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Covering the Angels and Analyzing the Team’s Past

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July 31, 2006

Angels Continue to Roll, Take Two Against Red Sox

by @ 3:16 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

At one point this weekend, the Angels were in sole possession of first place.  Since then, the Angels dropped to only a half game out but the A’s roll into town for a huge three game series.  It’ll also be interesting to see what happens here at the trading deadline so it should be a fun day.

Rookie Howie Kendrick got the better of Red Sox rookie starter Jon Lester on Friday.  Kendrick went three for five with a run and three RBIs in the 8-3 beatdown.  Mike Napoli scored twice and Kelvim Escobar threw a nice game and picked up the win.  He gave up two runs on six hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in six innings.

On Saturday, the Angels and Red Sox were the Fox game of the week, and boy was it a good one (outside of the end result).  The Angels led for almost the entire game until the Red Sox scored three runs in the eighth.  The game went into extra frames when the Red Sox finally won it with David Ortiz’s (who else) walk off RBI single in the bottom of the eleventh.  Jered Weaver’s winning streak is still intact with his no decision and it was Scott Shields who blew the game.

The Angels got back on track yesterday behind John Lackey, who improved to 10-6.   Not his best outing, Lackey gave up four runs (three earned) on nine hits and two walks with six strikeouts in six innings.  Foru different Angels had two RBIs in the 10-4 win and Orlando Cabrera, Vladimir Guerrero and Juan Rivera all homered in the third inning.

Game one against Oakland is tonight.  Ervin Santana will go up against Danny Haren.

July 27, 2006

Angels Take Two in Tampa, Still Tied for First Place

by @ 3:24 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

Good teams take care of business and the Angels are playing like a good team right now.  The Angels went on the road and took two of three against the last place Tampa Devil Rays.  The end result is the Angels are tied for first with the A’s and with a Rangers loss yesterday, the Angels now have a game and a half cushion there.

It seemed on Monday, John Lackey pitched a little bit to the score.  The Angels game him a nice 5-0 lead in the third and Lackey was cruising along until he ran into trouble in the fifth.  He ended up giving up four runs (two earned) on five hits and one walk with seven strikeouts through eight innings.  Juan Rivera homered and drove in two runs in the 8-4 win and Garrett Anderson had three hits and three runs.

Ervin Santana was roughed up late on Tuesday.  He threw five shutout innings before caving in and giving up two runs in the sixth and then four more in the seventh.  He dropped to 11-4 on the season.  Vladimir Guerrero and Howie Kendrick both had three hits in the 6-3 win.

Yesterday’s game was a complete blow out.  A ten run second inning put this game away early but that was overshadowed by the early departure of Bartolo Colon, who left with a sore elbow after pitching only one inning.  Howie Kendrick hit his first career homerun and and he scored three times.  Juan Rivera had three hits and four RBIs in the 15-6 win.

Next up is a three game set against the AL East leading Boston Red Sox.  That leads into a huge series with the A’s next week so we can fall behind now.

July 26, 2006

Angels Move Into Tie For First Place With Oakland

by @ 3:52 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

It didn’t seem possible even a month ago, but the Angels have clawed their up the standings and after Monday’s win, they now stand in first place with the A’s.  Things are still wide open because even the last place Mariners are only three games back.  So a bad week can send the Angels all the way back down to the cellar.  They just need to keep on winning.  Obviously.

July 23, 2006

Angels Split Four Game Series Against Kansas City

by @ 6:42 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

Hopefully we won’t look back at this as a blown opportunity.  One of the worst teams in the league made us look bad and the Angels had to win two close games in a row just to salvage a split.  Fortunately, the A’s dropped two of three so the Angels are only a game out of first place with the Rangers right between us a half game back of the A’s.

Ervin Santana walked eight batters in 4 1/3 innings on Thursday.  And while he gave up four runs, it was Kevin Gregg who took the loss.  In the end, the Royals ran up the score on the pen and the final was 9-4.  Vlad Guerrero had two hits and he drove in three runs.  Macier Izturis scored twice.

Friday’s game was just as bad.  The Angels were down 8-1 before they put three runs up on the board in the eighth to make it look respectable.  Bartolo Colon and Brandon Donnelly both gave up four runs and Colon is now 1-5 on the year.  Izturis drove two with a homerun in the eighth inning.

