Friday, April 27, 2012

By Brian Waller, Columnist

After winning their first series of the season last weekend many fans, myself included, thought the Angels had worked through their early season struggles and were ready to put together a string of wins, boy were we wrong. After being swept by the Rays the Angels will try and salvage their current road trip this weekend as they travel to Cleveland to face the Indians.

This team is not playing "Angels' baseball". They do not sacrifice runners over, they do not steal, they play adequate but not great defense, and the pitching has left something to be desired thus far. This truly is a team just going through the motions. It is essential they get back to executing the aspects of the game that lead them to success the past decade.

With a very uninspiring 6-13 record and lackluster play on the field thus far it appears that this season will either go down as one of the biggest disappointments in franchise history or one of the greatest. I say it might go down as one of the greatest because if the Halos can manage to turn their season around and play the way the fans expected them to, then this season will be one for the ages and one heck of a ride for us fans.

Pitching Match-ups:

4/27 – Jered Weaver (3-0, 2.43 ERA) vs. Justin Masterson (0-2, 6.65 ERA)
4/28 – Dan Haren (0-1, 4.07 ERA) vs. Jeanmar Gomez (1-0, 1.93 ERA)
4/29 – Ervin Santana (0-4, 7.23 ERA) vs. Derek Lowe (3-1, 3.00 ERA)

4/27 – Mostly Clear with a high of 48 degrees.
4/28 – 50% chance of rain with a high of 43 degrees.
4/29 – Sunny with a high of 58 degrees.

Game Times/Channels/Promotions:
4/27 – 4:05 p.m. / FSW
4/28 – 10:05 a.m. / FOX
4/29 – 10:05 a.m. / FSW

Player(s) to Watch:
I still think Albert Pujols is on the verge of breaking out this season…I mean he has to be right? “King” Albert has played in only 6 games at Progressive Field in Cleveland but he has hit 3 home runs during those games. It’s obvious he is pressing and there is also the learning curve that comes along with switching leagues; he is still an excellent hitter though and will get it going sooner rather than least I hope so.

Jered Weaver looks to remain perfect this season and improve his record to 4-0. He has a 5-2 career record against the Indians with a 3.41 ERA but he is 4-0 with a 2.01 ERA at Progressive Field. He pitches well in Cleveland and tonight should be no different, especially against an Indians’ offense that ranks 12th in the AL in hitting.

Misc. Team Notes:

Hank Conger is on the disabled list with what the team describes as a “non-serious” elbow injury. An MRI revealed no structural damage so at this point he will simply rest it.

The Angels 6-13 start matches the worst 19 game start in franchise history.

Peter Bourjos has only 1 hit in his last 20 at-bats.

Angels’ Team Statistics / League Rank (as of 4/26/12):

Avg.: .250 / 6th
OBP: .301 / 12th
SLG: .374 / 12th
OPS: .675 / 12th
Hits: 162 / 7th
HR: 13 / 13th
RBI’s: 68 / 12th
R: 67 / 10th
BB: 46 / 13th
SO: 139 / 6th
SB: 9 / 11th

W: 6 / 12th
ERA: 4.35 / 10th
SV: 1 / 14th
SVO: 6 / 9th
IP: 165.0 / 9th
HR: 24 / 4th
BB: 54 / 9th
SO: 140 / 7th
Avg.: 245 / 7th
WHIP: 1.26 / 6th

Opponent Interesting Facts:

The Indians once sold out 455 consecutive home games between 1995 and 2001, which was an MLB record until it was surpassed by the Boston Red Sox on September 8, 2008.

Indians fan Jonathan Adams is known as the “drummer” at Indians home games. He has played a bass drum at almost every home game since 1973. He is so beloved by his fellow fans and the Indians organization that the team honored him with his very own bobble head game. Adams originally paid for his tickets (one for himself and one for his famous drum) but recently the Indians have paid for the seats as a “thank you” for his loyalty and his contributions he makes to the baseball atmosphere at the stadium.

Indians Single Season Records

    Highest Batting Average: .408, Joe Jackson (1911)
    Most Games: 163, Leon Wagner (1964)
    Most Runs: 140, Earl Averill (1930)
    Highest Slugging %: .714, Albert Belle (1994)
    Most Doubles: 64, George Burns (1926)
    Most Triples: 26, Joe Jackson (1912)
    Most Home Runs: 52, Jim Thome (2002)
    Most RBIs: 165, Manny Ramirez (1999)
    Most Stolen Bases: 75, Kenny Lofton (1996)
    Most Wins: 31, Jim Bagby, Sr. (1920)
    Lowest ERA: 1.16, Addie Joss (1908)
    Strikeouts: 348, Bob Feller (1946)
    Complete Games: 36, Bob Feller (1946)
    Saves: 46, José Mesa (1995)
Love to hear what you think!

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