Covering the Angels and Analyzing the Team’s Past

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August 31, 2006

Game Over?

by @ 3:40 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

The Angels have been clinging to contention for quite some time and it looks like it’s time that they’ve run out of.  Oakland has been red hot and the Angels have only been okay.  They’re now 7 1/2 games, which is almost insurmountable especially considering how well Oakland has been, and they’re closer to the Mariners in last place then they are to the A’s in first.

On Monday, the Angels ran into Felix Hernandez.  When you don’t score and only rack up five hits, you’re not going to win.  A great start by Kelvim Escobar went to waste.  He gave up two runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts in the complete game.

Jered Weaver lost his second game on Tuesday.  He gave up three runs in first inning and it was 6-1 at one point before the Angels made it close with a 6-4 final.  Garrett Anderson and Rob Quinlan both homered and Macier Izturis made two errors.

John Lackey got the team back on track last night.  He was okay in 6 1/3 innings and that ended up being good enough.  Anderson hit homerun number 15 and Howie Kendrick drove in two in the 5-3 win.

Next up is three against the Tigers.  Detroit still has the best record in baseball, but they’ve been struggling so it’d be nice if we could take at least two of three.

August 28, 2006

Angels Take Care of Business at Home, Take Two of Three Against Yankees

by @ 3:40 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

The Angels have won seven of their last ten games.  A very nice stretch.  Unfortunately, the A’s have won six of ten so the net result is only one game.  With the Angels being down 5 1/2 games, we don’t have enough time to continue this trend.

On Friday, the Angels came from behind to top the Yankees.  Down 5-4, Orlando Cabrera drove home Howie Kendrick with a sac. fly and then in the ninth, Mike Napoli drove home Reggie Willits with a sac. fly of his own.  Vlad Guerrero had a big game.  He went three for five with two RBIs.  John Lackey was okay and Francisco Rodriguez picked up the win.

The Angels ran up the score on the Yankees on Saturday.  Garrett Anderson homered and drove in four runs and Howie Kendrick hit his second career homerun in the 12-7 win.  Ervin Santana improved to 13-6 and K-Rod picked up his 36th save of the season.

Unfortunately, the Angels couldn’t finish up the sweep.  Joe Saunders was shelled and lasted only 2 1/3 innings.  Adam Kennedy had three hits, two RBIS and two runs in the 11-8 loss.  Macier Izturis had three hits, an RBI and a run.

Next up is three against the Mariners.  The Mariners have been playing a little bit better since that eleven game losing streak so this is going to be tougher then the standings show.

August 25, 2006

Angels Lose Two of Three to Struggling Red Sox

by @ 3:31 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

This isn’t going to be easy. As August winds down, the Angels are still 5 1/2 games back of the A’s.  To make it worse, the Yankees roll into town this weekend.

Tuesday, the Angels pen held on and won the game.  A solid start by Joe Saunders went to waste and Scott Shields picked up the win despite giving up a tying run in the seventh inning.  Juan Rivera hit his 21st homerun and Garrett Anderson drove in two runs in the 4-3 win.

Things went downhill from here.  Kelvim Escobar gave up five early runs and while he settled down and went eight innings, it was enough to lose the game.  Vlad Guerrero drove in his 99th run and Juan Rivera had two more RBIs.

Yesterday, the Angels ran into Josh Beckett when he’s throwing well.  The end result was Jered Weaver’s first career loss despite giving up only one run over six innings.  Howie Kendrick had an RBI single for the only run of the game.

So the Bronx Bombers are next.  Maybe the A’s will hit the skids.

August 20, 2006

Angels Sweep Four Game Series Over Mariners, Only Pick Up One Game on A’s

by @ 7:15 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

Oakland isn’t going to make this easy.  They’re one of the hottest teams in the AL West and even though the Angels won four over the Mariners this weekend, the Angels find themselves only one game closer then when they entered the series.

Kelvim Escobar threw a really nice game on Thursday.  He gave up only a single run in seven innings of work.  Chone Figgins had three hits and two runs and Vlad Guerrero drove in three in the 5-2 win.

