Sunday, April 8, 2012

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer celebrates his 5th inning home run Sunday against the Angels
By Brian Waller, Columnist  
The first series of the season didn't go as planned for the Halos. They won the season opener which was good, but they lost the remaining 2 games against the Kansas City Royals and their early season record stands at 1-2.

Although offensively the team did not hit like they had been during spring training, a tip of the hat does have to go to Howie Kendrick. He started a rally in the first by hitting a single up the middle of diamond, then he went 1st to 3rd on a wild pitch by Jonathan Sanchez. Kendrick would later be driven in by  Albert Pujols, hopefully a trend that carries over into the rest of the season. 

Royals pitcher Jonathan Sanchez was wild in the first as he threw 24 pitches while walking 1 and throwing a wild pitch. Although he was the winner of the game, he went only 5 innings while walking 3 and striking out 4. It was the pitch count that knocked Sanchez out of the game - he was wild at time,s but he got the outs when he needed to and he had a solid outing by the bullpen to help secure his first win of the season.

For those that didn't catch the game, there was a heads up play by Peter Bourjos in the 2nd inning as he played an important role in the ending double play to help Santana out of a tough situation. Bourjos caught a line drive to center and threw base runner Humberto Quintero out as he attempted to get back safely. His defense is key to the Angels success this season, especially with two aging corner outfielders in Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells.

Albert Pujols had an excellent defensive play in the top of the 3rd - Alex Gordon hit what was sure to be a double, but a diving Pujols made the catch and threw to Santana for an out. Pujols brings a big bat to the club, but lets not overlook the glove he brings to the diamond.

Vernon Wells looked bad at the plate today. He had 2 strikeouts, and in his second at-bat, the pitches he swung at were not even in the zone. Obviously, he is not keeping with the new hitting philosophy he had in spring training; he actually looked like the 2011 Wells rather then the new and improved version.

A shout-out goes out to Mark Trumbo, who had a very great play in the top of the 4th on a hard hit ball by Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur. Trumbo laid out to snag the Francoeur line drive, hopefully a sign of things to come at the hot corner.

After having a very solid spring, Santana did not look sharp today. He threw too many pitches and left some of those pitches out over the plate which were hit for home runs. His next start will come in New York next week as the Angels face the Yankees. After consecutive poor outings by Dan Haren and Santana, the Halos will be looking for a strong outing by C.J. Wilson on Monday against the Twins.

The Angels' bullpen again had a solid outing as Hisanori Takahashi, Jason Isringhausen, Kevin Jepsen, and Jordan Walden combined for 3 1/3 innings pitched allowing only 1 earned run off of 3 hits while striking out 3 and walking none. It was the second consecutive solid outing for the bullpen, a good sing for Angel fans everywhere.

Next up for the Halos are the Minnesota Twins who they will face this Monday at 1:10 p.m. C.J. Wilson will face Nick Blackburn in the home opener for the Twins.

Player of the Game:

Howie Kendrick
AB     R       H     RBI's     BB     SO     LOB     AVG.
5         1        3        0            0          0           2          .417
Love to hear what you think!

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