Covering the Angels and Analyzing the Team’s Past

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October 8, 2007

Angels Season Ends In Blowout Loss to Red Sox

by @ 3:45 am. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

Sigh, well, the Angels went out with a whimper as they were man handled by the Red Sox over a three game set.  Jered Weaver got it done and Scott Shields got it done, but the rest of the pen just collapsed.  And one run isn’t going to cut it.

As good as the Angels are, they have their share of question marks so it’ll be an interesting offseason.  A-Rod has to be on the top of their list but he might not even be a free agent.  Barry Bonds brings his pros and cons as well so things won’t end with the Angels loss.

October 6, 2007

K-Rod Gives Up Blast to Manny, Angels Need Three Straight Wins

by @ 3:29 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

Well, you can argue with the situation.  Our best pitcher (at least reliever) was in there he just failed against a future Hall of Famer.  Manny Ramirez took Francisco Rodriguez deep with a three run shot as the Angels fell to 2-0 deficit in their best of five game series with the Red Sox.

Kelvim Escobar got off to a rough start and the Angels tagged him for two in the first inning.  The Angels then answered with three in the second and took their first and only lead of the game.  Jeff Mathis drove in a run with a sac. fly and then Chone Figgins and Orlando Cabrera belted back to back RBI doubles to make it a 3-2 game.  Escobar gave up a run in the fifth and then neither team scored until K-Rod gave up the Ramirez homer in the bottom of the ninth.

Garrett Anderson was the only Angels hitter with two hits.  And it was Justin Speier who actually took the loss because the first base runner to score in the ninth was an inherited one that Speier gave up.  Tomorrow, it’ll all be up to Jered Weaver to keep the Angels hopes alive.  The Red Sox will have veteran Curt Schilling throwing for them.

October 3, 2007

Angels Held to Four Hits In Shutout Loss to Red Sox In Game One of ALDS

by @ 7:02 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

Game one was a complete disaster as the Angels bats were completely held in check by 20 game winner Josh Beckett.  Vlad Guerrero was the only guy to really have a game and he managed just two singles.  Nobody drew a walk and Garrett Anderson had a particularly tough game with two strikeouts.

John Lackey had a tough and he was mostly damaged by a pair of homers that resulted in three of the four Angels runs.  He gave up four runs in all on nine hits and two walks with four strikeouts in seven innings.  Ervin Santana was very effective and he gave up just two hits in two perfect innings of relief.

Kelvim Escobar is roughed up but he gets the start on Friday.  The Angels will have to contend with another tough Red Sox starter with Dice-K getting the ball.

September 15, 2007

Angels Cruising Into the Playoffs

by @ 6:25 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

We all know it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.  The Angels magic number is now down to nine and with a win tonight, it could down to eight or even seven.  What’s a more interesting question is who the Angels opponent is probably going to be.  With the Wild Card most likely being the Yankees, it means it doesn’t matter whether the Red Sox or the Angels have the better record, the Angels will get a streaking Yankees team as their first round opponent.  Of course the Tigers are still on the fringe of contending for that Wild Card and that would throw everything off.

It’s nice to see Vlad back these last few days and even though we haven’t seen it in the win column, he’s gotten it done.  He now has a seven game hitting streak and in four of the last five, he’s had a pair of hits.  He also had that big two homer game and the pair of four RBI games to help out the cause.  With Vlad in the lineup, the Angels have as good of a chance as any to walk away with the World Series win.

And what can you say about John Lackey.  He’s going to contend for the Cy Young and while he once again is going to fall short of 200 strikeouts, it was a break out year in the sense that he’s finally being mentioned as an elite starter.  Yeah, his 2007 numbers are pretty close to what he put up in 2006 but it’s the wins that people look at, even though we all know wins and losses have quite a bit of a luck element too them.  And Kelvim Escobar has been a pleasant surprise as we head down the stretch.

And the final two weeks of season will be an afterthought.  They don’t play a contender, although the Mariners have had an interesting season.  And the Rangers have been red hot but at this point, the Angels could play .500 ball and 99 times out of 100, get in the playoffs.

