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October 5, 2008

Angels Live Another Day

by @ 10:31 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels and Red Sox were even at 4′s and took the game into the 12th before Erick Aybar drove in the go-ahead run to give the Angels another shot at a series comeback.

The Angels loaded the bases off Josh Beckett in the first, but could only score one run on Juan Rivera’s walk. The Sox took the lead with three in the second before Mike Napoli blasted his first homerun of the night, a two-run shot above the Green Monster to tie the game. He then drove a solo homerun in the fifth for the go-ahead run. Boston evened it up in the bottom half, and the Angels were shut out until the 12th when Napoli got a leadoff single and came around to score on Aybar’s single, his first hit of the ALDS.

Joe Saunders didn’t make it out of the fifth inning and was tagged for four runs on five hits, including a three-run Boston rally in the second. Arrendondo, Oliver, Shields, and K-Rod then held the Red Sox scoreless until Weaver tossed the last two innings, getting the win as a reliever.

Game 4 is set for Monday night, and the Angels look to become the fifth team to rally back and win the series after being in an 0-2 hole. John Lackey and Jon Lester will face off, a rematch of Game 1 in which Lester came out on top after giving up no earned runs through seven.

Angels One Loss Away from Season’s End

by @ 2:07 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels came back to tie it up after the Red Sox had an early 4-0 lead, but K-Rod gave up two in the ninth to put the Angels in an 0-2 hole for the series.

Boston scored four in the first, but the Angels rallied back throughout the game to tie it a 5′s by the eighth. Hunter got an RBI-single in the first but Juan Rivera grounded out with runners on second and third to end the inning. Figgins got an RBI-single in the fourth before another by Hunter in the fifth. Mike Napoli walked with bases loaded in the seventh to bring the Angels within one, but Aybar struck out with bases loaded to keep the Angels down a run. Mark Teixeira drove in Chone Figgins, who led off with a triple, on a sac fly to tie it in the eighth but Jonathan Papelbon shut down the Angels in the ninth to end the game.

It was the first inning that hurt Santana, giving Boston a quick 4-0 lead, including a three-run homerun to Jason Bay. He gave up another run in the fourth before leaving in the sixth, being down two runs. Arrendondo and Shields held the Sox offense while the Angels tied it up, and K-Rod came in for the ninth hold the tie. He gave up a leadoff double to David Ortiz and one out later gave up the go-ahead two-run homerun to JD Drew.

The Angels now have nine consecutive postseason losses, and 11 consecutive postseason losses to the Red Sox. Joe Saunders will look to help the Angels avoid the feat they suffered last year, with a sweep from Boston. Saunders is a perfect 4-0 with a 2.75 ERA in six career starts against the Sox, with the Angels winning all six of those games. Three of those four wins have come at Fenway, but he will have to face Josh Beckett to continue his undefeated streak. Beckett went 12-10 this year, with two of those losses courtesy of the Angels.

October 2, 2008

Angel Offense Falls Short in Game 1

by @ 9:14 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The offense could only rally for one run as Jason Bay’s two-run homerun in the sixth off Lackey put the Red Sox ahead for good.

The Angels managed six hits off Jon Lester’s seven innings, but only scored one, in the third off Torii Hunter’s RBI single. They also failed to get runs on other opportunities, like loading the bases in the first and having two back-to-back one-out singles in the eighth, but Vlad ran through the stop sign and was thrown out. 

Lackey tossed five shutout innings before giving up Jason Bay’s first career postseason homerun, a two-out, two-run go-ahead shot in the sixth. Lackey was lifted in the seventh and is still winless in his last five postseason starts. Oliver and Shields came in to relieve, with Shields running into trouble in the ninth, giving up two RBI-singles to make it 4-1.

The Angels will try and forget that this is their eighth consecutive postseason loss, their fifth at home. Ervin Santana has the chance to even up the series in Game 2 on Friday. His battery mate will be Mathis, and those two had a 14-4 record with a 2.88 ERA while starting together this season. Santana is 1-2 lifetime against the Sox, but did not face them this year. He will face Dice-K, who had a 9-0 road record this season, and had a 2-1 record in four postseason starts last year.

September 30, 2008

ALDS Game 1 Preview

by @ 10:11 pm. Filed under Angels Season Lookbacks

The White Sox completed the final piece of the playoff puzzle today, but the Angels already have their match set in hosting .

The Angels, facing the Sox for the third time in postseason history, have a chance to get back at the Red Sox for sweeping them out of the postseason last year in the ALDS. John Lackey will make the start in Game 1 and will face lefty Jon Lester. Despite Lackey’s worst outing of the season in his last start, he ended up with a 12-5 record, including two wins against the Red Sox. Lackey also started in last year’s ALDS Game 1, but took a 4-0 loss to set the pace for the sweep. Lester went 16-6 with a 3.21 ERA this year, including a four-run, nine-hit start against the Angels back in April.

