Friday, June 1, 2012

By Brian Waller, Columnist

Angels/Yankees Recap:
Although I'm sure fans were a little disappointed the team couldn't extend it's winning streak to 9-games and sweep the Yankees, taking 2 out of 3 from the Bronx Bombers is still pretty impressive considering the Halos couldn't take 2 out of 3 from the San Diego Padres roughly 2 weeks ago. Even during the loss to the Yanks' on Wednesday, the team still should passion and even made a charge in the later innings of the game.

The Angels miraculously won game 1 of the series despite losing staff ace Jered Weaver to injury in the 1st inning and spotting the Yankees an early 3 run lead. The bullpen stepped up and kept the team in the game and the offense, led by Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo carried the team to a 9-8 win.

The Angels breezed through game 2 of the series thanks to terrific pitching from Dan Haren. Haren went 7.0 strong innings giving up only 1 ER while striking out 7 and walking none. Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo continued pummeling the ball as each went deep.

As mentioned above, the Halos dropped game 3 of the series as Ervin Santana had his second consecutive poor outing. It would have been a great opportunity to pick up another game on the Rangers who got demolished by the Mariners but you cant win em' all as the saying goes.

Angels/Rangers Preview:
To call this a HUGE series for the Angels or to label this a "must win" series is a bit of an exaggeration at this point in the season but it is a fairly significant series. The Angels beat up on the A's and Mariners and showed their recent hot streak was no fluke by taking 2 out of 3 from Yanks'. This is a "statement" series for the Halos in my opinion, especially since they lost the first series with Texas. If the Angels can take 2 out of 3 from Texas and close the weekend only 4.5 games out of first, I will be very pleased.

The Angels will face Colby Lewis and Yu Darvish in games 1 and 2, both of whom are coming off uninspiring pitching performances. As a matter of fact, as I state below under the pitching match-ups, Darvish has given up a combined 7 ER and 11 hits in his last 2 outings while walking 9 batters. If the Angels can show patience at the plate and come through with timely hits like they have the last week and a half then I really like their chances.

Player(s) to Watch:
Jerome Williams is 7-0 lifetime at the "Big A". How sweet would 8-0 be, especially considering it would start off a big series with the Texas Rangers with a win. Texas has the top offense in the AL, this will be a huge test for Williams and the Angels. Williams continues to be a consistent starter for the Halos this season, hopefully that trend continues.

Mike Trout does it all! He plays stellar defense, he works counts, he hits for power and he steals bases. This guy has become a regular on the highlight reel. His speed has been a huge difference maker for the Halos this season, with the powerful Texas bats coming to town this weekend you can bet he will get a workout roaming that outfield.

Mark Trumbo...any guesses as to how many bombs he hits this weekend? 

Pitching Match-ups:
6/1 – Jerome Williams (5-2, 3.81 ERA) vs. Colby Lewis (4-3, 3.58 ERA)
Match-up Notes - Lewis has a career record of 4-3 against the Angels with a 4.48 ERA. Lewis is coming off of a no-decision against the Toronto Blue Jays where he gave up 4 ER off of 10 hits and lasted only 5.1 innings. Believe it or not but Jerome Williams is perfect at the "Big A"; he is 7-0 with a 2.29 ERA.  Williams is coming off of a 5-2 win over the Seattle Mariners where he went 6.0 IP giving up 3 ER off of 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5.

6/2 – C.J. Wilson (6-4, 2.77 ERA) vs. Yu Darvish (7-2, 3.25 ERA)
Match-up Notes - Darvish won his one and only outing against the Angels on May 11th. Darvish gave up 3 hits and walked 3 while giving up 3 ER. In his last 2 outings Darvish is 1-1 and has given up 7 ER off of 11 hits while walking 9 batters. Wilson on the other hand is a different story...Wilson is 2-0 during his last 2 outings. Wilson threw a combined 14.0 IP giving up only 3 hits and 1 ER while walking 4 batters.

6/3 - Garrett Richards (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Matt Harrison (6-3, 4.41 ERA)
Match-up Notes - Harrison has a career 2-3 record with a 4.62 ERA against the Angels. Harrison has pitched very well his during his last two starts, allowing only 3 ER over 15.0 IP while striking out 5 and walking none. Richards is making his 2012 debut. His record at AAA Salt Lake is 5-2 with a 4.31 ERA.

6/1 – AM Clouds / PM Sun with a high of 81 degrees
6/2 – Sunny with a high of 76 degrees
6/3 - Sunny with a high of 74 degrees

Game Times/Channels/Promotions:
6/1 – 7:05 p.m. / FSW / Big Bang Fireworks!
6/2 – 7:05 p.m. / FSW & MLBN / Angels Cowboy Hat
6/3 - 12:35 p.m. / FSW / Family Sunday

Angels’ Team Statistics / League Rank (as of 5/30/12)
Avg.: .252 / 7th (+0.04)
OBP: .305 / 12th (+0.01)
SLG: .385 / 10th (+0.08)
OPS: .690 / 12th (+0.13)
Hits: 434 / 7th
HR: 47 / 8th
RBI’s: 185 / 11th
R: 194 / 11th
BB: 130 / 13th
SO: 338 / 9th
SB: 35 / 5th

W: 26 / 6th
ERA: 3.40 / 2nd
SV: 9 / 12th
SVO: 16 / 10th
IP: 452.1 / 6th
HR: 43 / 12th
BB: 160 / 7th
SO: 373 / 6th
Avg.: .232 / 1th
WHIP: 1.22 / 4th

FPCT: .985 / 8th
E: 29 / 7th
Love to hear what you think!

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

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