Los Angeles Dodgers (36-46) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (42-40)
Pitching Probables: LAD — Hiroki Kuroda (5-9, 3.10 ERA ) LAA – Tyler Chatwood (5-4, 3.64 ERA)
Game Info: 7:10 PM PT; TV – FS-West; Radio – KLAA 830 AM
The schedule gods have seen fit to give us an exact reply of last weekend’s series, right down to the pitching matchups. But what a difference a week can make in the fates of these two clubs. The Angels are within a game of first place and are currently riding a 7 of 8 winning streak. The Dodgers meanwhile have become that nation’s new favorite soap opera. I half expect the boys in blue to walk off the field at some point when they realize they might not get paid this week.
The Angels are starting to play like the team we expected to see at the beginning of the year. They are hitting and pitching with effectiveness at the same time and, with the Rangers struggling, the Halos can actually take over first place by the end of the weekend. In no way do I think the Angels are a World Series contender but a AL West title would be quite an accomplishment for what I would characterize as a rebuilding year. I know we have a long way to go but a guy can dream can’t he?
Monkey See, Monkey Do Usually with interleague play teams don’t see pitchers multiple times, which benefits the guy on the mound. Even with the Freeway Series, there is usually some lag time so batters lose the book they have built. But both pitchers threw last week at Dodger stadium so the hitters at least have an idea of what is going on up there. Chatwood was flat out awesome last week and there is really no one in the Dodger line-up (outside of Matt Kemp) who worries me, so I would expect Chatwood to throw well tonight. Weaver and Haren have been the aces of the staff, but Tyler needs to get special mention for his work. Can you imagine where the Angels would be if he hadn’t stepped up? Odds are the losses by Kazmir alone would have pushed the record to well below .500.
Monkey See, Monkey Don’t Do not for a second think that Mike Scioscia’s calling out of his veterans was an accident. Scioscia knows that the kids have been decent but his vets have to carry the second half. Vernon Wells has been doing his part lately so the onus falls on Mr. Hunter to be the leader on the field he claims to be. He needs to hit. The fact that the Angel offense put up numbers against the Nationals pitching in the first two games indicates the talent is there but Hunter has to be a driving force.
The Monkey’s Bananas Prediction of the Day The Angels have to still be steaming about losing out on a sweep last weekend due to a blown call. That’s right it was a blown call. He was out. End of discussion. (can you tell I’m not quite over that yet?) Anyway, the Halos will come out swinging tonight and I’m predicting multiple hits for Kendrick and Bourjos as the halos roll 7-3.