Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Angels v. Indians

Saunders v. Westbrook

I know there are many that think Ervin Santana is nothing more than a decent pitcher with back of the rotation stuff and I have been one to disagree and back Ervin up. I will continue to back him because I truly believe he has the ability to be a great pitcher for many years. But I also cannot hide my frustration with his inability to pitch on the road. I thought we had gotten past the whole can’t-pitch-during-the-day thing with a fantastic outing in his first go round in the rotation, but we seem to be back at square one with a terrible, fastballs up-in-the-zone and right-down-the –middle, outing that has truly left me scratching my head. Oh well, we have Boston to try again!

I’m not even going to get into the whole Aybar-can’t-steal-2nd base thing because that might send me off the already very shaky precipice I am now currently residing on. Okay, okay, all I will say is that Figgins should never have been out on the DL with his broken pinky. Figgins should have been riding the bench precisely for these 9th inning, 2 outs, stolen base situations. Memo to Scioscia: just because you’re fast doesn’t mean you know how to steal bases. Okay, I’m done with that.

The Indians are a good team. The Indians are a very good team. If they had a bullpen worth mentioning, they would be a great team. Losing last night’s game seriously hinders the Angels’ ability to take this series. Why do I say that? Well…Jake Westbrook is on the mound for the Tribe tonight and he brings with him a history of being really good against the Angels. His record is 2-4 against the halos but he has a 3.27 ERA in that span. And, as I am sure most of you remember, he pitched a complete game shutout against the Angels last August. Westbrook was roughed up in his last outing but his comments after the game left that sinking feeling in my stomach. "It was a frustrating day in the sense that I felt good, I felt like I was locating my pitches.” Westbrook added that he “made some mistakes that cost a lot of runs." No need to worry here Jakey, the Angels suck at taking advantage of bad outings by pitchers.

Add to all of this the fact that we will be sending Joe Saunders to the mound tonight and the trepidation mounts. Don’t get me wrong, I like Saunders a lot, but I still don’t know how much I trust him to give the team a quality outing against a very good offensive team playing in a very hitter friendly Miller Park.

Keys to this game:

Vlad will need to get on track and get on base and the guys directly behind him, GA and Kotchman, will need to drive the runners in.

Molina behind the plate for this series and for the time being…at least until Napoli can get his throws to 2nd to not end up in centerfield.

Saunders pitches well and gets through 6 innings only marginally scathed.

With all the negativity I threw out there, I like the Angels to win this one, 8-5
Love to hear what you think!


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