Monday, June 18, 2007

Big Weekend for the Angels

On the diamond, the Angels continued their recent dominance over the Dodgers, taking two of three, and they really should have taken all three.

On Friday, Ervin Santana strung together his second consecutive solid road start, and his fourth consecutive solid start overall. That's four straight quality starts, and while his ERA is still around 5.00, it's come down about a run over those starts. He's thrown 27 innings and given up 9 earned runs over that span. Those are solid third starter numbers. Unfortunately, the bats didn't pick him up, and he dropped a 2-1 decision to Derek Lowe.

On Saturday, in a game that I couldn't watch (thanks, Fox!), the Angels got five and a third scoreless from Jered Weaver, who didn't sound as sharp as his numbers indicate, and a two run single from Reggie Willits in a three run fifth. The bullpen completed the shutout for the 3-0 victory, but the game was costly, as Garret Anderson returned to the DL, and Casey Kotchman was hit in the head with a ball thrown so hard that he needed stitches....UNDER HIS HELMET! Apparently Russel Martin has a cannon.

And finally, yesterday the Angels got yet another excellent start from Kelvim Escobar, who held things down until the Angels had broken the game open in the seventh. He left having thrown seven innings and allowing three runs while striking out eight. 110 pitches are a few more than I'd like to see, but it was yet another game in which the offense provided some run support, a rarity in Escobar's first few seasons in Anaheim. He picked up his 8th win, and he's a deserving all-star candidate, though he'll likely get screwed because the Angels always get screwed on all-star selections. Speaking of guys who will screwed out of all-star spots, raise your hand if you thought Orlando Cabrera would be hitting over .340 right now? The guy has been on fire for about a month now. He'll end around .310 or so is my guess, but the Angels are making hay right now, and he's a major reason.

Coupled with both the Mariners return to earth against Chicago and Houston, and the A's come from ahead loss yesterday, the Angels have now five games ahead of both teams in the loss column. On the docket are nine at home against the Astros (30-39), Pittsburgh (30-39), and the Royals (28-42). 6-3 would be a mild disappointment. This is the stretch where the Angels should really open up some serious ground on their pursuers.

As for the Dodgers? Well, L.A. will always be a Dodger town, but the Angels have clearly established themselves as the team of choice for a large portion of the Southern California market. Job well done, Arte.

No comments: