May 5, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Adrian Gonzalez emerged as one of the finest power hitters in baseball during his final four seasons with the San Diego Padres. He hit 30 home runs every year - and 40 one year - while playing in cavernous Petco Park. His days as that kind of power hitter are gone. BOX SCORE: San Francisco 4, Dodgers 3 That is not a whisper from an anonymous scout. That is the word from Gonzalez himself, who says he has been unable to recover the swing that made him an elite power hitter.
August 12, 2011 |
In an era of drug tests and amphetamine bans, when teams are starved for power, Russell Branyan can't find a decent job. Branyan took Mariano Rivera into the third deck at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, as a pinch-hitter. The Angels started him Friday, for the first time in 20 days. The Angels entered play ranking next-to-last in the American League in runs, with five home runs from their third basemen, and Branyan has played third base more than any other position in the major leagues.
July 10, 2011 |
Perhaps for the first time this season, Andre Ethier looked like the power hitter he says he still considers himself to be. Ethier had his first multi-home run game this season in the Dodgers' 4-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday, hitting solo homers in the fifth and eighth innings. "I'm not going to say it isn't nice," Ethier said. The home runs were Ethier's eighth and ninth of the season. He was homerless in his previous 15 games. Ethier said recently that he hasn't felt entirely comfortable at the plate this season, something he reiterated Sunday.
June 6, 2011 |
The Angels did not let a little shoulder tear deter them from their top target in the first round of Monday's draft, using the 17th overall pick to select college slugger C.J. Cron . The 6-foot-4, 230-pound first baseman hit .434 with 15 home runs, 26 doubles and 59 runs batted in as a junior at Utah despite playing the entire season with a tear in his right (throwing) labrum. Cron, 21, said the injury "didn't affect my swing much," but when asked on a conference call if it would require surgery, Cron said, "Yeah, something will have to be done eventually.
May 12, 2011 |
What you see now is what you are going to get from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The symmetry for their 2011 baseball season is now in place, whether they like it or not. Fittingly, they are in Texas for a three-game weekend series with the Rangers, who came of age in the American League West last season at the expense of the perennial playoff participant Angels. The Rangers went to the World Series and the Angels went home to watch on TV. They hadn't been postseason couch potatoes since 2006.
August 6, 2010 |
Vicente Padilla took a no-hitter into the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night. That was not a big story, not this year. In April, Ubaldo Jimenez pitched the first no-hitter in the history of the Colorado Rockies. On July 26, Matt Garza pitched the first no-hitter in the history of the Tampa Bay Rays, the fifth in the first four months of the season. The outbreak of no-hitters reflects a larger change in the national pastime. After an era in which the home run was celebrated above all, pitchers have gained the upper hand.