Monday, April 14, 2003


OK, it's been a while since I touched this thing up, but this seems like a pretty good place to start. Huge series over the weekend for the Angels, more from a psychological standpoint than because of anything to do with the standings, but they can't let the A's get too far ahead. I really thought in Oakland that they were afraid of the A's. The pitchers looked like they didn't know how to get anybody out. The batters looked at the uniform and figured "we're dead" without even noticing that they were facing John Halama. Basically, it looked like they had spent too much time reading Baseball Prospectus.

Last weekend was a totally different story. They came to play. The defense was in 2002 form, and they played the death by a thousand cuts style that carried them last season (although the longball that showed up in October made an appearance as well). They need to keep the momentum going in Texas.

Player to watch is Tim Salmon. Whoever got hold of his calendar and ripped out the April page, I salute you. It hasn't quite been the May run that he seemingly always goes on at some point, where he'll hit 13 of 15 with a few homers, but It's a far better May than he has ever posted. Historically, he kills the Rangers in Texas. Has the power to this point been a fluke, or will he actually hit well for the entire month. It looks like someone is sick of watching the All-Star game at home.

Tonight Appier v. Valdes. Neither has been particularly good so far, but Appier was strong in his last outing, and Valdes look solid on opening day against the Angels. Even if he is as sharp, don't look for Appier to give up one run through six. We'll see whether the Angels, who just roughed up one of the best run preventing teams in the league, can carry that over against a far inferior pitching staff.

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