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October 17, 2006

Angels Mailbag and the Arizona Fall League

by @ 3:23 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

MLB.com Angel’s beat writer Mike Scarr answered people’s emails in a recent column.  He talks about Scott Spiezio possibly being a target to come back to the team and Joe Saunders future with the team.

And then here’s an update on how Angel’s prospects are doing in the Arizona Fall League.

October 3, 2006

Angels Finish Season With Series Win Over A’s, 89 Wins

by @ 3:43 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

Well, it’s all over.  The Angels took three of four against the A’s, but it didn’t matter.  Now you have the A’s heading into the post season while the Angels are on the sidelines.

I’ll definitely be watching though.  Maybe I’ll root for an underdog like the Tigers or something.

In the meantime, I’m going to start back up my season lookback series.  And of course I’ll be keeping up on news regarding the Angels.

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.

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.

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.

June 29, 2006

John Lackey Wins But Angels Drop Two of Three

by @ 6:04 am. Filed under 2006 Angels

Things started out well.  John Lackey had another great outing on Monday, but this time he picked up the win.  He gave up three runs on only four hits through eight innings while K-Rod saved his 19th game of the season.  Napoli drove in two runs and Chone Figgins went two for four with a run and an RBI in the 5-4 win.  All five Angel’s runs were scored in the eighth inning.

It went downhill from there.  On Tuesday, The Angels got two runs in the first to give Jeff Weaver a nice cushion, and then he proceeded to get shelled.  He was gone in the third without getting anybody out and he was credited with six runs.  Gregg then came in and he got beat up (but struck out six in three innings).  This was an ugly game and the final was 12-4.  Rob Quinlan homered and Napoli drove in two runs.  Izturis scored twice.

The Angels dropped the series yesterday.  The Rockies scored four in the eighth to break a 2-2 tie and this time it was Scott Shields who was the culprit.  A solid start by Ervin Santana went to waste and Vlad Guerrero had three hits in the 6-2 loss.

So wen’re down by 6 1/2 games and there’s almost no chance for a wild card spot.  Every team in the west has struggled the last 10 games except for Seattle so fortunately the Angels haven’t dropped that much ground.  Next up is the Dodgers, who have also been struggling of late so hopefully we’ll be able to take advantage of that and pick up some wins.

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