An Angel series tie with the Athletics in which the Halos and A’s do the splits.
Game 1 – Angels 4, Athletics 2
Game 2 – Athletics 10, Angels 1
Game 3 – Angels 7, Athletics 1
Game 4 – Athletics 6, Angels 1
Los Angeles Angels of AWESOMENESS
- Saunders was pretty good in his start and looks to be getting locked in, which is great. But let’s not get too excited. The Oakland hitters helped him out A LOT in his start by chasing pitchers incredibly early in the count. Joe faced 33 batters in his start and 21 of those players ended their at-bats having seen just three pitches or less, including seven at-bats ending on the first pitch, the most prominent of which was Ryan Sweeney grounding into a double play in the only real part of the game that Oakland threatened to have a big inning. But give credit where credit is due. The A’s batters were over anxious, but Saunders took advantage and had them off balance.
- It may have been for ever so short a time, but it is was oh so sweet for the Angels to grab first place by themselves for that one day. It was a long climb back up for the Halos, so getting that little reward had to feel pretty good and should serve as motivation for weeks to come.
- For once, I am actually encouraged by Scott Kazmir. I have been pretty skeptical about him this season (which might be the understatement of the month), but his start in this series had a lot of positives. He walked just two batters while striking out five and did a generally good job of keeping the ball down in the zone. While he didn’t go that deep into the game, he did pound the strike zone pretty well, which is always a great sign for him. He still has plenty of work to do, but after allowing just two runs in his last two starts, things are finally looking up for Kaz.
- I’m sorry, but I just have to laugh at rookie Oakland CF Matt Carson running full speed into the outfield wall trying to chase down Juan Rivera’s homer run on Wednesday. Great hustle by the kid, but it should be noted that the don’t just have walls in minor league parks too.
Angels of FAIL
- What does Jered Weaver have to do to catch a break? Dream Weaver got blooped to death in his start as he allowed 12 hits over six innings, but eleven of them were singles. Despite how great he has been this season, Jered’s record is no a rather unimpressive 5-3. To put it in perspective, Jered now has one fewer win than Ervin Santana and just as many wins as the inconsistent Joe Saunders and the mostly terrible Scott Kazmir. Yet another reason why wins are hardly a true reflection of how well a pitcher has performed.
- Just when I was starting to buy into the idea that the Angels can live with Napoli playing first base, his lack of skill at the position was obvious when he failed to save an errant throw Aybar made in the final game of the series. Even an average defender at first could have made that play and the Angels really need to evaluate whether or not they can afford to have him out there everyday, especially since the Halos are already such a bad defensive team this season.
- I thought Bobby Wilson was supposed to be a good defensive catcher? He has yet to throw out a base stealer this season, allowing seven steals in the process. On the plus side, at least he can’t hit. When is Jeff Mathis getting healthy again?
- Santana’s great string of starts finally came to an end. He had to hit a bump in the road some time, but this one was rather ill-timed if only because I think Angel fans were really feeling good and that he was going to come out and secure the series win over the division rival. Still it is hardly the end of the world, though it will be interesting to see how Santana fares in his next outing now that he has hit a rough patch for the first time in weeks.
- Somehow the Angels only took three walks the entire series. I’m pretty sure that isn’t a good thing.
Halo Hero of the Series
Hey! Aybar remembered how to hit!! Who knew?
If there is a better motivator than job security, I don’t know what it is. After a very brief demotion to the nine-hole the series before, Erick Aybar has found new life in the leadoff spot. Aybar collected seven hits (including a four-hit game), his first two triples of the season, two runs scored, three runs driven in and a stolen base in this four-game set and is finally giving the Angels some consistent life at the top of the order. That, my friends, is how you earn the Halo Hero award.
Aybar getting hot, just need some pressure from Izturis, should stick in leadoff spot. Best Angel lineup has aybar 1, Izturis 2 and Kendrick in bottom third of order