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A Ray of hope for the Halos

Posted By Bill Mahoney On Apr 7 2011 @ 1:13 am In LA Angels Of Anaheim | No Comments

Going in to Tampa Bay the Angels had 2 things going for them. One was Jered Weaver, while the other was Dan Haren. Fortunately for the Angels, both of those guys came through with flying colors.

On Tuesday, Weaver continued what he started last year–and that’s dominating opponents. Now sporting an 0.69 ERA, Weaver befuddled the Rays for more than 6 innings. Every time I watch Weaver do well all I hear is cha-ching. The money that Scott Boras will ask the Angels, and every other team, will be astronomical. That’s why the Halos need to win now, and Weaver makes that possible every time he starts. The Angels bullpen not so much, once again failing to do much, but fail. Takahoshi and Kohn were really on their games, giving up 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks in just over an inning. Thank God for Jordan Walden, who pitched an uneventful 9th inning. That’s right, Walden pitched the 9th without giving up ┬árun.

I wouldn’t say the offense is humming along, but they are getting the job done. With Erick Aybar out with an injury, I do like Maicer Izturis in the leadoff spot, but I do worry that with all that he is playing, that he will hurt himself. I never really thought Kendrick was a number two hitter, but he is doing fantastic. And although his batting average isn’t that great, Torii Hunter comes through most every time. I am still not a big fan of him starting on a consistent basis, but in short bursts Alberto Callaspo can do some damage. And a big congrats to Hank Conger, who in my eyes should be starting more than once a week, for hitting his first career home run. Did I mention Vernon Wells? I’m not gonna lose faith in him so early in the season.

Now to today’s game. Dan Haren, like Weaver yesterday, shut the Rays down. Haren pitched in to the 8th inning for his first win of the year. Now here’s the shocking thing, the Angels bullpen did not blowup. Yeah, Walden put them away in the 9th inning. No save for Walden, he just shut the door on Tampa Bay. No, the big news is Kevin Jepsen, who didn’t give up a run or hit in his 1/3 of an inning. Usually when Jepsen comes in the pitches go like this: 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 3-1, sharp single. Just repeat that, and that’s Jepson to a T. He only faced one batter, but you have to start somewhere.

Vernon Wells is another story. I know he is putting an unbelievable amount of pressure on himself, but dude, relax! An ofer in Tampa put his average at a whopping .111. I hate to equate money to performance, but at 24 million this year, Wells has to pick up his game. I think he will, but right now he looks like an overmatched rookie.

One guy who doesn’t look like a rookie is Mark Trumbo. The Angels fill-in 1st baseman is striking the ball well. He is now hitting .286 after his 3 hit performance today. Wouldn’t it be great if when Kendrys Morales comes back, to have to find a spot for him because Trumbo is playing so well. It must be awesome for Trumbo, being from Anaheim, and all.

Hey, Jeff Mathis pitched in! 2 hits for the catcher, and didn’t even throw the ball in to left or center. As you know, I love to get on Mathis, but he does call a great game, and the pitchers love throwing to him. He sure gets in my craw though. So does Brandon Wood, but I’ll leave him alone, for now.

Couple more positives. Top three hitters in the Angels lineup are all hitting above .300. Plus, in two games in the sunshine state the Halos stole 6 bases.  Mike Scioscia loves to run, and he has the team to do just that.

Angels start their first homestand of the year on Friday. Toronto is in town, and you can only hope that Wells finds his batting stroke against his former team.

Talk to ya soon.

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