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Bombs away in Texas, as the Angels flex their muscles

Posted By Bill Mahoney On Aug 28 2011 @ 12:29 am In LA Angels Of Anaheim | No Comments

Through two games, the Angels and Rangers are proving to be one thing, even. Each team has scored 15 runs in two games, which they have split. Dan Haren didn’t pitch up to his usual standards in game one, but CJ Wilson wasn’t his dominating self in game 2.

In both games, the Angels proved one thing. They will get runners on in the first inning, and that’s it. Oh no, they won’t score them, but they’ll put them on. Friday they got 2 on with no out, and got Zero runs. On Saturday, the Halos got the leadoff man to 2nd, but once again put up a goose egg. It hurt them on Friday, but not on Saturday.

I thought the Angels were gonna bounce in to 9 double plays on Friday. They had 2 through 2 innings, and should have had one in the 3rd, but a bad throw allowed Bobby Wilson to reach. All told, through 2 games, the Halos have 5 double plays to their credit, giving them 112 for the year. That ties them with the Yankees for 3rd most in the AL, trailing only the Red Sox and Orioles. Shows why that stat isn’t that important.

I must have missed it, but what did Haren do to Nelson Cruz to warrant stares after hitting his home run in the 4th? Did Haren say something to him after his 2-run double in the 2nd?

Haren gave up 6 earned runs on Friday, his worst start since his last one against the Rangers. Haren gave up 7 earned in that one. His ERA in his last 2 starts against the Rangers is 14.26. Texas may not have scored as many runs against Haren if it wasn’t for a couple bad plays by Erick Aybar. Aybar couldn’t get the ball out of the glove on Michael Youngs grounder in the 5th. Than on the very next batter, he blew a easy double play by dropping Kendricks toss. Haren did give up the grand slam to David Murphy a couple batters later, but he should have been out of the inning.

Rangers built an 11-0 lead by the 6th inning, but that was it. Angels eventually lost 11-7, but it was nice to see them battle back. Russell Branyan is proving to be quite good off the bench. Wasn’t the home run he hit, his 3rd pinch hit home run this year?

Since that 11-0 lead, the Rangers have only scored 4 runs in 12 innings. In that same amount of time, the Angels have scored 15. They have also hit 7 home runs in 2 games—wow!

I guess Vernon Wells likes to be near home. He is 4-7, with a home run and 2 RBI, so far. He still makes a few questionable plays in the outfield, and on the bases, but if he can find his swing, it’ll just make the Angels that much better.

Can’t say I remember the last time the Angels hit 5 solo home runs in a game, but I loved seeing it on Saturday. Who didn’t know that Bobby Wilson would go yard right after Mike Trout in the 4th inning? Yeah, it was obvious–haha. Wells, Kendrick and Bourjos completed the 5 spot for the Halos. Incidentally, the last time the Halos did that was in 2000 against the Devil Rays.

Howard Kendrick has big flies in his past 2 games, and 4 in his past 5 games. Bourjos is also on quite a power surge, hitting his 4th home run in his past 7 games.

The Halos have to get Trout in the line up. Yeah, he made a bone head play in the 4th on Saturday, but his positives outweigh his negatives. Why he didn’t throw home to try and get Ian Kinsler is a mystery.

I really liked the way the Angels kept answering the Rangers runs with a few of their own on Saturday. Whether it was by the long ball, or just putting together a few hits in a row, it showed the character of this team.

With Wells playing well, right now, I turn my wrath to Jordan Walden. Another abysmal performance for the Angels closer on Saturday. Coming in the 9th with a 4-run lead, Walden through 24 pitches. A single, wild pitch, walk, strike out, and a single loaded the bases, and the night for Walden. His wild pitch was thrown so hard that is bounced off the wall behind home plate, almost bouncing to 2nd.

Thankfully, Hisanori Takahashi got Murphy to bounce in to a game ending double play. Angels won 8-4, but I was just picturing the Halos losing.

It might be time to let Scott Downs close some games. He can’t be any worse than Walden, who Victor Rojas said, is just a one pitch pitcher.

Man, I almost didn’t mention Ervin Santana. Going on 3 days rest for the first time, Santana pitched real well. 4 earned runs in 7 innings for Santana, who won his 10th game of the year. That gave the Halos 3 pitchers with double digit wins.

Tyler Chatwood, with 6 victories, had a chance to make it 4 pitchers, but his struggles got him sent to Salt Lake. With the bees, Chatwood has allowed 7 earned runs in 12 innings, covering 2 starts. Just thought you’d like to know.

Trailing by 2 games, the Angels will try to get one game closer to the Rangers tomorrow. Jered Weaver and Colby Lewis hook up on Sunday night baseball on ESPN.

Go Angels!

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