Counting down to the Angels’ series against the Red Sox in which the Halos look to avoid reliving their recurring Bostonian nightmare.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (60-59) @ Boston Red Sox (67-52)
Game 1 Starters: LAA – Jered Weaver (11-7, 2.87 ERA) BOS – Clay Buchholz (13-5, 2.49 ERA)
Game 1 Info: 4:10 PM PT TV-Fox Sports West; Radio-ESPN Radio, KLAA 830 AM, KWKW 1330 AM
Game 2 Info: 4:10 PM PT TV-Fox Sports West; Radio-ESPN Radio, KLAA 830 AM, KWKW 1330 AM
Game 3 Starters: LAA – Ervin Santana (12-8, 3.99 ERA) BOS – Josh Beckett (3-2, 6.51 ERA)
Game 3 Info: 4:10 PM PT TV-Fox Sports West & MLB Network; Radio-ESPN Radio, KLAA 830 AM, KWKW 1330 AM
5. Is it really too much to ask for the Angels to win at least one game this series? I really can’t stomach the idea of the Halos going 0-for-the season against the Red Sux. I thought we had exorcised all our Boston demons last year, but it doesn’t seem to have taken and the BoSox have the Angels number again. I don’t even care if the Angels lose to John Lackey again, just so long as they win any one of these three games. That’s how desperate I am.
4. I’ve thought the Angel season has been pretty much over for weeks now, but since they enter this series “only” eight games back of the Rangers, there remains a possibility of them getting back into the race… unless, of course, they get swept by Boston again. And wouldn’t it be fitting that the team that has terminated so many previous Angel seasons could drive the final nail into their coffin again this year? Yup, same old nightmare, different year.
3. If you thought the Angels offensive output of late has been bad (11 runs in three games versus Kansas City and 8 runs in three games versus Toronto), things could get downright scary with the starting pitchers Boston is running out this series. Buchholz is a Cy Young contender, Lackey has dominated the Angels thus far this year and Josh Beckett, though working his way back from injury, has been one of the league’s best pitchers the last few years. Mike Scioscia is going to have to dig deep into his bag of batting order tricks to get the Halo bats going this series.
2. This could be the biggest test of Scott Kazmir we have seen all season long. Not only is he coming off a start in which his stamina was pushed, but he will also be pitching in Boston, where one could argue his decline began during his underwhelming ALDS start. Kaz has already been roughed up once in Bean Town this year as it is, so he has a lot going against him for this rotation turn. If he can have any kind of success this Wednesday, then I might finally believe he is actually on track to become a quality big league pitcher once again. If not, then it is back to the drawing board.
1. And just so nobody accuses me of being overly negative, here is a little optimism for you: the Angels have a whopping two-game lead over Oakland for second place in the division. YEAH!!!! Suck it, Athletics!!!!! (Too sarcastic? Yeah, too sarcastic.)