July 23, 2007

Angels Struggle to Start Second Half

by @ 11:54 am. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels are 4-5 since the break, and while that’s not downright horrible, you have to consider that six of those nine games were against the Rangers and the Devil Rays.  The offense has struggled and the Mariners aren’t going away and I’d be very interested to see what kind of move that the Angels make here as the trade deadline gets closer and closer.

Joe Saunders got the job done yesterday and that helped the Angels avoid a sweep at the hands of the Twins.  He’s now 4-0 and he’s 11-3 in his short career over 21 starts.  Still an impressive record and having a guy like this in your back pocket has been huge for the Angels.  It’s probably even more strange that he struggled down at Triple A this year but you have to give some kudos to the front office for recognizing who the best guy is to win the Angels some ball games.

Vlad hasn’t hit a homerun since June 23.  We’re talking about a month now and in that time, his OPS has dropped around 70 points.  If the Angels are going to walk home with the AL West crown, Vlad is the guy who’s going to have to heat up and get them their.  Yeah, he’s still hitting around .320, but we need that punch.

John Lackey, while he’s won five of his last ten starts, is starting to get rocked on occassion.  He gave up seven runs in his last start and he has just as many five’s and six’s in the earned run column of his game log recently as he does one’s and two’s.  The end result is an increase of close to run his ERA and the last time he had a month with an ERA under 4.00 was way back in May. 

Kelvim Escobar, on the other hand, has been lights out and he’s been the stopper of late.  He’s won his last five decisions and in four of his last five starts, he’s given up a run or less.  He’s also supplanted Lackey as the team leader with a 2.85 ERA.  Good stuff and he’s already matched last season’s win total of eleven.

The Angels start a three game series with the A’s beginning tonight.  Bartolo Colon gets the start and the Angels’ hitters will see Chad Gaudin.  The A’s are pretty much done and a good series this week will bury them even further.

July 11, 2007

Angels Head Into Second Half With 2 1/2 Game Lead Over Unlikely Rival

by @ 6:07 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

If you would have told me in April that the Angels would have a 2 1/2 game lead in the AL West, I would have been pretty happy.  If you would have told me the team that trailed the Angels by just one loss was the Seattle Mariners, I would have said you were nuts but the Mariners have come out of nowhere to contend for the division title.  In the meantime, the Athletics sit right at .500 and a distant, but not large enough, nine games back.

There’s little doubt who the best hitter in the first half of the season for the Angels is because Vlad Guerrero is an AL MVP candidate as well.  While his 14 homeruns aren’t really sexy, he’s walking (47) more times then he’s striking out (32) and he’s on pace to set a career high in doubles.  He should have more runs, but that’s more because the guys around him haven’t done what they’re supposed to.  And a scary moment where Vlad was hit on the hand earlier in the season almost derailed the Angels entire season.

Orlando Cabrera is probably a solid honorable mention and one of the disappointments has been Gary Matthews, Jr.  He hasn’t been horrible, but he’s pretty much regressed to his 2005 statistics and that’s not worth nearly what we’re paying him.  The end result is an OPS that’s almost 100 points lower then last year and his defense is a bit overrated.  He’ll make the flashy catch, but he sits with just one run above average in the field.

The best pitcher is an easy one as well because John Lackey is going to contend for the Cy Young.  Just about everything is improved this year numbers wise with Lackey with the exception of one odd number, and that’s an unusually high homerun rate.  In fact he’s almost given up as many homeruns as he did all of last year.  Still, he’s walking fewer guys and his strikeout rate is right where it’s been in years past and with a little more run support, Lackey could be sitting on thirteen wins.

Ervin Santana has to be the most disappointing pitcher.  At 5-10 and a sky high 5.97 ERA, Ervin Santana has definitely taken a step back.  He’s given up a ton of hits and ton of homeruns and that’s not a good combination.

The Angels have the last place Rangers to contend with beginning Friday then they have a series against the Devil Rays so the Angels will hopefully take advantage of their weaker opponents and pad that small lead.  Jered Weaver takes the mound on Friday night and he’ll face Kevin Millwood.

