Thursday, May 3, 2012

By Brian Waller - Columnist

Angels/Twins Recap:

Now THIS is the team we all envisioned back in March. The Angels pounded the Minnesota Twins Wednesday night in front of  27,288 fans at the "Big A" in Anaheim, CA. It was the Angels' 3rd consecutive win and their first sweep of the 2012 season. Jered Weaver was masterful on the mound, dominating the Twins in route to pitching the 10th no-hitter in Angels' history.

The win Wednesday night was much needed for the team as it tries to climb out of the hole it made for itself after an abysmal April but the no-hitter was much needed for the fans as they struggle to keep faith in their beloved Angels. For the first time this season the Angels seem to finally be "clicking" during the Minnesota series; the starting pitching was fantastic and the offense was finally getting "cluth" timely hits. Although Weaver's performance was obviously the highlight of the series, Jerome Williams pitched a complete game shutout on Tuesday night, picking up his 2nd win of the season.

Torii Hunter is absolutely scorching hot right now, during the 3-game series with the Twins Hunter went 6-for-10 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI's. Not to be outdone, Howie Kendrick went 7-for-11, hitting 2 home runs himself while collecting 4 RBI's.

The sweep was huge for the Angels and the fans. It should give the Halos some of that "swag" they had in spring training back. They will be facing the Toronto Blue Jays next in a 4-game series beginning tonight at the "Big A" 

Angels/Twins Series MVP(s)
Jered Weaver & Torii Hunter
Angels/Blue Jays Preview:

The Angels' pitching, especially the starting rotation, is finally living up to its tremendous potential. A week ago the Halos were 10th in the AL in pitching with a 4.35 ERA, after a 3-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins their ERA stands at 3.72 which is good for 5th in the AL. The team will need to continue pitching well with the Blue Jays coming to town. The Jays', led by a red hot Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista, have a lot of power in their line-up, and can do a lot of damage very quickly.

Toronto has quietly put together a very competitive and effective starting rotation. Brandon Morrow and Kyle Drabek, both of whom the Angels will face during this series, have 2 wins apiece this season with low ERA's. It will definitely be fun to watch the two square off against two young guns of our own, Dan Haren and C.J. Wilson.

I think the key to the series will be defense. The Blue Jays have already committed 22 errors this season and are last in the league in fielding. The Angels' speed aggressive style of base running will certainly put pressure on the Jay's and may possibly lead to some big scoring opportunities for the Halos. 

Pitching Match-ups:
5/3 – Dan Haren (1-1, 3.34 ERA) vs. Brandon Morrow (2-1, 3.03 ERA)
5/4 – Ervin Santana (0-5, 6.16 ERA) vs. Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 3.62 ERA)
5/5 – C.J. Wilson (3-2, 2.70 ERA) vs. Kyle Drabek (2-2, 2.40 ERA)
5/6 – Jerome Williams (2-1, 3.55 ERA) vs. Drew Hutchison (1-0, 6.61 ERA)
5/3 – Partly cloudy with a high of 68 degrees
5/4 – Partly cloudy with a high of 71 degrees
5/5 – Sunny with a high of 74 degrees
5/6 – Sunny with a high of 76 degrees
Game Times/Channels/Promotions:
5/3 – 7:05 p.m. / FSW / Angels Wall Calendar
5/4 – 7:05 p.m. / FSW / Big Bang Friday
5/5 – 6:05 p.m. / FSW / Cinco De Mayo Rally Monkey
5/6 – 12:35 p.m. / FSW / Family Sunday
Player to Watch:
Mike Trout of course. How can one of the top prospects in all of baseball not be one of the players to watch. Trout has looked fantastic with his approach at the plate since his call up. I think that approach will pay off for him this weekend, his speed and aggressive base running will put pressure on the Blue Jays' league worst defense and lead for scoring opportunities for the Halos. 

Angels’ Team Statistics / League Rank (as of 5/3/12):

Avg.: .246 / 9th
OBP: .299 / 12th
SLG: .378 / 10th
OPS: .677 / 12th
Hits: 205 / 8th
HR: 21 / 10th
RBI’s: 89 / 11th
R: 93 / 11th
BB: 61 / 13th
SO: 171 / 8th
SB: 13 / 7th

W: 10 / 12th
ERA: 3.72 / 5th
SV: 3 / 14th
SVO: 9 / 8th
IP: 217.2 / 8th
HR: 24 / 7th
BB: 65 / 12th
SO: 178 / 7th
Avg.: 238 / 5th
WHIP: 1.19 /3rd

Opponent Interesting Facts:
The Blue Jays, owned by Rogers Communications, are one of three teams under corporate ownership; the other two being the Seattle Mariners (Nintendo of America) and the Atlanta Braves (Liberty Media).

From 1979 to 1999, BJ Birdy served as the Blue Jays' mascot, played by Kevin Shanahan. In 2000, he was replaced by a duo named Ace and Diamond. After the 2004 season, Diamond was no longer with the Blue Jays, leaving Ace as the team's sole mascot.

In 1991, the Blue Jays became the first MLB team to attract over four million fans, with an attendance of 4,001,526, followed by 4,028,318 in 1992.Each of those records were broken in 1993 by the expansion Colorado Rockies, though the Blue Jays' 1993 attendance of 4,057,947 stood as an AL record for 12 years, until being broken by the 2005 New York Yankees.

On July 31, 2011, the Blue Jays retired their first number, Roberto Alomar's #12.
Blue Jays Single Season Records
  • Highest Batting Average: .363, John Olerud (1993)
  • Most Games: 163, Tony Fernández (1986)
  • Most Runs: 134, Shawn Green (1999)
  • Most Hits: 215, Vernon Wells (2003)
  • Highest On-base %: .473, John Olerud (1993)
  • Highest Slugging %: .664, Carlos Delgado (2000)
  • Highest OPS: 1.134, Carlos Delgado (2000)
  • Most Doubles: 57, Carlos Delgado (2000)
  • Most Triples: 17, Tony Fernández (1990)
  • Most Home Runs: 54, José Bautista (2010)
  • Most Grand Slams: 3, Carlos Delgado (1997) and Darrin Fletcher (2000)
  • Most RBI: 145, Carlos Delgado (2003)
  • Most Stolen Bases: 60, Dave Collins (1984)
  • Most Wins: 22, Roy Halladay (2003)
  • Lowest ERA: 2.05, Roger Clemens (1997)
  • Most Strikeouts: 292, Roger Clemens (1997)
  • Most Appearances: 89, Mark Eichhorn (1987)
  • Complete Games: 19, Dave Stieb (1982)
  • Saves: 45, Duane Ward (1993)
Love to hear what you think!

Listen to "A Fish Like This" Tribute song to Mike Trout's Greatness

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