When it comes to home runs and walks, long ball is lesser of two evils
Entering tonight's game against the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rogers Centre, Angels pitchers had allowed a major league-high 17 home runs and issued 43 walks, which ranked them 12th in the American League.
Manager Mike Scioscia is not happy about either of those statistics, especially since the Angels thought they had one of the deeper pitching staffs in baseball, but those free passes are driving him more batty than the long balls.
"Definitely, the walks," Scioscia said, when asked which of the two developments was more disturbing. "Home runs are a byproduct of facing good hitters and being aggressive in the strike zone. What we're finding is that a lot of our lack of production on the pitching side is from being in bad counts.
"There's a lot of pressure to put that slider in a good spot with a 2-and-1 count. We're seeing some good things. [Joel Pineiro] has had two good starts, [Jered] Weaver is throwing the ball well, Joe Saunders threw the ball well his last time out. There are a lot of positives, but overall, we're not getting the kind of pitching production we want."
--Mike DiGiovanna, reporting from Toronto
Photo: Angels Manager Mike Scioscia removes starting pitcher Scott Kazmir from Thursday's game after he gave up a two-run home run to Robinson Cano in the fifth inning. Credit: Frank Franklin II / Associated Press