By Brian Waller, AngelsWin.com Columnist --
Finally, opening day has arrived for the Halos! The 2013 season is set to kick off for the Angels at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio as the Angels and Reds lock up for a 3-game series. After a loooong month and a half of watching meaningless games, we now get to watch the Halos play in meaningful games!
Game Date/Times/TV Schedule
4/1 – Angels @ Reds / 4:10pm (ET) / Fox Sports West
4/2 – Off
4/3 - Angels @ Reds / 7:10pm (ET) / Fox Sports West
4/4 – Angels @ Reds / 12:35pm (ET) / Fox Sports West & MLB Network
4/1 –Jered Weaver (0-0, -.—ERA) vs Johnny Cueto (0-0, -.—ERA)
4/2 – Off
4/3 –C.J. Wilson (0-0, -.—ERA) vs Matt Latos (0-0, -.—ERA)
4/4 –Joe Blanton (0-0, -.—ERA) vs Bronson Arroyo (0-0, -.—ERA)
4/1 – 46 degrees, mostly cloudy w/ 20% chance of rain
4/2 – N/A
4/3 – 49 degrees, mostly sunny w/ 10% chance of rain
4/4 – 56 degrees,cloudy w/ 10% chance of rain
Player(s) to Watch
Cincinnati will see a familiar face this week in one Albert Pujols. Pujols played the first 11 years of his career in St Louis and played the Reds numerous times during his tenure with the Cardinals. During his career, Pujols played in 68 games at the Great American Ballpark and went 84/266 (.316), hit 20 HR with 55 RBIs and had a 1.002 OPS. I'm sure Angel fans everywhere would agree that it would be great to see Pujols get off to a hot start in 2013; perhaps a return to a familiar NL Central foe will help the "King" get into an offense groove to start the season.
As everyone knows by now, the series will also serve as a homecoming of sorts for slugger Josh Hamilton who played with Cincinnati in 2007. During his only season with the Reds, Hamilton batted .292, hit 19 HR with 47 RBIs and had.922 OPS. Specifically, at the Great American Ballpark, Hamilton played in 44 games and went 44/141 (.312), hit 11 HR with 27 RBIs and had a .989 OPS.
Angels ace Jered Weaver has never played at the Great American Ballpark and has never faced the Cincinnati Red however Weaver has always had success early in the season. He has a career record of 17-6 with a 2.58 ERA and 1.081 WHIP in April. In inter-league play Weaver is 12-3 w 2.61 ERA and 1.102 WHIP. Weaver should have a great game against the Reds, NL hitters aren't familiar with him and he fares well during day games. With the recent struggles of the Angels' pen this spring it would be comforting to see the Halo's ace pitch deep into the game.
Alden Gonzalez gives his team 2013 preview here
The Great American Ballpark is located on the winding banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati. The ballpark opened in 2003 at the cost of $290 million and has a capacity of 42, 271. The stadium also holds the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. For those wondering, there are 35 Restrooms and 28 concession stands within the stadium. The ballpark itself was constructed with 10,100 tons of steel on 29 acres of land.
Interesting trivia…Legendary Cincinnati Reds ballplayer Pete Rose hit switch-hit HR’s in a game twice during his career (home runs from both sides of the plate). The Reds last won the World Series in 1990. Anyone remember who led the team in HR that season?....Chris Sabo (25 dingers).
Retired Numbers - #1 Fred Hutchinson (Manager), #5 Johnny Bench (Catcher), #8 Joe Morgan (Second Baseman), #10 Sparky Anderson (Manger), #11 Barry Larkin (Short Stop), #13 Dave Concepcion (Short Stop), #18 Ted Kluszewski (First Base), #20 Frank Robinson (Outfield), #24 Tony Perez (First Base), #42 Jackie Robinson.