Covering the Angels and Analyzing the Team’s Past

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September 28, 2006

No Miracle for the Angels in 2006

by @ 6:17 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

Well, as expected, the Angels fell out of contention for the AL West division title this week.  The Angels lasted until Tuesday when an A’s win and an Angels loss put the Oakland A’s into the playoffs.  Regardless, the Angels won two of three against the Rangers and with a sweep over the A’s, they could win 90 games.

Vlad Guerrero got the job done on Monday.  He went yard twice and drove in three runs in an 8-3 Angels win.  Joe Saunders threw a nice game and he gave up two runs on six hits with four strikeouts in seven innings of work.  Scott Shields picked up his second save of the season.

Tuesday was the loss.  Kelvim Escobar was roughed up and was gone by the second inning after he gave up five runs.  They pen did a great job of keeping the Angels in the game, but they couldn’t get the bats going.  Juan Rivera hit homerun number 23 in the 5-2 loss.

Tim Salmon went yard and drove in three runs as he nears the end of a career that places him amongst the best in Angel’s history.  Jered Weaver was roughed up for five runs in 6 2/3 innings but the Angels scored the go ahead run on Howie Kendrick’s RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning.

So the Angels finish with four at home against the A’s.

September 24, 2006

Angels Avoid Elimination by Taking Two Games in Oakland

by @ 5:21 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

Well, the Angels are still alive mathematically, but I’m not holding my breath.  The Angels need to win their remaining seven games and get help from the Mariners.  If the A’s win two games in Seattle, the four game weekend series will be meaningless.

The Angels were down by a run heading into the ninth and tied the game up to send it into extra frames.  That didn’t end up mattering because the A’s got the winning run in the twelth.  Jered Weaver was mortal and gave up four runs in 7 2/3 innings and this game ending up being huge.  At the time it looked like the A’s would clinch but if the Angels had pulled this game out, they’d have at least a little more of a chance to pull a September come back.

Yesterday the Angels won on a solid outing by John Lackey.  He gave up two runs on only four hits with five strikeouts in seven innings of work.  Juan Rivera had three hits and three RBIs in the 6-2 win.  Orlando Cabrera had two hits and a run.

The Angels blew out the A’s in the rubber game today.  Ervin Santana gave up only a single run on two hits in eight innings of work.  Vlad Guerrero hit homerun number 31 and Chone Figgins stole his 50th base in the 7-1 win.

The Angels finish up at home and the Rangers roll into town tomorrow.  This will probably be the final of baseball for the Angels so enjoy it while you can.

September 21, 2006

Cardinals Magic Number Down to Five Despite Series Loss to Brewers

by @ 5:43 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

The division is pretty much in hand and only something historic would cost the Cardinals another trip to the playoffs.  That doesn’t mean they’ve played particularly well.  Outside of Chris Carpenter, it’s hard to rely on any of the other Cards starters heading into the post season.  And the bats have been pretty inconsistent as well, as in this series.

A solid start by Anthony Reyes went to waste on Monday. He struck out nine 5 1/3 innings and didn’t get a decision.  The Cardinals tied the game up in the seventh on Albert Pujols three run shot but Brandon Looper gave up an RBI single to Tony Graffanino in the bottom of the ninth in the loss.  It was Pujols 46th homerun of the season.

The Cards lone win came on Tuesday and it was a blowout.  Ron Belliard homered and Aaron Miles went four for six with three RBIs in the 12-2 win.  Jeff Weaver threw six solid innings and he improved to 4-4 on the season for the Cards. 

Yesterday was a solid pitchers dual between Jeff Suppan and Carlos Villaneuva.  Both starters left after seven shutout innings and the pens took over.  Finally in the bottom of the ninth, Geoff Jenkins hit a walk off solo homerun off of Tyler Johnson to seal up the Brewers victory. 

No day off, because the Cardinals travel right to Houston for a four game set.  It’d be nice if we had the division wrapped up by the end of the weekend.

Angels Sweep Two Game Series Over Royals

by @ 5:36 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

The Angels are running out of time.  If the A’s lose today, it’ll give the Angels a six game lead in the West.  If they win, it’ll be seven.  With ten games left, I figure the Angels have to go at least 9-1, with seven wins over the A’s.  If they lose any of their games this weekend or next with the A’s, they’re probably done.

Joe Saunders bounced back from a bad start last week and beat the Royals.  He gave up only one run on seven hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in seven innings of work.  He’s now 6-3 on the season.  Rob Quinlan and Vlad Guerrero both homered.   It was Guerrero’s 30th of the season, the third straight season he’s eclipsed that milestone.

Yesterday, Kelvim Escobar and two relievers combined to throw a five hit shutout.  K-Rod saved his 44th game of the season and Orlando Cabrera drove in all three Angels runs in the 3-0 win.

Next up is the A’s and it’s must win.

September 17, 2006

Angels Hanging by a Thread in Playoff Race

by @ 6:44 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

What a disappointment.  The Angels split a four game series with the Rangers and the A’s go and sweep the White Sox.  The deficit is now seven games, which is exactly the number of games we have against the A’s, so not only do the Angels need to match them in the games where they don’t play each other, they also have to take all seven games against the current best team in the division.

Things got off to a nice start on Thursday.  Jose Molina gave the Angels a 2-1 lead with a two run homerun and Kelvim Escobar and the pen got the job done on the mound.  Hector Carrasco picked up the win and K-Rod saved his 42nd save of the season.

The Angels made it two straight against the Rangers by the same score on Friday, only this game went eleven innings.  Neither team scored until the ninth inning when Adam Kennedy singled home Reggie Willits to give the Angels the lead.  K-Rod then gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth and the game went into extra frames.  Then Vlad Guerrero hit a solo shot in the eleventh to win it.  Jered Weaver threw seven shutout innings and struck out nine.