September 28, 2008

Angels Hit 100 Wins with Sunday’s Shut Out Over Rangers

by @ 9:19 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

After dropping the first two games to the Rangers, Joe Saunders and the Angels them out on Sunday to get their 100th and final regular season win.

John Lackey was roughed up on Friday night, being tagged for a career-high 10 runs on 12 hits before being pulled in the third. The Rangers rallied for all 12 runs in the first four frames, including a seven-run second inning. The offense was held to just five hits and one run, an RBI-single by Vlad in the first. The tough loss was followed by news that the Angels clinched home field advantage for the entire playoffs, with the Rays losing that night.

The offense fared a little better on Saturday, touching home four times on nine hits, but Ervin Santana struggled, giving up eight runs on ten hits. Mark Teixeira knocked in a run with a sac fly in the first before the Rangers took the lead with three runs in the second off two homeruns. The Angels were then shut out until the sixth when Reggie Willits scored on Morales’ RBI-groundout. They had another chance with the bases loaded in the seventh, but could only manage to score one run, on Matthew Brown’s RBI-single. Bobby Wilson then drove a run in in the ninth for his first career RBI. Santana was lifted with two outs in the sixth to keep his win total at 16 for the year.

The Angels finished off the 2008 regular season with a 7-0 shutout on Sunday, and now have two days off before hosting the Red Sox for the ALDS on Wednesday. Joe Saunders picked up his 17th win after tossing six shutout innings, holding the Rangers to two hits with nine K’s. The offense knocked in seven runs on twelve hits, with Napoli leading with 3 hits and 4 RBI. He drove an RBI-double in the second before hitting a solo homerun in the fifth. The Angels then rallied for three runs in the sixth, with an RBI-single by Matthews Jr. before Napoli drove a two-run double. The then added two more in the eighth, with Morales getting a walk with the bases loaded to cap off the scoring.

The opening game of the playoffs will be a matchup of John Lackey and Jon Lester on Wednesday.

September 26, 2008

Last Road Game is Win No. 99 for Angels

by @ 9:49 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels took the last game of the series with two ninth-inning go-ahead runs to get the series victory.

Vlad led the offense, going 2 for 4 with 3 runs and 3 RBI with both hits being homers. The Angels trailed for the first five frames, scoring a run in the second before taking the lead with two runs in the sixth. Vlad hit a solo shot that inning before driving a two-run homerun in the ninth to put the Angels ahead.

Dustin Moseley gave up two runs on six hits in his five innings, but didn’t factor into the decision. Jepsen gave up a run before Jose Arrendondo gave up a two-run homerun in the seventh, but still earned the win. After Vlad’s go-ahead homerun, Shields closed out the ninth to pick up his fourth save.

John Lackey will make the start in the opening game of the regular season’s last series. He looks to pick up his 13th win, and is 1-1 in three starts against the Rangers this season. Vincente Padilla will make the start for the Rangers, who is also 1-1 against the Angels this season, but has seen just three wins since the All-Star break.

September 25, 2008

Teixeira’s Eighth-Inning Blast Gives Angels Win Over Mariners

by @ 8:59 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels have now taken two of three from the Mariners with a 6-5 win on Wednesday. Their magic number to clinch home field advantage throughout the series is now three, and they are two wins away from the triple-digit mark.

After the Mariners scored one in the first, the Angels scored two in the second to take the lead on Aybar’s RBI-single and Aybar scoring on a passed ball. The Mariners took the lead in the fifth with three runs, but the Angels answered back with their of their own in the sixth to tie it. Sean Rodriquez drove a two-run double and came around to score on Anderson’s RBI-groundout. Teixeira then gave the Angels the go-ahead run with a solo shot in the eighth, his fourth hit of the game, a season-high. The Angels also got a taste of the new instant replay, reviewing Vlad’s foul-ball in the fifth that was close to being a homer so they reviewed it.

Jon Garland struggled to control the Mariners, giving up five runs on 11 hits through five innings. Darren Oliver then came in to toss two hitless innings to pick up his seventh win before Shields held the eighth and K-Rod picked up his 62nd save in the ninth.

The Angels can get the series win with a victory in today’s finale, their last road game of the season. Dustin Moseley will make the start for his last outing this season as a starter. Moseley is 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA lifetime against the Mariners. He will face lefty Cesar Jimenez, who is replacing Carlos Silva who will miss the start due to back soreness. Lucky for the Angels, Jimenez has only made one start this season, going three innings, and he will likely not go more than that, especially if the Angels hit him early.

September 24, 2008

Mariners Take One Back from Angels

by @ 7:38 am. Filed under Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels took a 6-9 loss to the Mariners last night to even up the series and leave their win streak at five.

Gary Matthews Jr. gave the Angels an early lead with a two-run homerun in the second for his first homerun since June 11. The Mariners tied it up in the third but the Angels regained in the lead with three runs in the fourth, courtesy of a three-run homerun by Mike Napoli, one of three hits for Napoli on the night. in the sixth to put the Angels up 6-2 before Weaver and the bullpen lost the lead.