June 27, 2007

Angels Swept By Royals

by @ 7:25 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

Well, this was a kick in the you know what.  The hapless Royals rolled into town against the best home team in baseball (at the time, the Brewers now have one more home win then the Angels now) and left with three consecutive wins.  So not only was the four game winning streak cut short in the opener on Monday, it’s now a distant memory.

Today’s game was probably the most disappointing because the Angels couldn’t do anything at the plate.  And rallies were squashed by other mishaps.  There were two double plays that the Angels hit into and then two hitters were caught stealing.  So even though the Angels racked up ten hits, they stranded only six batters. 

And a fantastic start by Jered Weaver was totally wasted.  He gave up just one run on four hits and one walk with six strikeouts in seven innings and in three of Weaver’s last four starts, the right hander has given up one run or less.  This also snaps an impressive five game winning streak as well.  In fact, in Weaver’s last eight starts, he picked up wins in five of them and the Angels won seven of them.  That’s a nice ratio.

The MVP (Vlad) had five hits in the series but he didn’t drive home a single run and he scored just once.  And it’s not that he didn’t have a chance.  In today’s game, with runners on first and second in the first inning, he hit into an inning ending double play to squash the rally. 

Ervin Santana continued his struggles yesterday and his ERA is now over five and a quarter.  Probably the biggest surprise about is record isn’t that he’s 5-8, but that’s he’s pitched so poorly and still picked up five runs.  Although that’s not completely fair because he had a nice stretch earlier in June where he was pitching better.  It just seems like for every start where he gives up one run, there’s another where he gives up 6+.

The Angels hit the road and they head to Baltimore for a three game series with the Orioles beginning Friday.  Normally I’d say this was a slam dunk but after this week’s sweep, anything goes.  And while the Athletics have hit the skids and lost five straight, the Mariners have made up for it by winning five straight so the Angels lead is now down to five games.  Still comfortable, but it’s something to where if the Angels get swept again down the road, things could get tight in a hurry.  Kelvim Escobar takes the mound on Friday and he’ll face Brian Burress in the opener.

June 19, 2007

Angels Maintain Division Lead With Three Game Winning Streak

by @ 6:53 am. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

It’s hard to complain about how the Angels are playing these days.  They’ve won three straight, seven out of ten and they’re 12-4 in the month of June.  They’ve gotten their shutouts (like Jered Weaver on Saturday) and they’ve even gotten the bats going with back to back ten run games.  The end result is, they have a nice six game cushion despite the Athletics getting hot and on any given day, either their hitters or their pitchers can get it done and win them a game.  Not a lot of teams (maybe the Red Sox) can proclaim that kind of balance.

What a game by Chone Figgins.  He became only the second Angels hitter (Garrett Anderson in 1996) to rack up six hits in a single game and he was a key part of the Angels come from behind win over the Astros.  He also saw his season batting jump by almost thirty points after just that single game and it’d be nice to see Figgins build on this and become the run scorer we all know he can be.

Vlad Guerrero had tapered off a bit in June which makes this recent run all the better.  Imagine what the Angels will do when he starts raking again.  Anyway, he’s hit only one homer in June and his OPS is a pedestrian .734.  He’s still been awesome at home though (1.137 OPS versus .857 on the road).

John Lackey has had a tough time in two of his last three starts and you hope that’s not a trend.  Still, he leads the league with ten wins although his strikeouts are down a bit at 75 in 97 1/3 innings.  So it looks like once again, it looks like he’ll fall short of 200 strikeouts.  Still, his 2.96 ERA and 1.22 WHIP would be career highs because he’s kept his walk rate down so much.

Jered Weaver had his best start on Saturday since his April 28 start against the White Sox but he’s still been pretty erratic despite winning five straight.  He’s only pitched six innings once in his last five starts and that’s not really encouraging either since it forces the Angels to go to their pen earlier then they might otherwise.

