Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels (51-62) vs. Cleveland Indians (62-53)
By Mark Smith
Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielderKole Calhoun
(56) makes a diving catch for an out off a ball hit by Texas Rangers second basemanIan Kinsler
(5) in the fourth inning of the game at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
After getting swept by the rival Texas Rangers, the Los Angeles Angels face the Tribe at Progressive Field for the first of a three game set. Both teams will be looking to get back on track tonight as Terry Francona’s second place club was hit hard and swept by the Detroit Tigers.
Game One: Jered Weaver vs. Scott Kazmir
The last time the Angels won (Saturday) just happens to be the last time their ace was on the mound. Velocity issues are clearly a non-issue for the Angels most reliable starter. Weaver (6-5, 2.90 ERA) has been incredible since the break, using deceptive cutters and sliders along with a nasty changeup to fool opposing hitters. Surprising to many as this performance has largely been sans the 90+ mph fastball he hurled in seasons past. According to MLB.com, the Angels’ ace has four quality starts since the break and had allowed four runs in 29 1/3 innings. If only the rest of the Angels’ staff could be this good.
Remember me? Scott Kazmir (7-4, 3.89) has returned to form after posting a 1.93 ERA in his last nine turns and threw six scoreless frames in Miami last Sunday. According to Yahoo sports, Kazmir didn’t have any issues at pitcher-friendly Marlins Park, striking out seven and walking two. Kazmir has been impressive, holding opposing offenses to two runs or less in seven of his last nine starts. The lefty hasn’t suffered a loss since June 10. He improves to 7-4 with a 3.89 ERA and 1.25 WHIP through 20 starts.
Game Two: C.J. Wilson vs. Ubaldo Jimenez
Wilson is now 11-6, 3.49 ERA on the season. The left-hander has been on a roll lately and is 7-1 with a 2.85 ERA since June 14, allowing only three earned runs on eight hits over 7 1/3 innings in Sunday’s loss the Blue Jays. Despite his early season struggles, Mr. 100% handsome has been a solid number two-man behind Weaver.
Jimenez (8-6, 4.18 ERA) iis 7-4 with a 3.83 ERA across his other 19 outings. In his last 13 appearances, he has compiled a 5-3 record and 3.01 ERA. Good news for the Angels: the Dominican native struggled in a losing effort against the Marlins on Friday, surrendering five runs (two earned) on nine hits over four innings.
Game Three: Jerome Williams vs. Justin Masterson
Williams has posted a 5-8 record with a 4.77 ERA. It’s almost as if Joe Blanton’s bad mojo has rubbed off on Williams. Williams has earned just one quality start in his past seven outings. The right-hander allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings in his last outing and has struggled since the beginning of June.
Masterson is 13-8, 3.46 ERA. He has been solid this season despite his ugly outing against the Tigers which successfully ended his string of quality starts. MLB.com reports that Masterson derailed in by one big inning, as the Tigers scored all five of their runs in the fifth inning. Despite striking out six batters, Masterson gave up seven hits and two walks..