I believe the best course of action for the entire Minnesota Twins ballclub, is to go to the nearest hospital immeditately. Surely, after the three game series that they just went through, in which they were absolutely owned and demolished by the Halos, it is almost a guarantee that the Twins suffered some sort of lasting effect from the Angels whips and brooms. The Angels, scoring in double digits for the third game in a row, completed the sweep, winning 13-4 and with that, put on an offensive display that has definitely gotten some attention across not only the America League, but across Major League Baseball. The Angles will dearly miss Minnesota, as they scored a combined 35 runs while sweeping the Twins. Jered Weaver was the benefactor today, as he took the hill for the Halos. Weaver powered his way through a potent Twins lineup, setting a personal best by fanning 11 Twins while going 6 1/3 innings to pick up his 11th win of the year. Justin Speier and Shane Loux again, provided shutout relief in support of Weaver.
Offensively, the club was led by the list of usual suspects. Kendry Morales, who is giving Angel fans a reason to say “Mark who?” blasted a pair of three run shots, giving him a team leading in both home runs (23) and RBI (69). When the season started, Kendry was for the most part a question mark, as he never had consistent enough playing time to give the Halos an idea of what exactly they could expect. His play so far this year has been nothing short of spectacular, and a huge reason why the club is where it is right now. Despite all the injuries and uncertainty which has plagued the club all year long, Kendry has been one of the few constants, along with Chone Figgins and Bobby Abreu for the Angels offense. Gary Matthews Jr, Bobby Abreu, Howie Kendrick and Jeff Mathis each had two hits in the victory as well. Sean Rodriguez, is making the most of his starts in left field, blasting a 3 run home run, his 2nd of the year, off of Twins starter Glen Perkins, who was just flat out rocked in his four innings, giving up 12 hits while allowing 9 runs.
There are two things on my mind right now when it comes to the team, and how their playoff chances will fare, trusting they make the playoffs of course. The first and most glaring of these two is wondering if this offense will show up during the postseason? They can be guaranteed of at least facing 2 of the elite starting pitchers in baseball no matter what team they play. The Yankees have Sabathia and Burnett, the Red Sox have Beckett and Lester, Tigers have Verlander and Jackson, etc. It’s always been a given that good pitching beats good hitting, I wonder if that will truly be the case as only time will tell. The second thing on my mind, is if they are peaking too early. Can they realistically be expected to keep scoring in double digits or close to it every night? As much as I want to say yes, it doesn’t appear that way. However, the one thing I’ve learned this year, from this team, is to never say never. They have gone through far too much adversity and come out of it far better than they entered it, which speaks volumes on the character and toughness this team has. In short, these Halos are completely unique – you can’t label them, and just when you think you have them all figured out, they surprise you further. And, might I add, have been such a blast to watch so far this year..
The Rangers beat the Mariners today to keep pace with the Halos, keeping the Angels lead at 4 games. Tomorrow Angel fans, the Halos are off as they travel to Chicago to begin a 3 game series against the White Sox. The White Sox, who currently sit 1.5 games out of first, know they will have their hands full with the Angels, but also desperately need these games to stay in the race in the AL Central. We all know they’ve seen the carnage that was the Angels last series, and seeing how the Twins lost 3 games in the standings in just 3 days. John Lackey will oppose Jose Contreras in the opener.
Until next time Angel fans.
The Angels game between the Twins on Saturday afternoon can best be described as a much anticipated boxing match. Both sides jabbing at each other early, as the Twins jump ahead 2-0 after Jason Kubel’s third inning home run. However, the Angels were all business to start the fourth round, I mean inning. Chone Figgins came out swinging, landing a sweet left uppercut that ended up in the right field stands for his third homer of the season. Angel after Angel followed, landing jabs and various combinations of their own. Twins starter Nick Blackburn, who had set the first nine Angels down, was quickly on the ropes and throwing a tantrum in the dugout as the knockout blow was provided by the mighty Maicer Izturis, who landed a left uppercut of his own, this time off of R.A. Dickey, a three run shot to right that sealed the Twins fate, and secured the 8th victory in a row for the Halos, as they went on to win 11-5. Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire remarked that the Twins needed to “get back” to their brand of baseball, and that, in a nutshell, describes exactly what the Angels do to you. The Angles make you play their game, bottom line. They do this in the form of going 1st to 3rd relentlessly, getting runners over when needed, and attacking you in waves that would make killer bees look mild. Combine this with a newfound solid bullpen and decent starting pitching, and you get a club that is on an absolute tear. Let’s not mention that really all that you hear about in the media is how hot the Phillies and Yankees are. The Angels like it this way. And so do their fans.
