The Angels got some great pitching in their series sweep over the Dodgers this weekend and the sweep was a pleasant surprise. The pitchers gave up a total of four runs in the three games and the offense gave them more then enough firepower to pull off the three wins.
Kelvim Escobar was particularly good yesterday. He threw eight shutout innings and he lowered his season ERA to 2.82, which looks pretty good until you compare it to tomorrow’s starter, John Lackey. Lackey looks like he’s finally making a run at his first Cy Young award and it couldn’t come at a better time as the Angels are clicking on all cylinders.
Orlando Cabrera is in the middle of an eleven game hitting streak. During that stretch, he’s seen his batting average rise from .258 to .297. Vlad Guerrero is still the team leader though.
And if you haven’t heard enough, here’s a great story on now third base prospect Brandon Wood. They compare him to another Mike Schmidt and while that’s premature, it certainly is hopeful.
As the rest of the division flounders around the .500 mark, the Angels have now jumped out to a four game lead (over the Athletics) with a three game series at Detroit beginning tomorrow. Lackey gets the start and hopefully he’ll be his usual self and make it six straight wins.
The Angels loss on Sunday was the only one in their four game series with the Rangers over the weekend and it was another dominating win. While the Angels are tied in the loss column with the A’s, they’re three games up in the win column so they have a game and a half lead.
Vlad Guerrero continues to get it done. He’s reached safely in nine of his last ten games and while he hasn’t homered since May 3, his OBP continues to hover about .460 and he leads the American League with a 1.131 OPS. When (let’s be optimistic) the Angels make the playoffs, you’re probably looking at the American League MVP if Vlad can come any where close to keeping up this clip.
Oddly, Vlad has been simply awesome against right handed pitching. He’s hitting .374/.473/.692 against right handed pitching while he’s just .290/.450/.581 against left handed pitching. He’s also been lights out at home where he’s hitting .394/.477/.746.
Next up is three against the Mariners, who are sitting right behind the Athletics. Felix Hernandez makes his return tomorrow and it’d be nice if the Angels could give him a proper welcome back.
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