That’s about it.  I know it’s been a while but I’m catching up on a few personal things which are winding down.  Game two against the Astros is tonight and it’ll be Bartolo Colon going up against Jason Jennings.

June 4, 2007

Vlad Guerrero Pads Angels Lead With Walk Off Homer

by @ 9:11 am. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

Vlad is the man.  His twelth homerun yesterday was a walk off two run shot that gave the Angels a 4-3 win over the Orioles.  The Angels won their third straight and they now sport an impressive 5 1/2 game lead. Not insurmountable, but it’s definitely a nice cushion.

How good has Vlad been.  In looking at his splits page, he’s hitting .423 in his last seven games.  Oddly, he’s killed right handed pitching to the tune of a 1.070 OPS and he puts on a show in front of the home crowd. He’s a .389 hitter at home and “only” .294 on the road.  Probably the most impressive number on the page is what he does after he has a 3-0 count.  He has a .889 OBP percentage when a pitcher goes 3-0 on him and a 2.089 OPS.  Oh yeah, and he’s hitting .371 with runners in scoring position.

Next up is three agains the Twins.  The Angels have the best home record in baseball so I like our chances in this one.  Plus, we won’t have to see Johan Santana, who threw yesterday.  Tonight, it’ll be Jered Weaver going up against Boof Bonser.

May 21, 2007

Angels Sweep Dodgers, Extend Winning Streak To Five Games

by @ 8:54 am. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

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.

May 14, 2007

Angels Continue to Roll With Another Win Over Rangers

by @ 6:02 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

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.

April 26, 2007

Angels Take Over Lead in the West With Two Blowout Wins Over Tampa

by @ 7:35 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

This was just what the Angels needed, a bad team to roll into town.  And not only did the hitters do their job, but the pitchers also had some quality starts in the two game sweep.

In the 9-1 win yesterday, John Lackey got it done pretty nicely on the mound.  He gave up a single run on seven hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings to improve to 3-2.  Gary Matthews, Jr., Garrett Anderson and Shea Hillenbrand all drove in two runs while Erick Aybar scored twice.

The today Bartolo Colon struck out eleven in seven solid innings to improve to 2-0.  Gary Matthews, Jr. went three for five with two runs and an RBI while Vlad Guerrero went yard with a two run shot in the 11-3 win.

So the Angels sit a game ahead of the A’s and they jump on a plane and head to Chicago for three against the White Sox.  This should be a tough series and it was only two years ago that these two teams faced off in the ALCS.  Hopefully the result is different then what happened then though.

April 25, 2007

John Lackey Starts Blog

by @ 12:42 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

John Lackey has started his own blog.  Be sure to stop by and check it out.

April 24, 2007

Angels Fall A Game Behind Athletics With Split Against Tigers

by @ 6:48 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels split what turned out to be a crazy two game series with the Tigers and at the end of it all, the Angels are still .500 at 10-10.  Jered Weaver was pummelled in the first game and this one was over pretty quickly.  Weaver dropped to 0-2 and he gave up seven runs in 1 2/3 innings.  Gary Matthews, Jr. finished with two hits including a homerun and two RBIs in the 9-5 loss.

Then it looked like the Angels were going to turn the tables this afternoon and they scored seven runs in the first three innings.  Then a run here and three runs there shaved the lead down to one until a two run homer off of K-Rod actually gave the Tigers an 8-7 lead in the ninth.  The Vlad Guerrero scored on a wild pitch in the ninth to tie it and then Erick Aybar drove in the winning run on a fielders choice in the tenth.

Dustin Mosely got only one batter out, but he picked up the win because it was the last batter in the tenth.  Orlando Cabrera and Vlad Guerrero each had three hits, two runs and two RBIs in the 9-8 win.

Next up is three against the Devil Rays, who are taking it to the Yankees as we speak.  John Lackey gets the start in the opener tomorrow and then Bartolo Colon throws on Thursday.  I like our chances in each of these games.