Weaver held the Mariners to two runs through five while the offense gave him a nice 6-2 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth. The Mariners rallied for four runs that inning, all being tagged to Weaver, who left with two outs after giving up a two-run double. He left with the tie so wasn’t in line for the decision. Jepsen then got out of the sixth but was tagged for three runs in the seventh to take the loss, his first of his big league career.

The Angels still need three wins to get to the 100-win mark, and send Jon Garland to the mound on Wednesday to move a win closer to that feat. Garland doesn’t have a set spot in the playoff rotation, so he will need to fare better than his recent outings if he wants a shot to make a start after this one. He is 2-1 in three starts against the Mariners this season, with the loss coming at Safeco field. He will face Felix Hernandez, who is 9-11 despite a decent 3.37 ERA.

September 22, 2008

Santana Leads Mariners to Win Over Mariners

by @ 10:56 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

With a 2-1 win over the Mariners in Seattle, the Angels have now won five straight, with only three road games left in Seattle for the season.

The Mariners got on board first with one in the third, but Vlad tied it up in the fourth with a solo homerun, he ended up 3 for 4 on the night. Jeff Mathis then singled in the seventh and scored the go-ahead run on Reggie Willits’ single, aided by a fielding error. Howie Kendrick was also back in the lineup for the first time since August 27, going 0 for 2 before being lifted for Sean Rodriguez.

Ervin Santana pitched eight innings with one run for his team-tying 16th win. He gave up five hits, one an RBI-single in the third, and totaled nine K’s. K-Rod then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 61st save.

With six games remaining, the Angels need three wins to get to the 100-win mark, which would be a franchise-high. Joe Saunders will miss his scheduled start on Tuesday due to kidney stones, and his start will be pushed back to the season finale on September 28th against the Rangers. Jered Weaver will be moved up and make the start tomorrow. He is 6-2 lifetime against the Mariners, with two of those wins coming this year. He will face rookie lefty Ryan Feierabend, who is 1-4 with a 7.49 ERA.

September 21, 2008

Angels Seal Another 7-3 Win Over Texas

by @ 5:47 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels completed the sweep of the Rangers on Sunday with John Lackey tossing six shutout innings to get win number 12.

The offense put up 11 hits, and took an early lead with two runs in the first off Teixeira’s homerun. Anderson then drove in a run in the fifth before Sean Rodriguez jacked a three-run homerun in the sixth. Vlad chipped in with an RBI in the seventh. Figgins was also back in the lineup for the first time since Tuesday, and went 1 for 4 with a run scored.

Lackey had a no-hitter into the fifth, and a perfect game into the fourth before leaving after tossing six shutout innings with just two hits. He also notched a career-high 12 strikeouts, with seven of those being consecutive to fall one shy of the AL record. He picks up his first win since August 26. Arrendondo then pitched two shutout innings before Bulger finished the ninth, but not before giving up a three-run homerun to Hank Blalock to fall short of the shutout.

The Angels continue their roadtrip, heading out to Seattle for a four-game series with the Mariners before closing out the season at home against the Rangers. Ervin Santana will get the start and face Ryan Rowland-Smith. Santana is 2-0 in four starts against the Mariners this year while Rowland-Smith is 4-2 with a 3.53 ERA.

Offense Stays Hot in 7-3 Win Over Rangers

by @ 8:24 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

After a 15-run attack on Friday, the Angels came back on Saturday with seven runs on nine hits in their third straight win to clinch the series with the Rangers.

Garret Anderson got the Angels on board in the third with a two-run homerun. The Rangers tied it up but the Angels re-gained the lead in the sixth before putting up two more in each the seventh and ninth innings. Anderson ended up 3 for 4 with 3 RBI, Aybar 2 for 4 with 3 runs, and Vlad drove a double in the sixth in his first game back before being lifted that same inning.

Dustin Moseley held the Rangers to three runs through five-plus innings, but left in the sixth with the no-decision. Speier picked up his second win after closing the sixth and pitching into the seventh. Jepsen, Shields, and Bulger combined for two shutout innings before K-Rod got the final out in the ninth for his 60th save.

John Lackey can lead the Angels to a sweep today, with Lackey having a 9-9 career record against the Rangers. He will face Scott Feldman, who is 5-7 and 0-1 with a 11.17 ERA in two starts against the Angels this year.

September 20, 2008

Angels, Rangers Combine for 28 Runs in Angels’ Win

by @ 11:52 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels tallied 22 hits and touched home 15 times in a 15-13 win over the Rangers in the first game of the series.

The Angels knocked Rangers’ starter Matt Harrison out after three innings, tagging him for seven runs on nine hits. Torii Hunter gave the Angels a quick 3-0 lead in the first with a three-run blast. They added two more in the second before Morales and Napoli hitting back-to-back homeruns in the third, with Napoli ending 3 for 5 and missed the cycle by a single. The Angels then rallied for five runs in the fifth before topping off the scoring with a run in the seventh and eighth innings. Napoli, Morales, Aybar, Texeira, Hunter, Matthews, and Anderson all had multi-hit games, with Anderson going 4 for 6 with two runs and two RBI.

