Minnesota is never an easy place to play. This year, however, the Twins may be a tad easier to handle. They have had injuries galore, along with many losses in the off-season that have so far, been difficult to overcome. Sounds like a recipe for success for the Halos.
The Twins have the worst record in baseball, along with one of the worst pitching staffs, for that team, in years. But starters Scott Baker and Anthony Swarzak are doing what the two unknown A’s starters did to them earlier in the week, baffle them completely. Baker and Swarzak threw a combined 15 innings, allowing just 7 hits, and no runs. Swarzak was particularly impressive, allowing only 1 hit in his 8 innings of work. Thankfully, Peter Bourjos was able to get a hit, or Swarzak would have joined quite a list of nobodies who have no hit the Halos. I’m guessing here, but didn’t Eric Milton no hit the Halos at the beginning of his career?
I felt the Angels would get the Twins for the 2nd straight night. On Friday, they were down 5 nothing before tying the game in the 8th, then winning it in the 9th. It was an impressive offensive display for the Halos, coming against a beleaguered Twins bullpen. In less than one inning of work, the Angels pounded 3 Minnesota pitchers to the tune of 7 hits, 1 walk and 6 runs. Coming in to the 8th inning the Angels had 6 hits and no runs. Bad bullpens can kill a team.
The Angels have a better bullpen than the Twins, at least I think they do. It took 5 pitchers after Tyler Chatwood to put the Twins down. Minnesota even had the tying and winning runs on base in the 9th before Justin Walden was able to close the door.
You may be, but I’m not, a big fan of Hasinori Takahashi or Kevin Jepsen. Takahashi gave up a run on Friday, and the winning run on Saturday. Kevin Jepsen did get an out on Friday, but gave up 3 straight hits on Saturday to tag Takahashi with the loss. Jepsen, Takahasi and Fernando Rodney are Jekyll and Hyde pitchers.
Jered Weaver is back on the beam. He pitched just as good a game as Swarzak, but like the rookie, got a ND. Weaver is an amazing pitcher. I like to hassle about not erecting statues, and all, but to think where the Halos would be without him is scary. He has only given up 61 hits in 85+ innings. Plus, he is almost averaging almost a strike out per inning pitched. Wow!!!
Sadly, he knows his Angels career is going to end. Listening to him on the radio, he made it clear he wants to stay an Angel, but he is keenly aware that the Angels don’t have a long track record of re-signing their own free agents. Vladimir Guerrero, John Lackey, Chone Figgins & Bengie Molina are a a few of the former Angels that weren’t brought back. I think Weaver will be 30 when he hits the open market, and will be a huge loss for the Halos, but he’ll look good in a Yankee or Red Sox uniform.
But I bet you Jeff Mathis, Jepsen and Rodney will still be twirling away in Halo red. Sorry, I just got mad at the thought of losing Weaver. Thinking about it, the Angels appeared to make the right move on Figgins and Lackey, but not on Guerrero and Molina.
Russell Branyan is still looking for his first hit as an Angel, but he has struck out 3 times in 6 at bats. I promise you, he’ll soon hit a shot that’ll make you jump out of your seat. I don’t know when, but it’s coming–right?
Angels wrap up their series in Minnesota tomorrow. Let’s hope they don’t get no hit–haha. Shouldn’t happen, as they have faced Carl Pavano before.
About the Author
Written by Bill Mahoney
O'kay I'll talk about myself a little. I've been working in the television/radio industry for over 21 years. I started at 2 so I am just a tad over 21 (That is a joke). My career has taken me around and and even out of the United States. Right now I call Vegas home, but I just never know where life will take me next. Until 2002 my irrational love for the California/Anaheim/LAA had taken me down some very dark roads, but with Arte Moreno in charge I finally saw the a light at the end of the road. I really love most every sports and having as much fun as possible.