Los Angeles Angels vs. Pirates: An Inter-League Preview

Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols has been hot lately. Can he keep it going in New York? Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols has been hot lately. Can he keep it going in New York? Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Angels take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Can they carry the confidence from their strong play against Detroit into inter-league play.

As the Los Angeles Angels head of into the distance, far away to inter-league play against the Pirates, we can hope that vintage Albert Pujols, appears before our eyes. Not only does it bring him back to a National League park, but it forces him to play the field. So far Pujols has batted .295 at first base compared to a .203 average as a DH.

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The Los Angeles Angels will also have Yunel Escobar return to third base. After a wrist contusion forced the Angel third baseman to some bench time. Is bat was missed as he was unable to help the Los Angeles Angels sweep the Tigers, as they were almost no hit. With Escobar back into the lineup he can only up the productivity that is lurking in the Angel lineup. The Los Angeles Angels have been pretty successful winning five out of their last eight.

The Los Angeles Angels also added Brendan Ryan back to their roster as Cliff Pennington again went on the disabled list due to a strained hamstring he hurt on Tuesday beating out a bunt single against the Tigers. The Angels also purchased the contract of reliever Javy Guerra and sent starter Chris Jones back to Triple-A Wednesday evening.

Although the Los Angeles Angels dropped game three against the Tigers, moving them to fifth place in AL West. Starting pitching has been on the uprise. Jhoulys Chacin has been a below-average pitcher over the last three years, with an 89 ERA+ and a 4.36 FIP. Yet, this season he’s emerged as a dominant pitcher for the Angels. When he out dueled the amazing Justin Verlander. So far Chacin has managed to turn it around, almost pitching a perfect game against the Tigers. This spring of confidence has spread through the entire rotation.

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Let’s hope this confidence can reach Jered Weaver. Weaver (4-4, 5.40) gave up four runs, the sixth time in his 10 starts he’s allowed as much. With a sudden boost of confidence from other teammates, Weaver can still be effective and pitch well against a Pirate team that has been struggling to score runs in the past 3 games.

The Pirates might be down a few key players in today’s game. Andrew McCutchen, is suffering some sorness in his right thumb after lining out. Francisco Cervelli, left yesterday’s game after being hit in the foot, so no guarantee he will play. Former teammate, David Freese also left yesterday’s game after being hit by a pitch.

With some players out this is the perfect time for the Los Angeles Angels to build off their offensive performance against the Tigers. Don’t miss them this weekend as they face off against the Pirates, with Weaver starting off on Friday, Tropeano taking the mound on Saturday, and Chacin to finish of the series on Sunday.