Garland didn’t fare much better than Harrison, being pulled in the third after recording to shutout innings. He came in to the third with a 7-0 lead and struck out the first batter, but was tagged for eight earned runs on ten hits and was pulled after giving up a three-run homerun that put the Rangers ahead. Darren Oliver then came in and escaped the inning and tossed the next two to get the win, the 100th of his career. Jepsen and Arrendondo combined for 3 1/3 before Scot Shields closed out the ninth for the save.

The Angels look to keep the offense going on Saturday, with Dustin Moseley taking the mound to face Vicente Padilla. Moseley is 0-1 with a 5.49 ERA in eight outings against the Rangers while Padilla is 13-7 but has just one win since July 25.

September 19, 2008

Angels Hold Off A’s Ninth-Inning Rally for Win

by @ 10:34 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels put up six runs before the A’s made it interesting with four runs in the ninth, but K-Rod closed it out for his 59th save for the Angels to avoid the sweep.

The Angels got on board in the first, with Reggie Willits walking, taking third on Matthews’ single and scoring on Teixeira’s RBI-single. They added two more in the fifth on Robb Quinlan’s RBI-single, the same play Torii Hunter stole home when Quinlan was safe after a run-down attempt. The Angels added much-need insurance runs in the seventh, with back-to-back-to-back solo homeruns by Morales, Napoli, and Wood.

Joe Saunders pitched seven shutout innings for his 16th win, the most by an Angels lefty since 2002. He held the A’s to six hits while striking out four. Speier tossed a hitless eighth before the bullpen was roughed up in the ninth. Bulger opened the inning by hitting a batter and a walk. Arrendondo walked the first batter before giving up an RBI-single. K-Rod then came in with one out and bases loaded, and after allowing three runs to score (not tagged to him), he got his 59th save.

The Angels continue their road trip to Texas tonight for a three-game series with the Rangers. Jon Garland will take the mound and face lefty Matt Harrison. Garland shoots for his 15th win while Harrison is 8-3 with his first big-league win coming against the Angels earlier this year.

September 18, 2008

K-Rod, Angels Blow Save in Ninth

by @ 8:52 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

K-Rod’s throwing error in the bottom of the ninth allowed the tying and winning runs to score after Mark Teixeira had given the Dodgers a lead with a two-run homerun in the ninth.

The Angels were blanked for eight innings, getting just four hits off A’s starter Greg Smith. The Angels were down 1-0 heading into the ninth, and Garret Anderson got aboard with a single and Mark Teixeira ripped the go-ahead two-run homerun, his third hit of the night after getting two doubles.

Jered Weaver had a quality outing good enough for a win, giving up one run on six hits with eight strikeouts in six innings. Darren Oliver then pitched two shutout innings, and after Teixeira gave the Angels a one-run lead in the ninth, it was K-Rods chance for his 59th save. He gave up a leadoff single to Daric Barton, who took second on the play after Matthews threw the ball in and it rolled in past the mound to Mathis. K-Rod then walked Jack Hannahan, who stood as the winning run at first. The next batter drove a grounder and K-Rod’s throw sailed passed first and allowed both runners to score for the win.

The Angels look to avoid the sweep today, sending Joe Saunders to the mound to face lefty Josh Outman. Saunders has been plagued with no-decisions lately, getting just one win since August 1. Saunders is 4-2 with a 5.18 ERA in eight career starts against the A’s. Outman is coming out of the bullpen for his second outing as a starter, his first start was a one-run, five-inning win over the Rangers.

September 17, 2008

Angels Drop First to A’s

by @ 11:42 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

A’s starter Sean Gallagher held the Angels to just one run on four hits in his seven innings while the A’s went on to score eight.

The Angels saw the return of Erick Aybar atop the lineup, but he went 0 for 2 and was lifted after three. The only offense to speak of was a leadoff solo homerun in the fifth by Morales, which accounted for one of the Angels’ only four hits.

John Lackey lasted just 5 1/3 after nine days’ rest, giving up four runs on nine hits to take his first loss against the A’s since April of last year. He had a brief lead after Morales’ homerun in the fifth, but he gave the A’s two in the bottom half and two more the next inning before departing after giving up an RBI double. Jepsen finished the sixth but Bulger was roughed up for three runs in the seventh after walking three, hitting a batter, and giving up a single. Darren O’Day then tossed the final two, but not before giving up an RBI single in the eighth.

Their five game win streak was snapped, but the Angels can come back tonight with Jered Weaver taking the mound to face lefty Greg Smith. Weaver lost his one start against the A’s this year while Smith is 7-15, losing 8 of his last 10 decisions.

September 14, 2008

Angels Walk-Off to Series Sweep

by @ 10:19 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

Chone Figgins drove in the winning run in the ninth to complete a four-game sweep of the Mariners at home this weekend.

