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Angels continue to ray-z their game

Posted By Bill Mahoney On May 2 2011 @ 1:46 am In LA Angels Of Anaheim | No Comments

Couple of interesting happenings since the last time I wrote. Jason Bulger is finally gone, not completely, but most likely. The Halos DFA’d him on Thursday. I have never been a big fan of him. There were times he looked dominant, but those were rare. I got tired of him walking 2 of every 4 batters he faced. He will be claimed by someone, guaranteed.

Matt Palmer was also sent out, except he was optioned to Salt Lake. Palmer did alright, especially in that start in Texas. He’ll be back, and when he does come back, I’ll believe in him a bit more. I think I am comparing him to Weaver & Haren, and that’s not fair.

The bigger news involved Jered Weaver. The Angels stud pitcher called off Sunday’s start against the Rays due to a stomach virus. I wonder how much of it was the virus, or the Angels just wanting their best pitcher to face the Red Sox. Boston took all 4 from the Halos last week. Not a bad idea to have Weaver, who is undefeated in 6 starts, starting game one in bean town later today.

For the first time in his career, Tyler Chadwick struggled. The rookie, who took the hill instead of Weaver was torched for 5 runs by the Rays in just 4 innings of work. But you really have to give it up for the Halo starters. Ervin Santana, Joel Pineiro, and Chadwick went a combined 17 innings, giving up just 7 runs. Obviously, most of those runs were scored today.

Pineiro was absolutely awesome. Making his first start of the season, the right hander gave up just one run in 7 innings. It’s one thing to expect him to come back strong, but he overpowered the Rays most of the afternoon.

The sign of a good team is one that is able to come back. The Angels trailed in all 3 games against the Rays. 4-1 on Friday, 1-0 on Saturday and 5-0 on Sunday. The most impressive to me had to be Friday’s effort, because the Angels battled back against David Price. Price, one of the top lefties in the game, was hit around to the tune of 12 hits, and 5 runs, including a blast by Mark Trumbo. The Angels pounded out 17 hits, and 8 players in the Angels lineup got a hit. Only one did not, Jeff Mathis. Mathis did catch a good game, keeping Santana focused and on the mark. Why can’t he hit better though? .180 isn’t gonna cut it. It only cuts it if you’re making 24 million dollars a year. One columnist said that Mathis could have been an all-star if he didn’t get hurt last year. What’s the problem this year?

I think I have a love/hate relationship with Fernando Rodney. Certain days, like Friday and Sunday, I love the guy. The guy on Saturday, not so much. What was that pitch he threw in the 10th inning? a 50 footer that looked like something I would throw. One thing I do love about Mike Scioscia is that after a bad outing he puts a guy back in. He did that Sunday with Rodney, who pitched a scoreless frame, even being on the receiving end of a nice double play.

Here’s Angels baseball at it finest. 5th inning of today’s game, the Halos down 4-1. Look how they tied the game: Walk, walk, single, walk, sacrifice fly, stolen base and single. That plated 4 runs. Name me another team that could scored that many runs without an extra base hit? Maybe the Rays, possible the Royals, but not many others..

Now Vernon Wells. Wells made a great play in the 8th inning of Sunday’s game. With Torii Hunter on 3rd, He forced Ben Zobrist to tag him out on Hank Congers double play grounder. Zobrist thought the Wells would run in to the tag, and then he would easily double up Conger. Didn’t happen ’cause Wells stopped. Great heads up play by Wells, allowing Hunter to score the eventual winning run.

Wells with the bat: Still bad. Going 1-11 in the 3 games dropped Wells average to .170. Scioscia realizes the problem, dropping him to the 6th spot in the order.

So the pitching is downright nasty. The offense and defense are still in the lower half of the American league, but I think they will get better over time. All in all, I think it has been a pretty good month for the the Halos. Only 5 months to go.

Go Angels

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