Monday, May 7, 2012

  Albert Pujols #5 Of The Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim Points
By Brian Waller, Columnist

Angels/Blue Jays Recap:
After sweeping the Minnesota Twins earlier in the week the Angels entered the weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays riding a season high 3-game winning streak that included a dominating no-hitter by staff ace Jered Weaver. It appeared as though the Angels’ fortunes had finally changed for the better and the team seemed poised to go on a tear and finally play like fans had expected all spring. Apparently the old saying is true, “appearances can be deceiving”. All the momentum the Halos built up from the Minnesota series was quickly lost as the team was shutout on back to back nights the first two games of the series. The consecutive losses had fans scratching their heads trying to figure out just what the heck is wrong with their beloved Angels.

Fortunately, the Halos were able to pull out the last two games for a series split, which, considering the season the Blue Jays are having is not too shabby. The Angels were lead by strong pitching performances by C.J. Wilson and Jerome Williams and timely hits from Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo…and of course there was the home run by a certain high priced top tier player. That’s right, after 28 games, 112 at-bats, 253 innings; Albert Pujols finally hit his first official home run as an Angel Sunday at the “Big A” in front of 37,548. It was as if a tremendous weight had been taken off of his shoulders, you could see it in his face and you could see it in his teammate’s faces as well. Let’s all hope this means he, and the offense as a whole, will not start playing up to their potential. Considering the horrid start the Halos got off to in 2012, being only 6.5 games out of first doesn’t seem that bad.

Angels/Blue Jays Series MVP(s)
Mark Trumbo batted .357 in the series with 1 home run, 2 RBI’s and a walk. Although Trumbo had an error while playing third base Thursday night he played right field, left field and first base error free. For as much criticism Mike Scioscia has received for his constant line-up juggling I have to say that I am glad he is getting Trumbo into the line-up every day, even if it means four different positions in four consecutive games.

Angels/Twins Preview

Pitching Match-ups:
5/7 – Jered Weaver (4-0, 1.61 ERA) vs. Francisco Liriano (0-4, 9.97 ERA)
5/8 – Dan Haren (1-2, 3.43 ERA) vs. TBD
5/9 – Ervin Santana (0-6, 5.59 ERA) vs. Carl Pavano (2-2, 4.62 ERA)

5/7 – Mostly sunny with a high of 66 degrees
5/8 – 60% chance of rain with a high of 58 degrees
5/9 – Mostly sunny with a high of 67 degrees

Game Times/Channels/Promotions:
5/7 – 5:10 p.m. / FSW
5/8 – 5:10 p.m. / FSW
5/9 – 5:10 p.m. / FSW

Player to Watch
Ervin Santana cant possibly of 0-7 to start the season can he? Im going to go out on a limb and say he will win his first game of the 2012 season on Wednesday against the Twins. He will be facing the 13th ranked Minnesotta offense and will be pitching in a pitcher friendly park.

Angels’ Team Statistics / League Rank (as of 5/7/12)

Avg.: .246 / 8th
OBP: .296 / 12th
SLG: .378 / 12th
OPS: .674 / 11th
Hits: 237 / 7th
HR: 24 / 10th
RBI’s: 99 / 11th
R: 103 / 12th
BB: 67 / 14th
SO: 195 / 9th
SB: 14 / 9th

W: 12 / 11th
ERA: 3.58 / 5th
SV: 4 / 13th
SVO: 10 / 7th
IP: 253.2 / 6th
HR: 27 / 8th
BB: 76 / 11th
SO: 214 / 5th
Avg.: 234 / 4th
WHIP: 1.18 /4rd

Opponent Interesting Facts

The following players have had their number retired by the Twins:

Harmon Killebrew (3)
Rod Carew (29)
Tony Oliva (6)
Kent Hrbek (14)
Jackie Robinson (42)
Kirby Puckett (34)
Bert Blyleven (28)
Tom Kelly (10) will have his number retired during a pre-game ceremony on September 8, 2012.

On May 18, 2011, Target Field was named "The Sports Facility of the Year" by Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal at the magazine's 2011 Sports Business Awards Ceremony in New York City. It was also named "The Best Sports Stadium in North America" by ESPN The Magazine in a ranking that included over 120 different stadiums, ballparks and arenas from around North America.

The Twins set an all-time club attendance record in their inaugural season at Target field (2010) with 3,223,640. The previous record of 3,030,672 was set during 1988 season, the season that followed their first World Series Championship.

In 2011, 14 black spruce pine trees originally planted behind the centerfield wall were removed because they caused sight-line issues for several hitters in the Twins organization.

Target Field’s facade is built with more than 100, 000 square feet of limestone from southwest Minnesota.

Statues of Twins greats were placed around Target Field in 2010. These statues are; Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett, and former owner Calvin Griffith. A statue of Tony Oliva was unveiled at the start of the 2011 season.
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