The Angels managed 10 hits without their usual lineup, with Vlad, Hunter, and Rivera out and Freddy Sandoval making his big-league debut at third, with Figgins moving to the DH spot. Morales started in right and drove in the Angels first two runs with a two-RBI single in the first. Felix Hernandez then shut the Angels out until the sixth when Mark Teixeira drove a solo homerun to center. The Mariners tied it in the eighth but the Angels got the win when Sean Rodriguez tripled in the ninth and scored on Figgins’ walk-off single.

Ervin Santana held the Angels to two runs through seven but failed to get the win when the Mariners tied it in the eighth. He left with the lead after seven, giving up two runs on six hits while striking out three which notches him up to 200 strikeouts for the season, a career-high for Santana. Scott Shields took the blown save when he gave up a two-out RBI-single to tie it. Jose Arrendondo earned his ninth win after throwing the ninth.

The Angels have now won seven of eight, and in that span they have clinched the division while also witnessing K-Rod break the single-season saves record. The Angels will get their last off day of the regular season on Monday before heading out on a 10-game road trip beginning in Oakland. John Lackey will take the mound on Tuesday and face Sean Gallagher. Lackey will be well rested and looks to extend his record to 3-0 against the A’s while Gallagher will be making his second start from coming off the DL.

K-Rod Sets Record in Angels’ Win

by @ 9:58 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

Number 58. K-Rod now holds the record for most saves in a single season, holding the ninth as the Angels beat the Mariners 5-2 for their fourth straight win.

The offense was carried by Juan Rivera, who had a four-hit night complete with a homerun and three RBI. After the Mariners scored two in the first, Rivera tied it up with a two-run blast in the second. Rivera also drove in a run with an RBI-double in the fourth and doubled and scored on Wood’s RBI-single in the sixth. He then doubled again in the eighth but had to leave the game for a strain in his right leg. Wood then picked up his second RBI with a sac fly to score Matthews, who replaced Rivera.

Jon Garland gave up two runs in the first, but then held the Mariners scoreless until he departed after the sixth. He picked up his 14th win after being tagged for those two runs and six hits. Oliver and Shields each tossed an inning and paved the way for a save opportunity for K-Rod. He gave up a hit and a walk before striking out the last two for save number 58, which breaks Bobby Thigpen’s 18-year record of 57.

The Angels can complete the four-game sweep with a win today. Ervin Santana will take the mound and face Felix Hernandez. Santana is looking for his 16th win, and has just one loss since July 27. He is 2-0 in three starts against the Mariners this year. The Angels will look to stop Hernandez from picking up his 10th win; he won his earlier start this season against the Angels back in April.

September 13, 2008

Angels Take Second Straight with Napoli’s Walk-Off

by @ 12:59 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels and Mariners were even heading into the ninth but Mike Napoli blasted a two-run walkoff homerun for the 5-3 win.

The Angels were held to five hits but managed to get five runs, led by Mike Napoli who totaled two hits and four RBI. Robb Quinlan drove in the first run in the second on an RBI-triple and was brought home by Napoli’s single. Napoli drove in his second run on a sac fly in the seventh to tie the game. The game was still tied in the ninth and Quinlan got on with a two-out walk. Chone Figgins was put in as a pinch runner, but he could jog home anyway as Napoli blasted a homer to left for the Angels’ eighth walk-off win this season.

Joe Saunders had a strong start, going seven innings and giving up three runs on eight hits. Jepsen tossed the eighth and Jose Arrendondo picked up his eighth win after holding the Mariners scoreless for the ninth.

The Angels have now won five of six and look to make it four straight with a win on Saturday. Jon Garland will take the mound and face lefty Ryan Feierabend. Garland looks for his 14th win and is 7-3 lifetime against Seattle. Feierabend is 1-2 and is 0-2 in two career starts against the Angels, both in 2007.

September 12, 2008

K-Rod Ties Saves Record in Angels Win

by @ 11:57 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels got a 7-4 win over the Mariners in the first game of the series as K-Rod notched his 57th save to tie the single-season record.

Garret Anderson got the Angels on board with an RBI-single in the third. Wood followed suit with one in the fourth before the Angels rallied for five runs in the sixth. Anderson and Mathis chipped in with two RBI apiece and Vlad also drove in a run with a single.

Jered Weaver completely shut out the Mariners for his six innings of work, giving up just three hits to pick up his 11th win. Bulger tossed a shutout seventh before Speier got roughed up for three runs on four hits, including a leadoff homerun to Ichiro. Shields came in to get the final out but gave up back-to-back leadoff singles in the ninth with no outs. That paved the way for a save opportunity for K-Rod, who pitched his way to his 57th save to tie Bobby Thigpen for the single season record.

John Lackey was the scheduled starter for Friday but his start will be pushed back in order to get some more rest. Joe Saunders will instead get the nod and go for his 16th win. He will face lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith, who is 4-2 with a 3.61 ERA.