It took us ten innings to get back on track yesterday.  Reggie Willits was yet another rookie to play for the Angels this year and he had a nice game.  He went two for four with a run, an RBI and a stolen base.  More importantly, it was his RBI single in the tenth that gave the Angels the winning run.  The Angels had tied it in the seventh when Kendry Morales scored on a wild pitch.

Thank God for Jered Weaver.  One run on three hits and four walks over 6 2/3 innings and he’s now 7-0 in his young career  K-Rod struck out two in a perfect ninth to save his 25th of season.  Rob Quinland drove in two runs in the 3-1 win.

Next up is a three game set against another bad team.  The Angels have to take care of business because the Red Sox are after that.

July 19, 2006

John Lackey’s Scoreless Winning Streak Ends as Does Angels Eight Game Winning Streak

by @ 6:09 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

All good things come to an end, but boy did the Angels need that nice stretch.  The A’s won, so we’re now a game and a half back, tied with the Rangers.

On Monday, Dustin Moseley made his first career start and picked up the win.  He wasn’t particularly sharp, but the Angels brought their bats for this one.  He gave up four runs on ten hits with two strikeouts through five innings.  Garrett Anderson and Orlando Cabrera both homered and Macier Izturis scored three times in the 10-5 win.

Yesterday’s game would have been a blow out had it not been for a three run ninth by the Indians.  A five run fourth inning was the difference in this one.  Juan Rivera went yard twice and brought his season total up to 13.  Howie Kendrick had a two run single in that big fourth inning.  Joe Saunders made his season debut and did a very nice job.  He gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and four walks through seven innings.  K-Rod came in to get the final out and he picked up his 23rd save of the season.

This afternoon, John Lackey was cruising along.  He had a shutout through four innings to bring his consecutive scoreless innings streak up to 31 games.  Then the Indians jumped all over him for five runs in the fifth.  Lackey dropped to 8-6 and he gave up five runs on ten hits and five walks with seven strikeouts through 4 2/3 innings.  Juan Rivera hit homerun number 14 and Vlad Guerrero went three for five with two RBIs.  Izturis scored twice.

Just what the doctor ordered, the Angels finish the week with four games against the AL’s worst, the Royals.  It’s imperative that we take three of four this weekend.  The A’s play the Tigers so that’s no easy task for them while the Rangers play the White Sox.  If things work out right, the Angels could be in first place by the end of the day Sunday.

July 16, 2006

Angels Sweep Devil Rays, Win Sixth Straight Game

by @ 6:23 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

Alright, the only thing that could have made this sweeter was if the Red Sox would have done a little better against the A’s.  The Angels moved up half a game in the AL West, and for the first time in a while, they’re above .500.  Things are looking up and to make it better, we have a struggling Indians team coming into town tomorrow.

Friday was the John Lackey show, and he’s finally coming into his own.  He threw a two hit shutout and he hasn’t given up a run in 27 innings.  He still has a long way to go to top Orel Hershisers’ 59 scoreless innings, but I just care if he wins.  Vlad Guerrero hit homerun number 19 and Juan Rivera drove in two runs in the 4-0 win.

Yesterday, it was Vlad Guerrero’s turn.  He hit his 20th homerun of the season and he drove in five runs.  Mike Napoli drove in two runs in the 9-2 win and Garrett Anderson scored twice.  Ervin Santana won his eleventh game of the season and he gave up only two runs on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts in seven innings.

Today’s game was definitely back and forth.  The Devil Rays jumped out to a 3-0 lead but the Angels answered with five unanswered runs. The Devil Rays tied it up with two in the seventh and heading into the bottom of the eighth, the game was tied 5-5.  Howie Kendrick then got the job done and singled home Erick Aybar for the go ahead run.  Kendrick then scored on Jose Molina’s double for a bit of insurance.  Scott Shields picked up the win and he improved to 5-6.  Then K-Rod got the job done and slammed the door shut in the ninth for his 22nd save of the season.

All the Angels can do is keep on winning. The rest will take care of itself.

July 9, 2006

Angels Head Into Break on Winning Note With Three Straight Over A’s

by @ 6:57 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

Not only are the Angels out of the cellar, but they’ve made up some ground.  They now stand only two games back of both the Athletics and the Rangers and they now sit only two games below .500.  They get an extra day off, and then Friday the Angels start a three game series with the Tampa Devil Rays.  Assuming we jump all over them like we should, we could be knocking on the door sooner rather then later.