April 23, 2007

Angels Get Back on Track With Sweep Over Mariners

by @ 11:12 am. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels pushed themselves back up to .500 and a tie for first place with three straight wins over the Mariners.  It helped that we got back Vlad Guerrero and he did his thing but the AL West is definitely an unusual place. The Mariners were in first earlier in the week and now they’re in last and with no teams over .500, you have just a two team seperation between first and last place.

The Angels got their share of offense in all three games but Friday’s was the highest scoring.  Vlad Guerrero made his return and he went three for five with a homerun.  Mike Napoli also hit a homerun and Garrett Anderson went two for four with an RBI and three runs in the 8-4 win.  Joe Saunders picked up the win and he improved to 2-0.  He gave up seven hits and two runs in six shutout innings. 

Saturday’s game was the closest and it was also the return of Bartolo Colon.  He gave up just one run on seven hits with one strikeouts in seven solid innings.  The pen gave up five runs, which was a bit disconcerting but they didn’t blow the lead.  Vlad Guerrero hit homerun number five and he drove in two runs in the 7-6 win.

Ervin Santana got it done yesterday to finish up the sweep.  He gave up one run on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts in seven solid innings and he improved to 2-2 on the season.  Vlad Guerrero picked up two more hits and he scored and drove in one while Garrett Anderson drove in two in the 6-1 win.

The Tigers come to town for two games with the first one being tonight.  Jered Weaver will face Mike Maroth in the opener.  I like our chances in that one.

April 18, 2007

Angels Losing Streak Now Six Games After Sweep by Athletics

by @ 6:08 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

Talk about a sinking ship.  The Angels have lost their last six games and they’ve now sunk to last place (at least before some of tonight’s finishes) in the NL West.  They’ve done it with some pretty poor hitting and it’s not surprising as both Vlad Guerrero and now Howie Kendrick are hurt.  Vlad of course got nailed on the hand on Monday by Josh Beckett and now Howie Kendrick has an injured hand and is going to hit the disabled list.  Not good at all.

The Angels scored their lone run of the series on Tuesday in a 4-1 loss to the A’s.  Maicer Izturis doubled home Reggie Willits and that was it.  Jered Weaver made his season debut and while he wasn’t horrible, he wasn’t perfect either so he took the loss.  He gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts in six innings.

This afternoon, John Lackey threw a decent game but the hitting was even worse as the Angels were shutout on five hits.  Lackey gave up three runs on eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts in seven innings of work.  Orlando Cabrera was the only Angel with two hits in the game.

Next up is three against the Mariners beginning tomorrow.  Saturday’s game will be particularly interesting because Bartolo Colon will make his season debut after starting the season on the DL.  We’d need to win all three just to get back to .500 and that’s the goal right now.

April 16, 2007

Angels Dismantled by Red Sox

by @ 12:57 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

I’m not going to say too much because this series with the Red Sox was pretty disappointing.  After the hot start, the Angels are now 6-7 and they lost by a combined score of 25-3 in the three game series.  The only good news is, the Angels aren’t in last because just about everyone else in the west is stinking it up outside of the Mariners.

Next up is two against the A’s.  The time to turn it around is now.

April 12, 2007

Angels Drop to 6-4 After Series Loss to Cleveland

by @ 6:09 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

The good news is, the Angels will have at least a share of first place no matter what happens tonight.  The bad news is, the Angels dropped their first series of the season at the hands of the Indians.  And in Milwaukee no less.  The Indians had an entire series snowed out against the Mariners and they decided to play in more snow in Milwaukee.  Okay, it was just snowing outside because Miller Park has a retractable roof.

In Monday’s game, the Angels ran into C.C. Sabathia.  Once he left, the Angels mounted a comeback that fell just short and they lost 7-6.  Ervin Santana was hit hard and he dropped to 1-1. He gave up six runs on seven hits and four walks with two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.  Maicer Izturis drove in three runs and Garrett Anderson had three hits in the loss.

Joe Saunders got it done yesterday.  He gave up just a single run on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.  Gary Matthews, Jr. had a nice game in the 4-1 win.  He went two for five and he scored twice.

