Boston Red Sox (7-11) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (12-7)
Pitching Probables: LAA – Dan Haren (4-0, 1.16 ERA) BOS – John Lester (1-1, 3.20 ERA)
Game Info: 7:05 PM PT; TV - Fox Sports West; Radio - KLAA 830 AM
So it is becoming clearer and clearer that the massive run production that occured in Texas was an aberration and I will be spending the remainder of the season wondering how Mickey Hatcher still has a job. Seriously, I understand that everyone says the hardest thing to do is to hit a round ball with a round bat, but it seems that the Angels hitting coach has not found the magic teaching method to get his hitters to put the ball in play. So once again, poor Dan Haren will have to probably do it all himself against the suddenly alive Red Sox.
I have often wondered if Mickey Hatcher has some dirt on Mike Scioscia. After all they did play together for a long period of time. It is the only conceivable way I can think of that Hatcher still has a job. It never fails that at least once or twice a season the Angels collectively stop hitting. After last night's putrid swings against Josh Beckett, we can only hope that this is not one of those prolonged team slumps that have a tendency to happen under old Mickey's watch. Usually his remedy is to turn his hat inside out and scream at the field like a raving loon. It was cute when he first got to Anaheim but my patience is starting to wear thin.
Monkey See, Monkey Do Expect another low scoring, pitchers duel with Haren and Lester on the hill. Lester has owned the Angels both in the regular season and the playoffs and there is nothing to suggest any of the new breed of Halo will fair any better than their predecessors. Haren should be able to contain the Red Sox line-up which is still not hitting on all cylinders yet. By the way, how's that Carl Crawford contract looking now? I bet the Bosox didn't realize that Carl was charging them a million dollars a hit this season and that his real quest this year was to get his batting average to match the total value of the deal. Of course, now that I have shot my mouth off he will probably go 3-4, score 2 runs and steal three bases.
Monkey See, Monkey Don't I know everyone got excited about Torii Hunter's huge two run shot last night as the harbinger of his return the land of the living, breating clean-up hitters, but I am not buying it. Did you see his reaction after the homer in the dugout? That is not a happy man. Torii is usually Mr. Fun with the rest of the guys, but it is obvious to him that he is not feeling it at the plate and the pressure is starting to get to him. Couple this with the Kiddie Corps' inevitable return to the mean and it could be a lot of swinging and missing. Also, I wouldn't expect the Angels to steal any bases tonight. After all, it's not like Scioscia has some fleet footed speedsters out there he could pinwheel around the bases. (wait, what's that you say, Peter Bourjos is the fastest kid in the game...well, by all means let's have him stand at first and watch the guys behind him strike out, that should be more fun than having him try to steal second.)
The Monkey's Bananas Prediction of the Game So after all the hemming and hawing about state of the Angels offense, I say the Angels will somehow find a way to win the game through the sheer will of Dan Haren and his mighty beard. The Halos scratch 2 across early and Haren makes it stand up before handing it over to the Mighty Jordan Walden (all hail his greatness).
I also predict that I will sprain my thumbs flipping furiously between channels as the Angels, Ducks and Lakers will all be in action at the same time. Good Lord, who made this schedule? How am I supposed to take it all in? How often will I be sent sprawling to my Ipad to tweet about three games at the same time? And will my head pop off in sheer anger if all three lose within 10 minutes of each other? Or will I break the glass in the windows of my house from screaming joy if all three bring home victories? For the sake of my family I hope it's the later...