September 10, 2008

Angels Clinch AL West with Win Over Yankees

by @ 8:26 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels clinched their series with a 4-2 win over the Yankees….Even more, they clinched the AL West, the earliest to do so in franchise history, even without the usual Chone Figgins (sore elbow), Mark Teixeira (fever), and Torii Hunter (suspended for two games for fight with Ivan Rodriguez).

The Yankees put up an early 2-0 lead in the first, but the Angels cut their lead to one in the bottom half. They then took the lead with three runs in the fifth, with Gary Matthews Jr., Garret Anderson, and Vlad all singling to load the bases. The bases were still loaded two outs later, and Robb Quinlan drove a single for two runs before Vlad scored the third on a throwing error.

Dustin Moseley picked up the win, having four shutout innings after giving up two runs in the first. He gave up just three hits and had six K’s. Jepsen, Arrendondo, and Sheilds all tossed an inning for holds before K-Rod picked up his 56th save to move within two of breaking the record.

With the division title under their belt, the Angels host the Mariners for a four-game series beginning tomorrow. Jered Weaver will finally get his turn in the rotation after cutting his hand in the Detroit dugout last week. He hasn’t made a start since August 30 and is winless since August 8. He fill face Brandon Morrow, who is 2-2 with a 1.42. The Angels are 14-5 in their last 19 games hosting the Mariners in LA.

September 9, 2008

Angels Take 7-1 Loss to Yankees

by @ 10:18 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels dropped the second game to the Yankees to split the series and hold their magic number at two before tomorrow’s day game rubber match.

Maybe the lineup was thrown off by not having the usual Chone Figgins batting leadoff, but the Angels were held to one run on seven hits. Yankees starter Alfredo Aceves, making just his third big league start, shut out the Angels through five and only gave up five hits in his seven innings. They managed to avoid the shutout in the sixth, with Garret Anderson singling, taking third on Teixeira’s double, and scoring on Vlad’s groundout.

Ervin Santana was tagged for six runs, five earned, before leaving in the seventh inning. A run scored in the second before A-Rod took Santana deep with a three-run homerun in the sixth after Matthews misfielded a ball in center, who replaced Torii Hunter. Santana was lifted in the seventh after surrendering a two-run homerun to Johnny Damon. The Yankees touched home again in the ninth with a solo homerun off Speier.

Jered Weaver’s starts continued to be pushed back, and such is the case for tomorrow’s rubber match. Instead, Dustin Moseley will get the nod and hopes to recover from his last four-run 1 1/3 inning outing. He will face Andy Pettitte, who is 13-12 but winless since August 20.

September 8, 2008

Angels Pound on Yankees with 12 Runs

by @ 11:02 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels returned to LA and after the Yankees put up a quick 1-0 lead in the first, they answered back with 12 runs on 13 hits for the first win of the series. Their magic number now stands at two.

Garret Anderson, Vlad, and Sean Rodriguez each had two hits apiece while Brandon Wood went 3 for 4 with 3 RBI. A sac fly by Teixeira in the first tied it at 1-1 before Wood blasted a solo go-ahead homerun in the third. The Angels then blew the game open with six runs in the sixth inning, keyed by a solo homerun by Rodriguez and a two-run shot by Vlad. Wood then chipped in again with a two-run single. They added three more the next inning on Vlad’s RBI-double and Matthews’ two-RBI single before Wood knocked his second dinger of the game, a solo shot in the eighth, for his first career multi-homerun game. Matthews first AB came in the seventh when he replaced Torii Hunter, who was ejected in the Angels’ big sixth inning after being tagged out by Pudge Rodriguez at home…both benches cleared for the rumble but just Hunter and Pudge got the axe for the game.

Jon Garland earned lucky win #13. After giving up an RBI single to A-Rod in the first, he was backed by the offense and left after seven with an 11-1 lead. Newcomer Kevin Jepsen and Darren O’Day each tossed an inning, with Jepsen going 1-2-3 in his big league debut.

The Angels look to keep their hot offense going by backing up Ervin Santana in tomorrow’s game. Santana went 7 1/3 with one run in his last outing and is 5-1 in six starts against the Yanks. Alfredo Aceves will make his big league debut as a starter for the Yankees.

September 7, 2008

Angels Avoid Sweep with Go-Ahead Run on Sac Fly

by @ 6:03 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Sox were even with the Angels 2-2 until Garret Anderson drove a pinch-hit sac fly for the go-ahead run to give Joe Saunders his 15th win.

John Danks held the Angels scoreless until the sixth, where they tied things up with two runs. Teixeira got on board with a double and took third on Vlad’s single and scored on Torii Hunter’s RBI-double. Vlad then touched home on Juan Rivera’s groundout. Gary Matthews Jr. singled in the eighth, took third on Teixeira’s double and scored the go-ahead run on Anderson’s sac fly.

Saunders held the Sox to two runs on four hits before leaving in the eighth inning. He gave up two solo homeruns in the fourth and fifth innings and was able to pick up his 15th win when the Angels took the lead in the eighth. Jose Arrendondo finished the inning before K-Rod got the save, his 55th, which moves him just two saves away from the single season record.

