The Angels came bitterly close to sealing that much needed second sweep in a row before falling to the Twins 7-5 to close out the series. The Angels starting staff was relatively strong throughout with Garrett Richards and Angels ace Tyler Skaggs putting up quality starts on the way to sealing W. Unfortunately Nick Tropeano returned to the Hyde act of his Dr. Jekyll routine and allowed 5 runs in 4.1 innings pitched. With the Angels winning 7 of the last 10 they’ll need to recuperate big time, and fast, given they’re heading into the home of the 1st place Seattle Mariners.
The Angels almost had it, they almost did. That’s the story of this team; almosts, maybes, and has-been. Those three unappealing factors came into play the last game of the Twins set this past Sunday with the Angels sputtering big time against a vulnerable Fernando Romero. They let him dance in and out of danger before putting a soft sting on him that was far too little and clearly too late. Even worse is the Angels most hated reliever, Fernando Rodney, was able to seal off the game against his former team.
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At least the Angels embarassed him hard enough in the 9th inning to keep him from his insufferable “bow-and-arrow” routine. They still weren’t able to come away with the game, if that surprises you. Hopefully that “close but no cigar” day in Minnesota will put the jolt in their steps for the AL West division rival set against the Mariners.
Tuesday; 6/12: 7:10PM PT: TBA vs Mike Leake (6-3, 4.46 ERA)
The Angels have a hard set out for them to start out this week with the division leading Seattle Mariners ready to battle the struggling Angels back and keep them locked in the cellar. I don’t know if the Angels have the wherewithal to bust through the cellar hatch like Superman jetting into the sun. This team is more the Green Lantern of the Justice League; really fancy powers to look out but at the end of the day he’ll lay in maybe one or two good shots on the bad guys (ex. Yankees/Red Sox) before being blasted back through steel walls as per schedule.
This team is the jobbers of the MLB; they look tough and should be tough, they have a star studded lineup and some of the best potential in baseball yet come up flat every single time. It really is like watching what should be the almighty and ultra powerful Green Lantern holding the ability to conjure up any structure he can imagine, yet time after time conjures only a green-glowy boxing glove in a battle of gods.
With Heaney taking the first start of the series one can hope the Angels will start off with an immediate closure on the 4.5 game lead the Mariners hold over them. Heaney came out big last time out with his one hit shutout of the KC Royals, on his birthday nonetheless. Heaney and Skaggs have been going back an forth all season looking to prove their ace status, and while Skaggs has been a little more consistent Heaney has the potential to be just as consistently lethal.
He’ll need to lock into that lethality with Wade LeBlanc taking the mound opposing the Angels. He’s been outstanding for the Seattle Mariners with a sub-3 ERA throughout the season, and with zero appearances against the Angels throughout his career it’ll be a true test as the Angels go up against a top-tier pitcher while flying blind.
We all know Shohei Ohtani would have started the second game of the set, but with his expected injury, something we all knew was coming, the Angels will need to dip into the reserves to set up a solid replacement for the potential All-Star hurler. The Mariners have Mike Leake on board, and with his recent failure against the Angels one can hope they repeat the process against the re-surging pitcher. Leake has pitched to a sub 3 ERA in his last six appearances, but with his last poor start coming against the Angels we may be in line to watch them bop him back into his struggles.
To finish off the set is the Angels longtime starter Garrett Richards facing off against the Mariners Marco Gonzalez. Both pitchers have been pitching at a similar clip this season, so it’ll be interesting to watch both starters throw in what should be a pitchers duel, but in all likelihood we’ll be seeing someone get shelled in this game. Cross your fingers it’s the good guys who come away unscathed.
Cross your fingers that we’re actually the good guys.
What to look for:
Not Ohtani (sad emoji)
has had a bit of an iffy week, his average dipping below .300 thanks to a few hitless outings. While he’s had three incredible multi-hit games he’s also 4 hitless and only 3 RBI in this past week. Three multi strikout games have seen his K total for the season finally higher than his walks, 53 BB’s to 55 K’s. Still a great clip, but we’re going to need to see those numbers pumped up during this AL division week.