. In 193 PA in 2010, Bourjos hit .204/.237/.381 but Mike Scioscia saw enough improvement in his 2011 .220/.267/.390 line to go ahead and bat him leadoff.

How’d it go, you ask? Dammit, I have to stop giving away the answers to these questions in the post title. He went 0-5 with 4 strikeouts. Let’s go to the lowlights…

Bottom 1st: Bourjos struck out looking against Carlos Carrasco. You want your leadoff hitter to see some pitches. Bourjos watched three straight go right past him.

Bottom 3rd: Bourjos struck out swinging against Carrasco. Three straight balls followed by three straight strikes. The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of plate appearances, if you will.

Bottom 5th: Bourjos struck out swinging against Carrasco.

Bottom 8th: Bourjos struck out swinging against Vinnie Pestano in three pitches. Look at who didn’t even need those three extra innings to record a Golden Sombrero. And for that, we salute you.

Bobby Abreu, September 21 vs. Toronto
Top 1st: Abreu struck out swinging against Dustin McGowan. Abreu hit .259/.318/.431 in September. That’s not great when your best skill in On Base Percentage.

Top 3rd: Abreu struck out swinging against McGowan again. Abreu struck out 13 times in September. This was the only game he struck out more than once. He also only walked six times.

Top 6th: Abreu struck out looking against Jesse Litsch. This was a classic “no bat required” plate appearance. Abreu took a ball before watching three consecutive strikes fly by him. Sounds a lot like my little league career.

Top 7th: Abreu struck out looking against Luis Perez. Abreu flied out in the 8th to avoid the platinum sombrero. Bummer.

That’s it. Only three golden sombreros for the Angels in 2011. I guess it shouldn’t be that big of a surprise considering they had the ninth fewest strikeouts as a team. Any time I think about sombreros, this gets stuck in my head for a week…