A few days ago everything was going wrong for the Angels. They were in the midst of a six-game losing, they had lost their pitching ace for the season due to injury, and their top off-season acquisition shortstop Andrelton Simmons was lost for two months.
What a difference a few days make. The Angels rolled into Seattle and swept the first place Mariners in a three-game series. The team acquired pitcher Jhoulys Chacin from the Braves and just signed free agent pitcher former Cy Young Winner Tim Lincecum to help provide some stability for a pitching staff that hadn’t seen a pitcher go six innings in a start in over two weeks. Chacin went seven innings against Seattle on Saturday and then new staff ace Hector Santiago pitched eight innings of shutout ball against the Mariners on Sunday, while outdueling Felix Hernandez.
So what do the Angels do for an encore, go to their Southern California rival the Los Angeles Dodgers and beat their second best pitcher Kenta Maeda knocking him out after only four innings touching the Japanese hurler for four runs and on five hits enroute to a 7-6 victory to extend their season-high winning streak to four games.
Tonight’s match-up: Jered Weaver (3-2, ERA 6.10) vs. Clayton Kershaw (5-1, ERA 1.74)
Dodgers Stadium 7:10 P.M.
The Dodgers will go with Mike Bolsinger in the young righties first outing of the season after going 6-6 with a 3.62 ERA last season. The Angels will counter with up and coming Nick Tropeano. Bolsinger has never faced the Angels in his brief two-year major league career. Tropeano on the other hand faced the Dodgers last September and took the loss giving up three runs in 4.1 innings on eight hits and posted a 6.24 ERA. This should be an interesting match-up of two pitchers who were not slated to be in their respective team’s rotation, but injuries have brought about both being pressed into service.
The key for Tropeano will be getting ahead in the count and not wasting pitches in order to keep his pitch count lower so that he can go more than five innings. The same thing could be said for Bolsinger, but since he was not expected to start this game, the Dodgers may be happy to get five innings out of him.
Dodgers Ross Stripling (1-2,ERA 4.26) at Angels Jhoulys Chacin (1-2, ERA 4.81)
Thursday, May 19th at 7:05 P.M.
This match-up will probably decide the series with the rookie Ross Stripling taking the mound for the Dodgers having never faced the Angels in his career. Stripling won his last outing, his first major league win an 8-4 decision over the St. Louis Cardinals last Friday night. Can he keep it going we will see. On the other hand Chacin is a National League seven-year veteran who was just traded to the Angels last Wednesday. In his Angels debut Chacin was stellar giving up only two runs in seven innings against the Seattle Mariners and leaving the game with a 6-2 lead. However, the Angels bullpen could not hold the lead, but Albert Pujols rescued the Halos with a three-run game-winning homer in the ninth.
Chacin is 9-7 with a 3.74 ERA in 18 starts against the Dodgers for his career. In 110 innings he has given up 116 hits and struck out 85 batters. He has a 1.509 WHIP vs. the Dodgers.
All in all it should be an exciting and competitive series as it always is when these two teams meet.