Jered Weaver joined Whitey Ford as the only rookie to win his first nine starts.  Weaver was awesome and held the Mariners to only three hits in seven shutout innings.  Mike Napoli had the big hit in the 3-0 win.  He hit a big two run homerun to give Weaver a nice three run cushion.

The Mariners were getting closer but still fell short yesterday.  The Angels went up 4-0 but the Mariners scored five in the fourth to take the lead.  That was short lived though and by the end of the seventh, the Angels had a 9-5 lead.  Two runs in the ninth made it close, but the Angels held on to win.  Maicer Izturis homered and had two hits in the 9-7 win.  Garrett Anderson had three hits, two RBIS and three runs.  John Lackey was shelled but the pen picked him up.  K-Rod picked up his 34th save of the season.

The closest the Mariners got was today.  The Mariners led 2-0 for most of the game before the Angels began to pick away at the lead.  Anderson’s RBI single in the eighth tied the game and then Chone Figgins RBI single in the ninth won it.  Ervin Santana didn’t get a decision despite a good outing.  Brandon Donnelly picked up the win.

This is a tough week.  We have the Red Sox, who are struggling but might be in a must win situation.  Then we have the Yankees who look like they could be gearing up for another run at a World Series win.  I’d say I’d be happy with 3-3, but the way Oakland is playing, we could be cooked if we only split.

August 17, 2006

Angels Split Two Game Series With Rangers

by @ 3:22 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

The A’s keep winning, and in the meantime, the Angels can’t even break a tie with the Rangers.  The Angels and Rangers each took a game from each other in their two game mini-series and while they both remain tied, they both moved a game down from the A’s, who have won six straight.

On Tuesday, the Angels stormed from behind to win.  Down 3-0, the Angels scored six unanswered runs before the Rangers tied it up.  The Rangers took a one run lead in the seventh but once again, the Angels came back with three runs in the ninth to win it.  Chone Figgins two run triple was the key hit in that ninth inning.  Vladimir Guerrero hit a three run homerun.  Ervin Santana was knocked around and it was Hector Carrascco who picked up the win despite giving up the go ahead run in the seventh to the Rangers.

Yesterday’s game was a blowout.  Joe Saunders was simply destroyed and he dropped his first career start.  He saw his ERA jump from 1.67 prestart to 3.64 poststart when he gave up eight runs (seven earned) on five hits and five walks in only 2 2/3 innings.  Maicer Izturis drove in all three Angels runs, two of which came on his fourth homerun.

Next up is four against the Mariners.  All the Angels can do is win, and then hope the A’s lose.  It’s not looking good though.

August 15, 2006

Rookies Joe Saunders and Jered Weaver Remain Undefeated

by @ 6:02 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

It was the rookies that got the job done this weekend against the Yankees. Jered Weaver is now 8-0 in his young career. He struck out eight and gave up one run in six innings. Saunders had his worst outing of his career but he held on to win. He gave up three runs over six innings. The two are now a combined 12-0. Not too bad for a couple of guys who we weren’t really banking on.

Unfortunately, the A’s have gone on another winning streak. They’ve now won four straight and they’ve picked up two games on the Angels. Even worse, the Rangers have gotten hot and they’ve tied us. Hopefully we can change that by sweeping our two game series against the Rangers beginning today. We’re not out of it yet, but the Angels are one bad series away from a potential death blow in the AL West race.

August 11, 2006

Angels Drop Two In a Row to Cleveland

by @ 5:50 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

This was a tough series because the Indians had been playing so poorly of late.  Fortunately the A’s didn’t win all of their games, so the Angels stand only 3 1/2 games back.  Unfortunately, Texas has put together a couple of wins and they’re creeping back into the mix.

Jered Weaver was roughed up in Tuesday’s game but the pen and the bats picked him up in this one.  Once again he left without a decision so his winning streak is still intact.  The go ahead run came on Adam Kennedy’s RBI single in the eighth inning.  Vlad Guerrero went two for five with an RBI and two runs in the game.  Brandon Donnelly picked up the win and K-Rod saved his 28th game of the season.