Then it got ugly.  The Angels were knocked around 12-6 yesterday and 8-1 today. 

The Angels get two days off today.  They’re off tomorrow then they play two against the Royals and then they get another day off.  Then Friday they start their home series against the A’s.

September 14, 2006

Angels Hang on in AL West Race, Barely

by @ 3:40 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

The bad news is, the Angels dropped two of three to the White Sox.  The good news is, the Twins took two of three from the A’s so we’re right back where we started once again.  The 5 1/2 game deficit looks grim, but there’s still seven games against Oakland so there’s still a glimmer of hope.

Monday’s loss was particularly dissapointing.  John Lackey had one bad inning when he gave up three in the fifth and while the Angels crept back into it, including getting a run in the ninth, they fell just short.  Lackey pitched eight solid innings and Vlad Guerrero had three hits and a run in the 3-2 loss.

Tuesday’s game was what should have happened on Monday.  Once again the White Sox scored three runs in the fifth, but this time, the Angels had it tied back up by the sixth.  Ervin Santana and the pen kept the Angels in the game until Chone Figgins drove in a run with a single in the bottom of the eleventh to win it.  Juan Rivera homered and drove in two runs in the 4-3 win.

Yesterday was plain ugly.  Freddy Garcia held the Angels to a single hit and Joe Saunders was gone in the fourth inning. 

Next up is four against the Rangers in Texas.  The A’s host the White Sox so I like our chances of picking up a game this weekend.

September 11, 2006

Angels Keep Pace With A’s With Series Win Over Blue Jays

by @ 3:33 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

Eventually, the A’s have to lose some games, right.  We’ll just have to hope that when it happens, the Angels are poised to pounce.  Even after winning two of three against the Blue Jays this weekend, the Angels still find themselves 5 1/2 games back.

Joe Saunders got the job done on Friday.  He’s bounced back from two very bad starts in late August and has now given up only two earned runs in his last 15 innings.  He gave up one run on five hits and one walk with three strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.  K-Rod pitched a perfect ninth for the save and both Mike Napoli and Garrett Anderson went yard in the 4-1 win.

Saturday’s game was a tough one.  Kelvim Escobar gave up only two runs in seven innings of work. Unfortunately, the Angels couldn’t get their bats going against Gustavo Chacin and managed only one run.  Orlando Cabrera singled home Adam Kennedy for the only Angels run in the 2-1 loss.

The Angels dodged a bullet yesterday.  While you never like to see a guy get hurt (Roy Halladay left the game in the first inning after being hit in the arm on a comebacker), it certainly made for a different game.  Jered Weaver was lights out and the offense did just enough against the Jay’s pen to get the win.  Weaver gave up three runs on six hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.  Chone Figgins had three hits and he drove in one run in the 4-3 win.

Next up is a tough three game series against the defending champs.  It’d be nice to get some revenge for last year’s ALCS loss.  Losing isn’t an option at this point anyway.

September 6, 2006

Angels Sweep Orioles, Pull Closer to A’s

by @ 5:55 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

This is just what the Angels needed.  They swept the Orioles and the A’s lost two of three.  The end result is the Angels are now 5 1/2 games back.  It’s still a long way to go, but at least the number is going down.  And the Angels still have seven games against the A’s so this could still come down to the wire.

Jered Weaver was awesome on Monday.  He threw seven shutout innings and improved to 10-2.  The only run of the game came when Adam Kennedy singled home Juan Rivera in the fourth inning.  K-Rod saved his 39th game of the season.

Adam Kennedy was also the hero yesterday.  He hit a huge three run walk off homerun in the tenth inning to win it.  A really good start by John Lackey went to waste but the bullpen ended up picking things up in the final two innings.  K-Rod pitched a shutout ninth and then Brendan Donnelly pitched a shutout tenth and he picked up his first win of the season.

This afternoon, the Angels scored in six of the eight innings they batted.  Howie Kendrick hit his third homerun and Macier Izturis had three hits and three runs in the 8-4 win.  Ervin Santana improved to 14-7 with seven solid innings.

The Angels get a day off and then they play three games against the Blue Jays.  The bad news is, the A’s have three against the Devil Rays.  If we’re still only 5 1/2 games back by Sunday, I’ll be happy.  If the Angels can keep pace and then take care of business in those two series against the A’s, they’ll have a shot.

September 4, 2006

Angels Take Two of Three Against Tigers, Just Keep Pace With the A’s

by @ 12:12 pm. Filed under 2006 Angels

The deficit is still seven and a half games and the A’s now have a magic number of 19.  It’s a race against the clock as much as it is with the A’s now so there’s little margin for error.  Hope is waning, that’s for sure.

Friday’s game was ugly.  Kenny Rogers and two relievers combined for a five hit shutout and Ervin Santana and the Angels pen were knocked around.  Not much good to say about this game, that’s for sure.

Saturday was a bizare game.  The Tigers and Angels were scoreless through seven innings and the Angels finally go on the board in the eighth.  The Tigers scored two in the ninth to take the lead and then Vlad Guerrero singled home Macier Izturis in the top of the ninth to send the game into extra frames.  Then in the top of the tenth, Chone Figgins had a bases loaded clearing triple to cap off a five run inning that put things away.  K-Rod picked up the win with an easy tenth.

Last night’s game had it’s drama as well.  Orlando Cabrera drove in Tim Salmon in the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie and the game would remain 2-1 through it’s conclusion.  Vlad Guerrero hit a solo homerun for the other run and Kelvim Escobar gave up only one unearned run in eight innings of work.  K-Rod saved his 38th game of the season.

Next up is three against the Orioles.  All the Angels can do is keep on winning and hope the A’s won’t do likewise.

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