From time to time, I like to flip over to the opposing team broadcast while I watch the Angels. I like Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza just fine, but I think it is fun to here other announcing teams. Besides, it keeps me from getting tired of the Angels crew.
I won’t be doing that this series. It has been three years now, but I still can’t get over the fact that the Royals heard the work Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler did together in Anaheim and said, “HIRE THEM IMMEDIATELY!” I know Hudler has an appeal to those who love blatant homerism and don’t care so much about actual analysis and, you know, facts, but I’ve never met anyone that liked Physioc’s work. In particular, I thought they were a really bad pairing as Physioc had no ability to counterbalance Hud’s energy and unbridled optimism.
I am so glad those two are gone.
The Angels took two of three from the Royals in Anaheim in late-May. You aren’t going to believe this, but the Angels sole loss came because the bullpen blew the lead and then fell apart in extra innings. Shocking, I know.
FRIDAY, 6/27: Matt Shoemaker vs. Jason Vargas
Shoemaker has one career start against the Royals and it came back in that May series. The Angels won that game, but Shoemaker gave up eight hits and lasted just five innings. He held the Royals to three runs in that start, but he just wasn’t much good. While he has been pitching better, the Royals have now seen him already and should have a better scouting report.
Last month, the Angels won their game against Vargas, a noted Angel-killer, but it was due to poor relief work from KC. Vargas only allowed one run on three hits, though he did walk five. The funny thing about Vargas is that his actual match-up numbers generally favor the Halos. For whatever reason though, it seems like he always had their number back when he was in Seattle.
This is a very exciting match-up because not only do we get to feast our eyes on flame-throwing Yordano Ventura for the first time, but we get to see what Hector Santiago‘s progress is at. This weak Royals lineup is ideal for him to have a strong start against, so we will see if he is really up for the challenge. Santiago hasn’t faced the Royals as much as I would’ve guessed, but he has a decent-sized history against them. More importantly, he has a dominant history against them. Lots of strikeouts, just one homer and the only two players with any positive track record against him have barely seen him. Everyone else he has shutdown.
The Angels have never seen Ventura before, but he is worth seeing. I’m actually quite eager to see how he and Trout match-up, what with Trout’s noted struggles against high heat. It doesn’t get much hotter than Ventura.
Wilson simply owns the Royals. Billy Butler and Omar Infante have a small amount of success against him, but not enough to worry about, especially with the way they are both hitting this year. For what it is worth, Wilson had a good, but not great outing against the Royals back in May.
Guthrie mostly has a good history against the Angels, though they have hit him for good power. Josh Hamilton is an outlier here though as he has demolished Guthrie over an extended period of time. On the flip side, this seems like a good game to let Grant Green spell Erick Aybar at shortstop.
We’re on a roll, let’s keep the sweep train going!