Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (14-18) @ Texas Rangers (21-11)
Pitching Probables: LAA – CJ Wilson (4-2, 2.61 ERA) MIN – Yu Darvish (4-1, 2.64 ERA)
Game Info: 5:05 PM PT; TV – Fox Sports West, MLB Network; Radio – KLAA 830 There’s a really good chance this game gets rained out so everything about the build up for this series might be postponed for a day or two. However, if they do manage to get this game in, I would expect quite a pitcher’s duel. There are literally dozens of story lines here to discuss. First off, CJ Wilson returns to Texas and will most likely get something less than a hero’s welcome. Wilson has tweaked the Rangers quite a bit over the winter and don’t think Mike Napoli has forgotten Wilson’s prank.
Next there is Wilson’s replacement, the Japanese sensation Yu Darvish. Darvish has been everything advertised, but I have to wonder how he will respond in this his first real test of the season. Angel hitters haven’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboard this season, but something tells me the Halos will be dialed in tonight to take a bite out of the new big dog in the AL west. I have a special notion that this weekend will be a real coming out party for our young Mike Trout.
Last is the spectre of Albert Pujols. This type of series is why you go and get a marquee guy for the middle of your line-up. Pujols has to get on track and I mean right now. This team has no hope of competing without his bat doing some damage on a day to day basis. I’m willing to right off a bad month as an adjustment to a new league and pitchers. But at some point the “greatest hitter alive” should be able to demonstrate that it doesn’t matter whether he has seen the pitcher before and just start hitting the cover off the ball like he is supposed to.
I hope they do get this one in and I hope the Angels win tonight to set the tone and give us fans something to root for the remainder of the season. If not, then those storm clouds over Arlington will liklely follow the Angels for the rest of the year.