Angels v Dodgers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What could be better?
Unlike the grumblings of baseball purists, I’ve been a big fan of interleague play ever since it was introduced in 1997. Interleague allows fans to see matchups between teams that would never face each other outside of the World Series…why anyone would be against that is beyond me. Furthermore, its led to the creation of several “freeway series,” Angels-Dodgers, A’s-Giants, Yankees-Mets, White Sox-Cubs. With a season of 162 games its important to mix in some variety rather than see the same games season after season. The NBA, NFL and NHL all play regular season interleague games. It’s time for all baseball fans to embrace interleague.
On to the main subject, the Angels begin a three game series against the Dodger in Chavez Ravine this weekend. Each game has a very interesting pitching matchup:
Friday: Clayton Kershaw v Jered Weaver
Saturday: Randy Wolf v John Lackey
Sunday: Chad Billingsley v Matt Palmer
Last year, we split the season series three games apiece as each team won 2 of 3 on their home field. I went to two of the games at Angel Stadium and got to see us win both times and also attended a game at Dodger Stadium and got to see history be made. At the game the Dodgers won 1-0 despite being held hitless as Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo combined for the no-hitter.
In the 5th inning, Matt Kemp hit a weak grounder back to the pitcher but was safe on the throwing error by Weaver. Kemp then stole second and advanced to third on another error by Jeff Mathis. He would eventually score on a sacrifice fly.
Leaving the stadium I was heckled unmercifully by Dodger fans who couldnt believe the won without a hit and as bad as I wanted to respond to their comments I relented for fear of being stabbed (yeah, thats a cheap shot).
Were coming into the series struggling this season, but with our team finally getting healthy were poised to make a run a take over first place in the AL West. The Dodgers on the other hand own the best record in baseball and, despite struggling early, have been playing great without Manny.
However, I am confident that we can win in Dodger Stadium and prove that despite the record we are the better team…..GO ANGELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just finished watching the final game of the Angels-Royals series (from home, I didnt go to the game cause it’s Mother’s Day) and we just completed our first 3-game sweep of the season.
So tonight is the big game, Saunders v. Greinke, as the Angels’ remaining ace takes on arguably the best pitcher in baseball.
Last night was 80’s Night at Angel Stadium as we faced the Blue Jays for the final game of our 2 game series. We needed a big performance after Wednesday’s 13-1 beating and Jered Weaver sure came thru. He pitched a complete game and only gave up one run on three hits to improve his record to 3-1 with a 2.66 ERA. I’ve been giving a lot of praise to Joe Saunders but have yet to mention how great Weaver has been this year.
He has always had the talent to be a star but he sometimes lets his emotions get the best of and then falls apart when he struggles. However, last night he used that emotion to his advantage and completely dominated a Blue Jays team that beat us up the game before. His breaking ball was dancing around and led to plenty of swings and misses. Im hoping that Weaver can continue to use his emotions to fuel him but at the same time stay focused because if he can he’ll continue to pitch great.
Going back to 80’s night….the game was so much fun last night as the team wore sweet throwback uniforms (pictured above), the PA played 80’s songs as we came up to the plate (my favorite was Hunter playing “Electric Avenue”), and on the scoreboard the players faces were superimposed and 80’s icons (Izturis was Super Mario, Abreu was Scarface, Mathis was He-Man, etc.)
But again the show was stole by Weaver’s great performance and some timely hitting by Izturis (2 RBI), Napoli (2 run HR) and Figgins (3-4 with 2 SB).
So it’s all over the news that Manny just tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. Looking at Manny, I never considered him to be someone who would be suspected of taking anything like that because his body has never changed. When you look at Manny in comparison to say, McGwire or Sosa, you can obviously tell that he wasn’t taking anything that would drastically change his body. My guess is that he took some supplement that was on the banned list and got busted for it.
The loss of Manny for 1/3 of the season will obviously have a drastic effect on the Dodgers. Not only do they lose his bat, but they lose the protection he creates for the rest of the lineup. Fortunately, he will be back by July which still gives them plenty of time to make up any ground if they slip in the division (even though I still think there good enough to remain in first place without him).
On the Angels front: Last night was a disaster and would consider it our worst performance of the season; Anthony Ortega gave up 6 runs in a lil more than one inning, the bullpen gave up 7 runs across 6 innings, and the offense couldnt generate anything. However, the Ervin Santana bobblehead was real cool and will make a decent addition to my collection.
Even better news is the reports that Lackey and Santana are scheduled to return within the next few weeks. As long as they pitch decent that would give us four quality pitchers (Lackey, Santana, Saunders and Weaver) and we could throw Palmer and Loux in the bullpen. I seriously think we need to release Speier, Bulger and Jepsen because they just arent cutting it and Im really close to thinking that Shields is done also. Once we get our starting pitchers back we need make some changes in the bullpen in order to keep us from blowing leads and I think throwing Loux and Palmer (who have pitched more great) would really bolster our team.
So after a pretty impressive 2 game sweep of Oakland were riding a 3 game winning streak and now are back at home to face the Toronto Blue Jays. I’m hoping we can continue our great hitting and pitching but I am worried about tonight’s Roy Halladay v. Anthony Ortega pitching matchup. However, I did do a little research and found that Halladay struggles against us when he pitches here (2-3 record with a 6.35 ERA).
But I am excited about Ervin Santana bobblehead tonight (which will add to my collection that includes Figgins, Scioscia, Guerrero, Salmon, Lackey, Weaver, and Hunter).
Just one more thing, I do have to give lots of credit to Gary Matthews Jr cause he’s been playing great this season. After starting the season complaining about playing time (leading me to bash him on this blog), Matthews was giving an opportunity to play when Vlad got hurt and since then he’s been doing great. In our 5-3 victory against the A’s last night, he went 2-5 and drove in three runs. So far, Matthews is batting .288 and still is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game (he doesnt even need to look the ball into his glove, look at those eyes)
So I just noticed that I was the Featured Blog and the first thing that popped into my head was, “WOW, this is the greatest day of my life.” Right after thinking that I realized I live a sad life.
But to clarify things, I do not “enjoy” Fig Newtons, I love them.
I would literally kill someone for them.