John Lackey was knocked around early on Wednesday.  He was tagged for three in the second and one in the fourth before yielding to the pen after six innings.  The bats never really got it going.  They did have nine hits but all of them were singles and nobody crossed the plate for the Angels.  Chone Figgins and Guerrero each had two hits.

Yesterday’s game was downright ugly.  Ervin Santana was hit in the knee by a comebacker and he left the game.  Later, J.C. Romero was simply shelled.  He gave up six runs on five hits and walk in only 1/3 of an inning.  Juan Rivera hit his 20th homerun of the season and he went two for three with two RBIs.

Next up is four huge games against the Yankees in a wrap around series.  It’s imperative that we at least split because the A’s have three against Tampa so they’ll have a much easier time of things.

August 7, 2006

Angels Split Four Game Series With Rangers, Fall Behind Streaking A’s

by @ 6:04 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

The Angels are now starting to level off.  They’re 5-5 in their last ten games, but they bounced back nicely after losing the first two games in their series with the Rangers.

Thursday’s game was bittersweet.  The Angels scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game up and send it into extra frames.  Then in the top of the twelth, Mark Teixeira took Kevin Gregg deep for the game winner.  Vladimir Guerrero went two for four with a homerun, two runs and two RBIs.  Juan Rivera homered and drove in three runs.

John Lackey looked very mortal on Friday.  He was tagged for seven runs in only 4 1/3 innings and he dropped to 10-7.  Juan Rivera had three hits and a run while Garrett Anderson hit his ninth homerun of the year in the 7-3 loss.

The Angels bounced back on Saturday behind ten runs and a solid start by Ervin Santana.  Santana improved to 12-5 with eight quality innings.  Juan Rivera hit homerun number 19 and he drove in four runs.  Vladimir Guerrero walked four times and scored three runs in the 10-3 win.

Sunday’s game evened the series at two a piece.  The Angels had eight runs by the end of the second inning and Joe Saunders coasted to his third win of the season.  Garrett Anderson homered and drove in three runs and Vlad Guerrero hit homerun number 23 and drove in three himself.

The A’s have won four in a row so the Angels now stand three games back of them and a game and a half ahead of the Rangers.  The Angels stop in Chicago for a makeup game with the White Sox before heading to Cleveland for a three game series against the struggling Angels.

August 2, 2006

Angels Lose Two of Three to A’s, Fall a Game and Half Out of First

by @ 5:59 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

Man was this a good series with some great pitching.  The winner needed only three runs to win in each of the three games.  Unfortunately, the Angels came up short and lost a game in the standings because of it.

On Monday, all four runs were scored on homeruns.  Juan Rivera started things off with a solo shot in the fourth.  The A’s answered when Milton Bradley hit a solo homerun in the sixth.  And then Jay Payton won it with a two run shot in the seventh.  Ervin Santana threw a pretty good game, but he dropped to 11-5 on the season. 

The result was better yesterday.  Each of the five runs were scored in different half innings, and it was Orlando Cabrera that drove in that third run to give the Angels the lead for good.  Rookie Joe Saunders picked up the win and he gave up two runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts in seven innings.  Cabrera finished the game three for four and K-Rod struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his 26th save of the season.

Today was another tight one, but the A’s came out on top.  Scott Shields lost his seventh game of the season when he gave up an eighth inning RBI single to Mark Kotsay.  A very good start by Kelvim Escobar went to waste and while the Angels had nine hits, they didn’t draw a single walk.  And all nine hits were singles.

Next up is a huge four game series against the Rangers, who have now won their last two games.  If we’re going to hold off the Rangers, taking three of four in this one would be huge.  It’s an all AL West weekend because the A’s go up against the Mariners.  So if the Angels win, they’ll either pick up some ground or leave the Mariners in their dust.  Big weekend all the way around.

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