Then the Angels blew today’s game.  They had a 2-1 lead in the eighth and then Travis Hafner hit a three run homerun off of Scott Shields as the Angels lost 4-2.  A nice start by Dustin Moseley went to waste and he gave up just one run in six innings.  Orlando Cabrera scored both Angels’ runs and he had three hits.

Next up is a four game wrap around series against the Red Sox at Fenway.  Boston is never a fun place to play and with this offense, I’d be pretty happy with a 2-2 split.  I like our chances with Lackey in tomorrows game but after that, it looks pretty dicey.

April 9, 2007

Pitching Reigns in Series Split With the Athletics

by @ 11:23 am. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels and Athletics played a four game series and there was a ton of good pitching in this one.  In all four games, the loser scored no more then three runs and in three of them, the loser scored two or less.

Oakland drew first blood on Thursday as Mike Piazza hit a solo homerun in the ninth off of Francisco Rodriguez in his first loss of the season.  Joe Saunders gave up nine hits but he gave up just three runs in 5 2/3 innings.  Vlad Guerrero hit homerun number two and Garrett Anderson hit his first in the 4-3 loss.

On Friday, Dustin Moseley got it done.  He gave up just one run on five hits with four strikeouts in six innings of work.  K-Rod closed it out and picked up the save and Vlad Guerrero hit a three run homerun.  Howie Kendrick also went yard with a solo shot in the 5-2 win.

It was John Lackey’s turn on Saturday.  He gave up just a single run on seven hits in seven innings.  Vlad Guerrero had two hits and he drove in his tenth run in the 2-1 win.

The Angels couldn’t drive the nail in the A’s coffin though and they lost a 2-1 game yesterday.  Kelvim Escobar had a nice start go to waste and the only run for the Angels came in the sixth when Macier Izturis singled home Garrett Anderson.

The Angels have the day off today and then they take on the Indians in Cleveland for a three game series.

April 4, 2007

Four Run First Enough for Angels to Complete Sweep Over Rangers

by @ 6:03 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

Three games, three wins.  You can’t ask for much better then this as the pitching has been there and hitting has been timely enough.  Today, it was Ervin Santana who got it done. He gave up just two runs on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts in seven innings of work.  K-Rod gave up a run in the ninth, but he still picked up his second save of the season.

On offense, four of the five Angels’ runs came in the first inning.  Garrett Anderson led the way with two hits, an RBI and two runs while Casey Kotchman had another nice game with two hits and an RBI.

Next up is a four game set against the Athletics and at the very least, we’ll have a two game lead going into that game.  It sure would be nice to take three of four and maybe put some early distance between the Angels and the A’s.

Kelvim Escobar, Angels Pen Hold Rangers to Four Hits

by @ 6:50 am. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels made it two straight last night with another win over the Rangers.  This time, it was Kelvim Escobar who got it done on the mound.  He gave up three runs (two earned) on only three hits but he walked five with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.  Scott Shields closed the game with two scoreless frames and he struck out two.

Vladimir Guerrero had a monster game at the plate.  He was a perfect four for four with one homerun, three RBIs and two runs.  Gary Matthews, Jr. and Orlando Cabrera each had two hits and two runs while Howie Kendrick had two hits and an RBI.

Ervin Santana can secure the sweep this afternoon.  It sure would be nice to have a 3-0 record heading into that four game series with the Athletics.

April 3, 2007

John Lackey Has Strong Outing in Angels Home Opener

by @ 6:27 am. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels got some timely hitting and then a solid start from John Lackey last night to walk away with a 4-1 win.  Casey Kotchman had two hits including a solo homerun and Vlad Guerrero doubled home a run.

Lackey threw a lot of pitches in five innings (96) but he got the job done and the new and improved pen did their job.  Lackey struck out five and gave up a single run on four hits and four walks.  He also benefited from some solid defense out in centerfield by Gary Matthews, Jr.

The rematch is tonight.  Kelvim Escobar gets the ball for the Angels and he’ll face Vincente Padilla.  Maybe we can get the bats going a bit and give Escobar a nice lead so we can walk away with a second quick win.

