The Los Angeles Angels are still deciding on who will replace Joel Pineiro in the rotation

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,The Playoffs,Throwing Well by chinmusic on Tuesday 9 August 2011 at 11:44 am

The Angels are deciding between moving 36-year old lefty reliever Hisanori Takahashi from the pen to the rotation or promoting 23-year old righty starting pitcher Garrett Richards to replace Pineiro in the rotation. Takahashi has pitched in 43 games (0 starts) for the Angels so far this year and he is 3-2 with 1 save, a 3.35 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. He has now pitched in 96 games (12 starts) in his first two years in the majors and he is 13-8 with 9 saves, a 3.54 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. The Angels might deem Takahashi too valuable out of the pen to move him into the rotation. Garrett Richards came into this season as the Angels’ #7 prospect according to Baseball America. He has started 21 games in AA-ball so far this year and he is 12-2 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. He has now pitched in 55 games (all starts) in his first three years in the minors with the Angels and he is 27-8 with a 3.10 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Richards has pinpoint control as he has only walked 87 batters in his first 319 1/3 innings in the minors. Richards might have more of an upside than Takahashi does, but experience does matter in a playoff race. It will be interesting to see which way the Angels go here.

Los Angeles Angels fall to New York Yankees in ALCS

Blogged under Bloglockers,General,The Playoffs by Andrew on Monday 26 October 2009 at 3:17 pm

The Los Angeles Angels got a big win in game five of the ALCS to keep their season alive, but they did not have enough in game six and lost the ALCS 4-2 to the New York Yankees.  Angels starting pitcher Joe Saunders did not have a very good start, getting into trouble early and walking a lot of batters.  Saunders only lasted 3.1 innings and gave up three runs on seven hits and five walks.  The Angels stayed in the game though, despite Saunders’ poor start, and it was two eighth inning errors that ultimately cost the Angels.  The Angels could not handle two straight sacrifice bunts, with Howie Kendrick dropping the throw to first on the first sacrifice and Scott Kazmir floating his throw way over first base on the second sacrifice.  The Yankees ended up getting two runs that inning to extend their lead from 3-2 to 5-2.  That sucked all of the hope out of the Angels and Mariano Rivera shut them down in the ninth inning after they were able to get one run off him in the eighth.

Vladimir Guerro had a great game at the plate, going 3-4 with an RBI.  Vlad had a very good series for the Angels, hitting .370 with five RBIs and three runs scored.  Jeff Mathis also had a great series at the plate, hitting .583 with two runs scored and an RBI.  Chone Figgins was nowhere to be found in this series.  The Angels 3B hit .130 with three K’s and only one RBI.  This was a tough ending for the Angels and their very good 2009 season.

Los Angeles Angels staying alive, back in NY for game 6

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Front Page,The Playoffs by Andrew on Friday 23 October 2009 at 5:36 pm

The Los Angeles Angels are back in New York tonight for game six after getting a huge 7-6 win at home in game five.  John Lackey pitched well in the game five win and the Angels have built some momentum heading into game six in New York.  Closer Brian Fuentes made things interesting last game, as he loaded the bases with two walks and hit batsmen, but was able to get Nick Swisher to pop out to end the game and extend the series.  The heart of the Angels’ lineup needs another big game tonight.  Vladimir Guerrero, Torrie Hunter, and Kendry Morales combined for six hits and six RBIs in game five.  The Angels have Joe Saunders starting tomorrow night.  The lefthander has to be very careful with Alex Rodriguez, who is hitting .368 in this series with three homers.  He hits lefthanders very well, so when the opportunity arises to pitch around Arod, they should do it every time.  The Angels are still in desperation time and it is win or go home.  I would love to see the Angels force a game 7 and continue to make this an exciting series.

