Kansas City Royals (28-37) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (31-35)
Pitching Probables: KC – Vin Mazzaro (0-1, 17.47 ERA) LAA – Tyler Chatwood (3-3, 3.79 ERA)
Game Info: 12:35 PM PT; TV - Fox Sports West; Radio - KLAA 830 AM
It is amazing what one little win can do. The losing streak is over, the Angels have lit up the Halo once again and today just feels like a brand new day. Well, technically, every day is a brand new day, but I mean it in the metaphorical sense.
For the first time in a week, the Halos and their followers actually have a little something to feel good about. Nobody is exactly planning a championship parade or anything, but every little bit of positive mojo counts, especially when the team is so clearly frustrated and in dire need of a morale boost. But all those good feeling could slip away if the offense falls flat on its face again and, well, we can't exactly rule that possibility out. But it also isn't as entirely likely as it seemed in the past.
Today, the fresh memory of seven runs and win will make everyone a little looser. Their shoulders will hang a little lower. Their grips on the bats will be a litte less tight. Their demeanors a little more upbeat. It may only last a day, but it might also be the first day of the Angels' climb back into contention.
Monkey See, Monkey Do - Do lick your chops over Vin Mazzaro. Last we heard of him, he was busy posting one of the worst performances of all time, allowing 14 runs in 2.1 innings to the Indians back in May. He obviously got demoted for that flameout but he's back now. Actually, he came back last week and got roughed up by the Jays for six runs in five innings of work. And he isn't even the no-name youngster type that has plagued the Angels by virtue of the fact that he has already faced the Halos a handful of times in his career (when Mazzaro was with Oakland) and the results have generally favored LAA (1-2, 5.92 ERA, 1.685 WHIP).
Monkey See, Monkey Don't - Don't be surprised to Aybar or maybe Izturis batting fifth today. With Alberto Callaspo down for at least a few days with a hamstring injury, Scioscia is going to have to find another non-righty bat to break up the pack of righties in the middle of the order. He could try and entrust that duty to Russ Branyan, but he justifiably doesn't trust him, so it seems pretty likely that one of the mighty mites with assume Callaspo's role as the league's most dimunitive middle of the order threat. Although, I hope Sosh wises up and realizes that Howie Kendrick is catching fire again and gives him the job instead, but he probably won't since he seems a bit caught up in the left-right-left-right order thing.
The Monkey's Bananas Prediction of the Game: After going 2-for-4 in this game, Vernon Wells will see his average creep over .200 for the first time since the first game of the season. He will then pop up in his fifth at-bat of the game. But man will those precious few innings in between be sweet!