SERIES PREVIEW: LOS ANGELES ANGELS (55-71) VS. THE SEATTLE MARINERS (59-67)
By Mark Smith
Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Garrett Richards (43) pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
NEWS FLASH: It’s officially time to stick a fork in it. Having dropped their last nine out of 11 games, the Los Angeles Angels are 18.5 games back in the division and done for the season. Statistically it just can’t happen. Truthfully, they were probably done six weeks ago but I refused to accept it. After months of agonizing over whether or not this club could sneak into the postseason, it’s now time to look forward to 2014.
All season long the Angels could never find a way to fire on all cylinders. If it wasn’t the pitching it was the hitting. If it wasn’t the hitting it was the bullpen. If it wasn’t the bullpen it was the manager. And if it wasn’t the manager it was SAY IT AIN’T SO JOE BLANTON. It seemed as though fans always had someone new to blame.
Mike Scioscia told MLB.com:
"This has been a tough stretch. I don’t think there’s anything quite as deflating to a team as when you’re having a tough time holding leads and on a consistent basis you’re giving up leads late in the game. That certainly makes that page heavier to turn."
The Angels limp into Seattle to face a third place Mariners team who are 14.5 games back
Game One: Garrett Richards vs. Felix Hernandez
Richards has been fairly inconsistent as of late. He is 3-5 with a 4.24 ERA. After four straight quality starts, Richards gave up five runs in six plus innings during his last outing. The righty with lively stuff is looking to rebound at Safeco Field Friday night against the Mariners.
Felix Hernandez has been just that: Felix Hernandez. Queen Felix is 12-6 while posting a 2.62 ERA for Seattle – and two of those wins were against the Angels. According to MLB.com, the Mariners ace allowed five runs in five innings at Texas on Saturday, equaling the number of earned runs he’d allowed in his previous six starts and 43 innings.
Game Two: Jason Vargas vs. Erasmo Ramirez
Vargas has been relatively shaky since returning from the DL and there may not be enough time left on the season for the lefty to find his groove. He’s allowed seven runs in only nine plus innings since coming back. Vargas is now 6-5 with a 3.92 ERA despite some incredible performances during the first few months of the season.
Ramirez is 4-0 and has been lights out since returning from an elbow injury that forced him to miss the entire first half of the season.
Game Three: Jered Weaver vs. Aaron Harang
You know it’s bad when the Angels can’t even count on their Ace.
Weaver is 7-7 while posting a 3.62 ERA and hasn’t looked like his dominant self as of late allowing 13 runs in his last 11 innings. He’s looking to get back on track and end this season on a good note.
Harang is 5-10 with a 5.49 ERA for the Mariners this season. According to MLB.com, Harang has allowed one or fewer runs while pitching at least five innings three times in his last six starts. In his last outing, against the A’s, he pitched seven innings of one-run ball, giving up five hits, walking one and striking out three.