Guerrero goes out with a whimper

first_imgANAHEIM – One year ago, Vladimir Guerrero lifted the Angels on his broad shoulders and almost single-handedly carried the team into the postseason. It earned the slugger the American League’s Most Valuable Player award and the reputation as a clutch performer. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The Chicago White Sox and their dominant pitching staff overwhelmed the Angels as a whole, but no Angel suffered more than Guerrero, who finished with just one infield hit in 20 ALCS at-bats. “My production was down,” Guerrero said through an interpreter. “I still feel like I saw the ball quite well and I’m very disappointed that at times we weren’t able to come up with a big hit.” Guerrero will never be confused with a patient hitter, but in this series his free-swinging ways resulted only in weak dribblers, rather than booming line drives. Only twice in his 20 at-bats did he even get the ball out of the infield. “It’s tough, and I’m sure for Vladdy it’s tough,” said Angels general manager Bill Stoneman. “We’re counting on our better players to play very well.” Said Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen: “We stick with the scouting report and my guys went out and pitched excellent.” There will be no awards this year, and his reputation will require a bit of a repair job. In this season’s American League Championship Series, on the biggest stage of the 29-year-old’s career, Guerrero could not even carry his own weight. His prodigious swing was still present, but the ensuing blasts from his bat were nowhere to be found. center_img Sunday’s Game 5 performance typified the struggles Guerrero faced in the series. In the first inning, with a runner on base, Guerrero hit a first-pitch, inning-ending pop-up to second base. In the third, with a runner on base, he grounded into an inning-ending fielder’s choice to shortstop. In both the fifth and eighth, he grounded out softly to second base. Final line: 0 for 4, three runners left on base, zero pitches hit with the authority the Angels have come to expect from their franchise player. “They did a good job with every one of our hitters,” Guerrero said. “Looking back, I do feel like maybe I tried to do too much with certain pitches because (their starters) were so good that I ended up swinging at a lot of their pitches.” Said Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher: “It just didn’t click for him this series. I know he’s more frustrated than anyone. You can see it on his face; he wanted it bad.” Guerrero didn’t exactly come into the ALCS, or the postseason as a whole, on any sort of hot streak. Against the New York Yankees in the Division Series, Guerrero went 6 for 18, with no extra base hits and no RBI. He also ended the regular season without much power, hitting just one home run in his final 42 at-bats. Guerrero was only 2 for 12 in last year’s playoffs, giving him a career postseason batting average of .113 (6 for 53). “I got to keep my head up,” Guerrero said. “It’s not the series I wanted to have but, you know what, I signed here because I think we have a chance to do this every year and I hope to have a better (postseason next year), not only individually but as a team so we can survive and go to the next round.” Keven Chavez, (626) 962-8811 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *