The Angels got off to a quick start in Kansas City on Tuesday, but the offense sputtered after the first inning and Joel Pineiro continued to struggle in a 7-3 loss at Kauffman Stadium.
Momentum. The Angels had one of their more complete offensive performances Monday -- flashing some power and bunching hits -- and they seemed to carry that confidence into the first inning. Without taking a walk, they forced struggling lefty Jeff Francis to throw a lot of pitches and four of the first five batters came up with base hits. (See below)
Corners. It's generally a good idea to get offensive production from your first and third basemen, but the Angels got shockingly little in 2010. Mark Trumbo and Alberto Callaspo have been two of the team's hotter hitters, so maybe they won't have to relive that nightmare again this year.
Bell toils. Trevor Bell has been on a shuttle between Triple-A Salt Lake and the big leagues for a few years running, but maybe he has found his niche at last. He gave the Angels a scoreless inning at the end and has now given up only two runs in his last seven innings.
Green light. The Angels had Francis reeling in the first inning, but for some reason, Mike Scioscia gave .240-hitting Peter Bourjos the clearance to swing away on a 3-and-0 count. Typical Angels aggressiveness. Bourjos hit a shallow pop-up to left field, the Angels could cash in only two runs, Francis settled in and they wouldn't get another opportunity this good again.
Stuck on 99. Pineiro has been searching for his 100th win for a while. He pitched great after coming off the disabled list, but he has lost four straight starts and hasn't pitched particularly well. The sinkerball specialist has given up 15 earned runs in those four starts.
Lightweight bench. Right now, Reggie Willits is contributing nothing to this team. He is batting .045 in 25 at-bats and seems to be ordered to bunt every time he comes up. So, why is Willits in the lineup, other than for the fact Bobby Abreu has become a brutally bad outfielder? Look for Willits to head back to Triple-A Salt Lake when Howie Kendrick returns from the disabled list Saturday.