The Angels ended up .500 on the six-game road trip and head back home to open a series with the Yankees. Jon Garland will take the mound and face Carl Pavano. Garland picked up a no-decision in his last outing and is 4-5 lifetime against the Bronx Bombers. Pavano is 2-0 and will make just his third start this year, he is also 2-0 lifetime against the Angels.

Angels Take Second Loss in 15 Innings

by @ 9:53 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels put up an early lead but the White Sox came back to tie it in the ninth and took the game to 15 innings in the 7-6 loss.

Chone Figgins scored the first Angel run in the first when he doubled and touched home on Teixeira’s sac fly. Figgins then blasted a solo homerun in the third before the Angels knocked in three in the sixth, including Juan Rivera’s two-run homerun. Mike Napoli added a solo homerun of his own that inning before Wood chipped in with a solo homerun in the ninth for the go-ahead run before the Sox tied it in the bottom half.

John Lackey when seven innings, but was tagged for five runs on nine hits. He gave the Sox two in the second before giving up a solo homerun in the sixth and a two-run homerun in the seventh. He got the no decision after K-Rod blew a rare save in the ninth. Sheilds and Bulger then combined for five scoreless frames, with Bulger retiring 12 straight with 5 K’s, before Speier took the loss when giving up a 15th-inning walk-off homerun to Jim Thome.

The Angels look to avoid the sweep today, sending Joe Saunders to the mound to face lefty John Danks.

September 6, 2008

White Sox Rough Up Angels in Loss

by @ 5:20 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The White Sox notched seven runs in the first three innings and went on to beat the Angels 10-2 in the first game of the series.

The Sox already had a 9-0 lead by the time the Angels got on board in the seventh. They knocked in two, one scoring on an error before Garret Anderson drove an RBI-single. The Angels were held to six hits, with only three through the first six frames off Mark Buehrle.

Dustin Moseley was roughed up in his start as a fill-in for Jered Weaver. He was tagged for four runs on six hits, and left with one out in the second after giving up a two-run homerun. Darren Oliver then came in for 2 1/3 innings, being tagged for three runs, all in the third off two homeruns. Speier then held the Sox scoreless before Darren O’Day tossed the last three, giving up three more runs, including a two-run single in the sixth. Moseley suffers his fourth loss of the season, and his second straight loss in as many starts, with the last one dating back to July 13.

The Angels look to quiet the Sox’ bats and even up the series tonight, with John Lackey taking the mound to face Gavin Floyd. Lackey shoots for his 12th win and is 3-5 lifetime against the White Sox. Floyd is 15-6 and is 5-0 in his last eight starts.

September 4, 2008

Angels Win Series with Early Runs

by @ 4:59 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels scored six of their seven runs in the first three innings, while Ervin Santana held the Tigers to one run in the 7-1 win.

Gary Matthews Jr. led things off with a double before Mark Teixeria drove him in for the first run of the game. They scored another in the second before putting the game out of reach with a four-run third, complete with Rodriguez’s four-ball strikeout. Matthews Jr. ended up 4 for 5, and Teixeira and Juan Rivera each had two hits and two RBI. Torii Hunter also chipped in with two hits, topping off the scoring in the eighth with a solo homerun.

Santana came out with the win in a one-run gem. He threw seven shutout innings before giving up a solo homerun with one out in the eighth. He left that inning with eight K’s before Sheilds and Speier finished off the game.

The Angels carry on their roadtrip in Chicago for a weekend series with the White Sox. Dustin Moesley will get the start in place of Jered Weaver, who injured himself in the dugout two games ago. He will make his first start since July 13, where he gave up two earned runs in the no-decision. He will face lefty Mark Buehrle, who is 3-1 in his last four starts, and is 1-5 lifetime against the Angels.

15-Hit Attack Spoiled by Tigers’ Late Comeback

by @ 8:37 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels piled on 15 hits and had a two-run lead by the fifth, but the Tigers came back to rally off Jose Arrendondo and Justin Speier for the win.

Garret Anderson, Mark Teixeria (playing DH), and Vlad all went 3 for 5, with Teixeira notching three RBI. Teixeria gave the Angels their first run in the fourth off a solo homerun. They then took the lead with four runs in the fifth, triggered by back-to-back singles by Morales and Napoli. Wood doubled Morales in and Napoli scored on Rodriguez’s sacfly. Chone Figgins then drove in a run before Anderson doubled and scored on Teixeira’s single. The Angels added another in the seventh, but left the bases loaded that inning and in the ninth.

The Tigers got to Jon Garland early, with two runs coming in the first. He gave up another RBI single in the fourth before the Angels gave him a two-run lead in the fifth.  Garland spoiled the lead by giving up a two-run double to Polanco to tie. Garland left after six, giving up five runs on seven hits and earning the no-decision. Arrendondo takes the loss after giving up two go-ahead runs to the Tigers in the seventh. Speier allowed a two-run homerun in the eighth to put the Angels three runs behind.