Thursday was the lone loss and even that was a close one.  Frank Thomas hit a walk off homerun in the bottom of the ninth to win it 7-5.  Scott Shields gave up the long ball and he’s now 4-6.  Kelvim Escobar pitched six mediocre innings but he at least kept the Angels in the game.  Vladimir Guerrero hit his eighteenth homerun and drove in two runs.  Mike Napoli went deep and Juan Rivera hit two solo shots in the 7-5 loss.

On Friday, John Lackey put the team on his back and he got the job done. He threw a one hit shutout and struck out ten.  Rob Quinlan hit a two run shot in the second inning and that was all Lackey would need.  Chone Figgins went deep with a solo shot in the fifth.

Jered Weaver improved to a perfect 6-0 yesterday.  He threw seven shutout innings before giving the ball to Brandon Donnelly, who then gave up four runs in the eighth.  Juan Rivera hit homerun number eleven and Maicer Izturis hit his first homerun of the season.  Chone Figgins had four hits, two runs and two stolen bases in the 6-4 win.

Ervin Santana won his tenth game this afternoon.  He gave up only two runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts through seven innings.  Jose Molina went deep and Kendry Morales drove in two runs in the 4-2 win.

Time to enjoy the All Star Game.  Have a nice break.

July 6, 2006

Angels Sweep Mariners, Now Only Four Games Back of First Place

by @ 3:50 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

The only thing that could have made this better would have been the Tigers sweeping Oakland.  Regardless, we’re back in the mix.  Jeff Weaver is out of picture, at least for the time being, and the rotation is where I like it.  The Angels have won five straight, but the big series is this weekend against the first place A’s.  If we win three of four, it’ll go a long way towards staying in contention.

On Monday, Jered Weaver got the job done and he’s now a perfect 5-0.  He gave up one run on five hits with nine strikeouts through seven innings.  Chone Figgins drove in three runs in the 7-1 win, and Kendry Morales homered, scored three runs and drove in two.

The Angels really got the bats going in Tuesday.  In total, they racked up fourteen runs on fifteen hits.  Juan Rivera had a monster game.  He went three for three with three runs and five RBIs.  Two of his three hits were homeruns and he now has eight on the season.  Ervin Santana gave up six runs but he picked up the easy win and he’s now 9-3 on the year.

The Angels finished the sweep yesterday behind Bartolo Colon’s four hit shutout.  There’s no doubt that if we’re going to compete, we need a healthy Colon.  The Angels scored all four of their runs in the fifth with a three run shot by Rob Quinlan then a solo homerun by Orlando Cabrera.

Next up is that huge four game series against Oakland.  Game one will be Kelvim Escobar vs. Estaban Loiaza.  I like our chances in that one.

UPDATE

Jeff Weaver was traded last night to the Cardinals for minor league outfielder Terry Evans.  I’ll try to get the skinny on Evans tonight.  Looks like the Angels are also giving up some cash.

July 2, 2006

Angels Take Two of Three Against Cross Town Rival Dodgers

by @ 7:05 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

I know they play in different cities, but at one time, they played in the same stadium.  Regardless, the Angels won the final two games of their series with the Dodgers and we now stand five games back of the first place A’s.  And we have some tough series coming up against some division opponents so here’s a chance to make up some ground heading into the All Star break.

Friday’s game was the downer.  Bartolo Colon dropped to 0-4 and he gave up six runs (five earned) on twelve hits through 7 2/3 innings.  The only run for the Angels came on Juan Rivera’s RBI double.

We got back on track on Saturday with a blowout win.  Kelvim Escobar finally won a game and Mike Napoli homered two times in the 9-2 win.  Juan Rivera had three hits and a run and Tommy Murphy scored twice.

This afternoon, John Lackey got the job done.  He struck out ten and threw 6 2/3 shutout innings.  Orlando Cabrera scored when he stole home and Vlad Guerrero homered in the 4-0 win.

Seattle is up next, and right now we’re four games back of both they and Texas.  Time of make up some ground because it doesn’t get any easier because the Angels play Oakland in the weekend series.

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