March 24, 2007

Garret Anderson Profile and Bad News for Chone Figgins

by @ 11:39 am. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

It wasn’t that long ago that Garret Anderson was considered an elite outfielder.  His strikeout to walk ratio was never very good but from 2000 through 2003, he hit at least 28 homeruns and drove in at least 116 runs in each of those years.  His batting average is an impressive .297 but he sports only a career on base percentage of .327.  And it definitely looks like that lack of patience at the plate has come back to haunt him.  That and of course the injuries.  In that past three seasons, he’s failed to more then 17 homeruns although his RBI total has gotten up to as much as 96 (in 2005).

Now, according to this Tim Brown column, Garret Anderson is healthy and ready to play.  There’s no doubt a reinvigorated Anderson would go a long way towards the Angels making the playoffs in 2007 so I’m hopeful.  But it’s also hard to get away from those past three years so I’m also skeptical.

It looks like the news on Chone Figgins is pretty disappointing.  They’re now saying he has two broken fingers and that he’s expected to miss five to six weeks so we’re looking at a May debut.  Not good.

March 23, 2007

Chone Figgins Breaks Finger

by @ 12:33 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

Chone Figgins is going to miss most of the rest of the spring season with a broken finger.  He did it while fielding a ground ball yesterday and while nobody has said how long he’s been out, Figgins appeared to be in good spirt and was hoping he’d be ready for opening day.

March 20, 2007

Spotlight on Angels Young Infield

by @ 7:42 am. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

Jim Caple at recently profiled the Angels bright, young infield yesterday in a great column.  There’s a lot of stuff here so be sure to check it out.

March 13, 2007

Angels Minor League Preview

by @ 9:02 am. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

In what’s a very interesting, takes a look at the Angels’ deep minor league system.  There’s quite a bit here including profiles on players at each stop in the system including profiles on Nick Green and Brandon Wood and it looks like they expect some big things from Wood and Nick Adenhart.  There’s a lot of stuff here so be sure to check it out.

March 12, 2007

Hardball Times Angels Preview

by @ 1:45 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Hardball Times kicked off their “five questions” series of team previews today and one of the first ones were the Angels.  Sean Smith kicks around whether the Gary Matthews signing was historically bad, what to expect from Jered Weaver as well as well as what kind of job Bill Stoneman did and whether he might have a job in 2008. 

March 8, 2007

Angels Win the World Series?

by @ 12:00 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

Rich Lederer recently penned a column at Baseball Prospectus about what the Angels have to do to win the 2007 World Series.  He talks about how the team has nearly turned over since they won the World Series in 2002 but that Mike Scioscia’s style is still in place.  I didn’t realize this the Angels had the best record in the majors from July 1 forward (about the same time I started this site :-) ).  He also touches on how the Angels will ride the pitching staff because that’s what will make or break the season and he also talks about what Howie Kendrick and Mike Napoli have to do.  Good read.

March 7, 2007

Angels Sport Best Bench in Baseball

by @ 4:07 am. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

In a recent Hardball Times column, Jeff Sackman examined the best benches in the MLB.  At the head of the class were the Los Angeles Angels.   He talks about how super-utility man Chone Figgins gives the team a ton of flexibility despite the fact that he has a starting job and that while the Angels have no “great” option as the starter at first, they do have two guys with some promise and one of them will be on the bench while the other is playing.  And then of course you have the youth movement with Brandon Wood and Erick Aybar.  Good stuff here.

March 3, 2007

Angels Win Third Straight Spring Game, Remain Perfect

by @ 4:58 pm. Filed under 2007 Season, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels got it done today, at least with the bat.  Brandon Wood had two hits and two runs while Tommy Murphy drove in two runs in the 9-8 win.  Murphy also hit the only homerun for the Angels today.

On the pitching side, Hector Carrasco was solid in the first inning but then all five relief pitchers gave up runs.  Arredondo was particularly hit hard.  He gave up three runs on three hits and two walks and only got one batter out.

The Angels will try to remain perfect this spring tomorrow against the Brewers.  It’s a 12:05 start time.

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