Ervin Santana will get the nod in today’s rubber match. Santana is in search of win #15, he is 4-2 lifetime against the Tigers. He will face lefty veteran Kenny Rogers, who is 9-12 with a 5.23 ERA, and threw seven shutout innings in one start against the Angels this season.

The rotation in the coming days will also have to be tweaked, with Jered Weaver to miss his scheduled start on Friday because of a hand injury he suffered in the Comerica Park dugout.

September 3, 2008

Angels Top Tigers With Run in Ninth

by @ 10:37 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels were lead by Torii Hunter and his three RBI’s but Mark Teixeira’s sacfly in the ninth gave the Angels the go-ahead run for the win.

Hunter gave the Angels an early lead with a two-RBI double in the first. Hunter then drove another run in in the third, scoring Vlad from second who had doubled. The Angels got another in the fifth before having a 4-4 tie heading into the ninth. The Angels managed their go-ahead run in the ninth without a hit: Chone Figgins led off with a walk, stole second for his third stolen base of the game, and took third on Anderson’s groundout. He then scored the go-ahead run when Teixeira got a sacfly.

Joe Saunders had a strong 6 1/3 outing, but didn’t factor into the decision and remains winless since July 30. He held the Tigers to three runs on eight hits, and left in the seventh with a runner on second and one out. Jose Arrendondo escaped the inning and Scot Shields threw the eighth, picking up the win but not before being tagged for a blown save after surrendering a solo homerun to Miquel Cabrera. K-Rod got the save, his 54th of the season and 200th for his career.

The Angels can clinch the series tonight with a win, with Jon Garland taking the mound to face Zach Miner. Garland is in search of win lucky number 13, he is 13-6 lifetime against the Tigers. Miner has been back and forth from the Tigers farm system all season, but is 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA in starts with Detroit this year.

September 2, 2008

Angels Fall Short of Sweep

by @ 7:58 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

John Lackey suffers his third loss as the Angels fall a couple runs short of a comeback in Sunday’s 4-3 loss.

The Rangers had scored three in the first two innings before the Angels got on board in the second. Juan Rivera hit a one-out, two-run homerun to put the Angels back within a run. The Rangers added another run before Mark Teixeira drove an RBI-single in the eighth.

Lackey was tagged for the loss after spreading out four runs on nine hits through five innings. He gave up a solo homerun in the first followed by a two-run homerun in the second to give Texas a quick 3-0 lead. He gave up another run in the fourth before finishing after five, with Scioscia being tossed in the fifth after arguing with the home plate umpire for a calling a ball on Scioscia’s ruling that it was a strike. Oliver and Speier also tossed two innings each, combining for just one hit and five K’s in their four innings.

The Angels head out to Detroit for their first game of September, with the new month allowing them to take on some extra players. Darren O’Day and Dustin Moesley were recalled to  add depth to the bullpen and catcher Ryan Budde was brought up from Salt Lake. The Angels open a three-game series with the Tigers tonight, with Joe Saunders taking the mound to face Chris Lambert. Saunders hopes to recover from an 0-2 August with a 6.93 ERA, and took a loss in his start against Detroit earlier this season. Lambert is 0-1 in one start since coming up from Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate.

August 31, 2008

Angels Take Two More from Texas

by @ 1:01 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels clinched a series win with a 4-3 victory over the Rangers on Saturday after a 3-1 win on Friday night.

The Angels were held to six hits on Friday, but managed to squeeze out three runs to get the win. The Rangers had a 1-0 lead heading into the sixth, but Garret Anderson put the Angels ahead with a two-run shot. Chone Figgins got on with a single and Anderson, batting in the two slot for the first time in nine years, blasted his homerun to right. Juan Rivera then added an insurance run with a sacfly with the bases loaded.  

The player of the game, though, was Ervin Santana, who held the Rangers to one run on five hits with seven K’s through eight innings. He picks up his 14th win and leaves August with a 2.49 ERA in the month. K-Rod then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, complete with two strikeouts, for his 52nd win.

The Angels followed up on Saturday with a win to make it three straight and clinching the series.

The Angels were down a run heading into the fifth, but Mike Napoli drove an RBI-single to tie it before Napoli took home on Brandon Wood’s suicide squeeze. The Rangers then regained the lead but Torii Hunter tied it in the sixth with an RBI-groundout before Rivera got a sacfly for the go-ahead run.

Jered Weaver held the Rangers to three runs through five, but didn’t factor into the decision. Jose Arrendondo came in to relieve Weaver in the sixth and allowed the runners to score for the blown save but ended up taking the win, along with the help of Hunter who nabbed a potential go-ahead homerun by climbing the fence in the seventh. Scott Sheilds threw an inning before K-Rod pitched another 1-2-3 ninth with two K’s for his 53rd save.

The Angels can complete the sweep today, with John Lackey taking the mound to go for his 12th win. He will face Kevin Millwood, who is 8-7 with a 4.95 ERA and is 2-3 against the Angels in nine career starts.

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