Los Angeles Angels Head to Oaktown to Face Rival Oakland A’s
Well, that was quick. It seems like only yesterday the Angels were wrapping up a series with that silly white shoes wearing team from Northern California. Oh, they did. Well then, thank you scheduling, I suppose. This time, it’s the Athletics playing host as the Angels travel up the coast for a four game set at the Oakland
This is the kind of series where you both expect, and hope, for low scoring games. Where the Angels are concerned, the only starter who has had any kind of success against the A’s, is Josh Hamilton. But his status is still unknown since he got a cortisone shot yesterday in his ankle. Outside of Hamilton, there’s a lot of mediocrity. Mike Trout is kind of meh against the A’s, ditto for Howie Kendrick. Mark Trumbo might as well be the invisible man with his career .193/.233/.347 slash line against the A’s, and more specifically, his .177/.224/.418 line at the Coliseum.
This series is definitely going to rest on the heads of the starting pitchers. Thankfully, Joe Blanton will not be among those making a start against the Green Sox.
Game 1: C.J. Wilson vs. Dan Straily – Game Time: 7:05 PM PST
For his career, C.J. is 9-7 with a 3.41 ERA against the A’s. He was flat out dominant in his last start against them. C.J. twirled 8.1 innings of shut out baseball, and earned his 10th win of the season. That start is part of a three start stretch where the Handsome One is 2-1 with 0.82 ERA. Looks like someone is finally living up to his price tag.
Straily was a hard luck loser against the Angels in his last start. He allowed only two runs over seven innings, but that was enough. He’s on his own run of dominance as he’s allowed only three runs over his last 20.1 innings. In that span, he is 2.1 with a 1.33 ERA. This Rookie’s got game.
Game 2: Jerome Williams vs. Bartolo Colon – Game time: 7:05 PM PST
Jerome was better than he has been in his last start. For starters, he got 15 outs. It’s the most outs he has recorded since June 28th against the Astros. He did allow eight hits and walk three batters though. Couple that with bad defense, and the recipe for disaster is finished. And just for you masochists out there, Jerome over his last three starts is 0-2 with an 11.12 ERA. Ouch. That hurt.
The blob, of course, is having himself another fine season. Of course, he may be looking over his shoulder at a possible suspension since he is tied in with the Biogenisis mess that has already claimed Ryan Braun, and has Alex Rodriguez in it’s sights. I don’t expect the Angels to win this one, but it would be oh so sweet if they smacked Colon around for a few innings.
Game 3: Garrett Richards vs. Tommy Milone – Game Time: 12:05 PM PST
Garrett Richards, is not Joe Blanton. ‘Nuff. Said.
OK, it’s not. The last time that Richards made a start, it was April 30th against the A’s. He gave up seven runs in 5.2 innings. But I would much rather watch Richards go through growing pains, then watch Blanton further decline into uselessness.
Milone, on the other hand, has been starting all year. Over his last three starts, the lefty is 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA. In his career against the Halos he is 3-2 with a 5.33 ERA. Which means he must be doing something wrong because lefties usually handle Mike Scioscia‘s bag of misfit toys quite handily.
Game 4: Tommy Hanson vs. Jarrod Parker – Game Time: 1:05 PM PST
Welcome back Tommy Hanson. Too bad the bullpen didn’t feel like walking away from the stadium with a “W” in your last start. But eight strikeouts over 5.1 innings after missing a month? I’ll take it. He’s only made one start against Oakland, and in that start he allowed two runs (one earned) over six innings. Hopefully Scioscia gives him a little more rope than 76 pitches this time out.
Parker has been one of the more consistent pitchers in baseball. His last three starts have him posting a 1-1 record with an ERA of 2.21, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. A better story is that the righty hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start since May 6th. Basically, he’s been pretty damn good.
The Angels could be as close as seven games back of the A’s at the end of this series. They could also be 15 games out when it concludes. Every series matters now, and a split simply wont cut it. The Angels have to win these series’. Especially the ones with teams directly in front of them.