Matt Palmer pushed his record to 8-1, after getting his first start after many bullpen appearances. Palmer, in usual Palmer fashion, did enough to keep the team in the game, and again was awarded like an only child of rich parents on Christmas, with an abundance of offensive support. The bullpen as a whole, did the job, minus Shane Loux who is still getting a little rust off after a long stay on the DL, and in a game like this, worked out great for the Halos.
On the offensive side of things, other than the home runs by Figgins and Izturis, (who had two hits each, respectively) Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick each added two hits of their own. Not to be outdone, Bobby Abreu collected three htis. The only Angel starter not to have a hit, was Gary Matthews Jr.
However Angel fans, all may not be 100% well with the team. With the Phillies apparently not willing to meet the trade demands of the Blue Jays in their attempt to ship Roy Halladay, the Angels now find themselves as potential landing site for the Jays ace. It is rumored that players that the Jays want in return, range from Erick Aybar, Mike Napoli, Joe Saunders and possibly Jered Weaver. Would Tony Reagins dare ship away the likes of Aybar, Napoli, or Weaver? Granted Halladay will be under contract until the end of next year, so we won’t be renting a player which was the case with Mark Teixeira last year, but, with the way these young players have become such an integral part of the success this year, it would be very hard to see them go. I personally think the Angels should operate from the standpoint that the Jays will never get as much as they can for Halladay as they will right now. With that being said, if the Blue Jays can’t find someone to meet their trade demands, and have to hold onto him, Halladay’s value this time next year will be much, much less. Halladay has already told the club that he isn’t going to sign an extension and will test free agency, so they need to get rid of him. They need to trade him now. There is no need for the Halos to meet their demands because if they don’t trade him, the Blue Jays will ultimately lose out in the end. Plus, I would like to see what these Angels can do, given the chance. Imagine if Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders can get their act together and provide some much needed consistency to the starting rotation.
The Angels go for the series sweep tomorrow with Minnesota’s Anthony Swarzak opposing Ervin Santana. Santana, might I add, is still searching for his first home win of the year. Yes, his first home win.
Until next time Angel fans.
Angel fans, take notice. Of what, you ask? In case you didn’t notice, we are watching our future shortstop blossom right before our eyes. Erick Aybar had himself one heck of a day, a mammoth of a day, going a combined 7-9 in the doubleheader Tuesday, helping the Angels win game 2 by a score of 10-2 and sweeping both games of this doubleheader from the struggling Royals. The 2nd game was definitely the better of the two for Aybar, as the Angels shortstop went 4-5, driving in 3, and coming within a home run of hitting for the cycle. The only thing that Aybar didn’t do Tuesday night, was walk on water, which I hear he was rumored to be attempting in the whirpool after the game.
Also a member of the A-Team was Bobby Abreu. Abreu was no slouch himself, going 3-4 with 3 doubles and 3 RBI’s. Sharing in the festivities with two hits apiece were Robb Quinlan (who went deep for the first time this year) Reggie Willits and Howie Kendrick. It’s good to see Willits get some hits, as generally everytime you look up he’s down in the count 0-2, and anytime Howie Kendrick gets a hit, it’s reason to celebrate.
Sean O’sullivan did enough to earn the victory, going 5 1/3 and allowing both of the Royal runs. Bruce Chen, who opposed O’Sullivan, wasn’t so lucky. It appeared all game long that Chen and catcher Joe Buck weren’t on the same page, as the two engaged in mulitiple catcher to pitcher mound visits throughout the game. The Angels bullpen completed the day of shutout baseball, while Justin Speier, Shane Loux, and Matt Palmer shut the Royals down the rest of the way.
What might be the best part of today’s sweep, is that the club won not only without Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter, who both are expected to be weeks away from returning, but also without Juan Rivera, who has carried most of the load with the big guns on the disabled list. The Angels have been so hot lately, it’s almost scary to thing how good they could really be if the starting rotation got it’s act together, and everyone returned from injury. With a healthy lineup, the Angels come out you from all angles, like a spider monkey hopped up on Mountain Dew, and there are very few holes, if any, to be exploited. Really, all that remains to be seen is the starting rotation, mainly Santana and Saunders – if those two can come around and pitch with some consistency, this could be the year for the Angels. The bullpen, which was an embarassment for almost the first half of the year, is now looking very good,and with Jose Arredondo rumored to be close to a promotion back to the big club, could be looking even better. Shane Loux, who has been out for what seems like an eternity, made an appearance, going two innings of hitless relief.
So, Angel fans, tonight is a night to enjoy, to sit back, have a few cold ones, and take in the fact that we’ve got one heck of a hot team on our hands and the rest of this season is shaping up to be a lot of fun.
Until next time Angel fans.