Quasi-Hot Angels Welcome Rangers to Anaheim
Last week, the Angels had a three game series against the Texas Rangers. Last week, the Angels we’re in position to win each of those three games. Last week, the Angels got swept in the most spectacular fashion possible. I mean, how else would you describe losing each game of a three game series by way of a walk off home run? How else would you describe being the first team to have that happen since the 1999 Expos? It was spectacular. Any word can be used negatively.
You could say that the Angels have a chance to return the favor starting tonight. But the chances of that happening are “slim” and “none.” And slim has already packed it’s bags and bought a plane ticket out of town. But after taking three out of four from a reeling Blue Jays team, the Angels once again find themselves in a spot to pick up ground in the AL West. Sorry, sometimes I can’t help my optimism.
Game 1: Jerome Williams vs. Martin Perez – 7:05 PM PST
Williams had his first good start in quite some time against the Rangers last week. Allowing one run in 7.2 innings and getting bunches of groundball outs. As a possible non-tender candidate after the season, it’s in his best interest to pitch well. No pressure, Jerome.
Perez went toe-to-toe with Jerome, and matched him every step of the way. He gave up one run in 7.1 innings taking a no decision, but the Rangers won anyway, so, totes whatevs. He has a 3.82 ERA in his eight start since being recalled from AAA, and he’s a lefty. Color me “worried.”
Game 2: Garrett Richards vs. Yu Darvish – 7:05 PM PST
Richards is taking full advantage of being reinserted into the rotation. He’s allowed two runs since taking Joe Blanton’s spot in the rotation, and is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in that span.
But he has a tough task with Darvish toeing the rubber for the Rangers. Darvish is coming off his fourth 14-strikeout performance this season, and is 5-1 with a 3.83 ERA in his starts against the Angels.
Game 3: Tommy Hanson vs. Alexi Ogando – 7:05 PM PST
After a sparkling performance in his return from the DL, Hanson got himself knocked around in his last two starts. Giving up 10 runs in 10 innings over that time span. Do you hear that? That’s the sound of Rangers hitters licking their chops.
But Angels hitters get to face a pitcher in Ogando who walked five hitters in four innings against the Athletics, giving up three runs in the process. He’s 0-1 with a 4.61 ERA since coming off the DL. My prediction for this game: LOTS of offense.
Mike Trout has been a monster during his 35 game on-base streak, posting a .364/.481/.612 slash line during that span. And his career .321/.451/.594 line against the Rangers makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
After getting embarrassed by the Rangers late inning heroics, the Angels should have a chip on their shoulder with this series. Of course, I feel like I say that before every series. Looks like I’m a walking example of the definition of insanity.