The Los Angeles Angels do have three players that are stepping up

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Playing Well,The Playoffs by chinmusic on Wednesday 21 October 2009 at 11:05 am

The Angels have three players that are swinging good bats against the Yankees. Erick Aybar has played in all 4 games for the Angels against the Yanks and he is 4 for 14 (.286 avg, .643 OPS) with 1 run scored, 1 RBI and 2 stolen bases. He has been a pest for Yankees’ pitchers when he gets on base. Howie Kendrick is swinging the best bat on the team right now. In three games against the Yanks, Kendrick is 4 for 11 (.364 avg, 1.182 OPS) with 3 runs scored, a triple, homer and 1 RBI. The Angels should consider batting Kendrick leadoff and dropping Chone Figgins to the bottom of the lineup due to his frigid bat. Backup catcher Jeff Mathis is also swinging a hot stick. He has played in 3 games against the Yanks in this series and he is 3 for 6 (.500 avg, 1.500 OPS) with 3 doubles and 1 RBI. The Angels need the rest of the lineup to start hitting or the next game will be their last of the year.

Los Angeles Angels crushed in game four, down 3-1 in ALCS

Blogged under Bloglockers,General,In Need of a Slumpbuster,The Playoffs by Andrew on Tuesday 20 October 2009 at 11:27 pm

The Los Angeles Angels were crushed 10-1 by the New York Yankees in game four tonight and things do not look promising for the Angels, now down 3-1 in the series.  The Angels did not get a quality start out of starting pitcher Scott Kazmir, who only lasted four innings.  He gave up four runs on four hits and really struggled with his control, walking four batters.  The Yankees offense exploded for five runs in the fourth and fifth innings and got five more in the eighth and ninth.  The Angels have not been able to stop Alex Rodriguez, who had his third homer tonight in as many games.  The Angels got terrible production from their 1-4 hitters tonight, with Chone Figgins, Bobby Abreu, Torrie Hunter, and Vladimir Guerrero going a combined 1-14 tonight.  If that continues their season will be over after game five.

The Angels had a big opportunity in the 5th inning to get themselves back in the game, but failed to get much out of it.  After Kendry Morales led the inning off with a homer the Angels got a little rally going, but with two men on Bobby Abreu popped out to center on a hanging slider.  The Angels had a bad performance by their starting pitcher as well as their bullpen.  The offense could only get five hits, while the Yankees offense was able to get 13.  So, this was not a good effort by the Angels tonight and it looks like their World Series hopes are floating away.  It is now desperation time for the Angels and they will have their ace John Lackey going in game five, and they are still at home so it is not impossible to get themselves back in this series.  Lackey had a decent start in game one for the Angels, but errors killed them and Lackey lasted 5.2 innings and gave up four runs (only two earned).  The Yankees will have A.J. Burnett starting who gave up 2 ER in 6.1 innings pitched in game two.

Los Angeles Angels need to defend home field in ALCS

Blogged under Bloglockers,General,Playing Well,The Playoffs by Andrew on Tuesday 20 October 2009 at 6:16 pm

The Los Angeles Angels were able to defend their first game at home, with a thrilling extra innings win.  Jeff Mathis was the hero in game three when he drove in Howie Kendrick for the 5-4 11th inning win.  Although Mathis was the hero, manager Mike Scioscia is going with Mike Napoli as his starting catcher tonight in game four.  There is good reason for this though.  The Yankees are starting their ace C.C. Sabathia and Napoli was 8-12 (.667 avg) against Sabathia in the regular season.  He also had one of only four hits the Angels got off Sabathia in their game one loss.

Game three was a big momentum swing for the Angels and I think they should be able to ride that momentum to another home win to even the series.  If they don’t win tonight, I think they will be done.  They have Scott Kazmir starting, so if Kazmir can keep the game close with Sabathia, then the Angels may be able to get themselves another late game win.  He needs to be careful with Alex Rodriguez though, who has been a home-run machine this posteason.  Hopefully the Angels’ hitters can get to Sabathia early though, since the Yankee ace is pitching on short rest.  This has been an exciting series, with two games decided in extra innings.  I am expecting another exciting close one tonight, with the Angels edging out the Yankees to even the series.

Errors are killing Los Angeles Angels, down 0-2 in ALCS to New York Yankees

Blogged under Bloglockers,General,In Need of a Slumpbuster,The Playoffs by Andrew on Sunday 18 October 2009 at 1:20 am

The Los Angeles Angels are now down 0-2 in their ALCS against the New York Yankees, and errors have really been hurting their chances in this series.  The Angels had three errors in their 4-1 game one loss where C.C. Sabathia shut them down, and a solid start by John Lackey was wasted.  They followed that poor defensive performance with another one in game two, as they had two errors.  None were more costly than Maicer Izturiz’s 13 inning throwing error, as Jerry Hairston Jr. came around to score the game winning run on the play.

The Angels got a huge, clutch RBI single from Chone Figgins in the top of the 11th to put the Angels up 3-2.  That lead did not last very long though, as Alex Rodriguez hit a lead-off homer in the bottom of the 11th to tie it up.  It stole all of the momentum as Yankee fans went nuts and the 13th inning error by Izturiz handed them the victory.  The Angels really need to sharpen up their defense or they will be swept.  I think they can turn things around at home and the nice California weather will be a good change after the terrible conditions in New York.  With Alex Rodriguez acting more like Derek Jeter this October, the Angels have their hands full.  David Robertson got the win for the Yankees and Ervin Santana got the loss for the Angels.

Los Angeles Angels vs New York Yankees ALCS preview

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Playing Well,The Playoffs by Andrew on Thursday 15 October 2009 at 8:31 pm

The Los Angeles Angels are taking on the New York Yankees in the ALCS, and game one begins Friday night in New York.  The Angels need another great start from John Lackey, who went 7.1 innings in game one of the ALDS against the Twins where he held them scoreless.  He only gave up four hits and struck out four, and the Angels would like Lackey to make a statement in game one and slow down the hot Yankee bats.  Lackey will have his hands full with Alex Rodriguez, as he went 5 for 11 with two homers and six RBIs against the Twins.  If Lackey can shut Arod down in game one, then maybe it will get in his head and he will struggle all series like he did in past postseasons.

The Angels bats will face a challenge in Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia.  The big lefthander pitched well in the ALDS against the Twins, where he went 6.1 innings and gave up one earned run.  Sabathia is one of the top pitchers in the game so the Angels will need players like Bobby Abreu and Vladimir Guerrero to continue the hitting they did in the ALDS.  Abreu went 5 for 9 and took five walks, while Vlad went 4 for 10 with 2 RBIs including the series winner.  Both teams are hot coming into this series and it should be a  great match-up.  The weather may cool off both teams though, as the New York weather has been awful lately with forecasts not looking good for game one tomorrow night in the Bronx.

Los Angeles Angels 7, Boston Red Sox 6

Blogged under Bloglockers,General,Playing Well,The Playoffs by Andrew on Monday 12 October 2009 at 10:24 am

A lot of people were expecting the Los Angeles Angels to get beat down by the Boston Red Sox in their ALDS match-up, especially since the Red Sox have been dominating the Angels in recent postseasons.  The Angels reversed their fortunes this year against the Red Sox though and completed the sweep of the Red Sox last night in Boston.  Scott Kazmir did not pitch great for the Angels, giving up five runs in six innings.  The Red Sox had a 5-1 lead through four innings and things were not looking good for the Angels.

The Angels bullpen did a great job in this game as well as the whole series, and gave the Angels offense the opportunity to get back in the game.  Bobby Abreu had a huge game for the Angels with three hits, two runs scored, and an RBI.  Vlad Guerrero was the hero though, as he had a two-run game winning single in the 9th.  Brian Fuentes was able to hold the Red Sox off in the ninth and got the save.  The Angels scored three runs in the ninth off of Red Sox closer Jonathon Papelbon, who is usually lights out.  The Angels are squaring off against a very hot New York Yankees team in the ALCS, and both teams are playing great right now so it should be a very good series.  The Angels seemed determine to end the recent postseason struggles they have been having in recent years but they will have a great challenge in the New York Yankees.

The Los Angeles Angels are getting great work from the bullpen

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,The Playoffs,Throwing Well by chinmusic on Saturday 10 October 2009 at 1:37 pm

The Red Sox were supposed to have a huge edge in the bullpen but the Angels are proving that wrong. Brian Fuentes, Darren Oliver and Kevin Jepsen have combined to work 3 1/3 scoreless innings allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk while whiffing 2 batters. With the starters working deep into the game is has masked what had been a problem earlier this season for the Angels. But, the bullpen is looking sharp so far for the Angels in the playoffs and they have their fingers crossed hoping it will continue.

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