Did that game give anyone else chest pains?
Rangers 11, Angels 10
I'm going start on a positive note because I'm still feeling a little bit of PMA after the last two wins. The Angels' offense is here. There are still a few rough patches in the line-up, but that's the case with every team. The fact that the Angels have given their starting pitchers necessary run support against the Texas Rangers these last three games is huge. It's something that you wouldn't have expected from this team a couple of months ago. It's nice to finally see the Halos reach their potential at the plate.
The pitching. Oh the pitching. The inability to feel confident in 2/5 of a starting rotation is frustrating. Not to mention scary... And when there is no confidence in a starting pitcher OR the bullpen? That's a disaster waiting to happen. So, tonight. It's a tonight waiting to happen. Losing a 7-1 lead is difficult to do, and three outs with a 10-7 lead appears to be a difficult task as well. That one hurt.
- Albert Pujols loves Texas. Do you want to know how I know that? My dad sent me five text messages that said so. But in all seriousness, Pujols is having his best series of the season in Arlington. He is showing signs of life in a much more consistent manner than earlier in the season. It's difficult not to give Mike Trout a little bit a credit for lighting a fire under this team, but is there anyone willing to contest that? Trout has put life back in this dugout and arguably back into the bat of one of baseball's best hitters. Regardless of where this spark has come from, Pujols is back. He's back and he isn't going anywhere.
- Raise your hand if you enjoy having a catcher who can hit the ball. Thank you, Chris Iannetta.
- I was putting this off, but I have to bring it up sometime. Dearest Garrett Richards. Richards will come out throwing like an underrated ace one inning, and the next, it all falls apart. To be honest, I'm not sure that it's entirely his fault. There's a level of experience that is necessary to have as a starting pitcher. With varying levels of experience come varying levels of confidence. Putting an inconsistent pitcher like Richards out against a line-up like the Texas Rangers would be ideal for his career if the Angels weren't playing in such a significant series. I have confidence in his pitching abilities, but this isn't the time to experiment.
If you stepped on the mound, your name goes here. Minus LaTroy Hawkins. Scoreless, like a boss.
Tomorrow's game is a season defining game for the Angels. Season defining in the sense that it may generate momentum for the remainder of August and heading into the post season race. They knew how important tonight's game was, and they know how much of a statement they need to make in beating the Rangers tomorrow.
PMA Thursday. What do ya say, C.J.?
Did that game give anyone else chest pains?
The non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, but I'm not ready to stop talking trade just yet. As we all know, trades can still happen via the waiver process now. Typically, the only players that make it through waivers are players with big contracts that nobody wants to claim or players who aren't good enough for anyone to want to claim. Turns out the Angels have one of each of those and they are both the same person. That would be one Mr. Vernon Wells.
It was only a few weeks ago that I published a jocular post about how unlikely it would be for the Angels to trade Wells, but I've reconsidered. Wells and his 0-for-coming off the DL hasn't done much to change things, but seeing some of the rumors that popped up combined with the kind of desperation that infects certain teams as they make a run at a playoff spot and there could be a chance that someone does the Angels a favor and takes Vernon Wells off their hands.
We all give Wells a lot of grief, but 18 months ago he was coming off a very productive season and even in his disastrous 2011 campaign he hit lefties to the tune of an .851 OPS. Plus, he does still rate as a quality defender in left field.
But don't get too excited, no matter how desperate teams get, they aren't going to get desperate enought to take on much of Wells' contract, however there is a value to the Halos if they can clear a roster spot, add a low-level prospect and save some pocket change.
So who wants to help a JeDi out?
The August 1st, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Downs placed on disabled list, Halos make no additional deadline deals, Rangers acquire Dempster to counter the Angels' addition of Greinke and much more...
The Monkey Says: This might only be a two-week thing, but it is really going to hurt the bullpen. On the bright side, this does explain his struggles after the break, so hopefully it means he can come back and dominate like his old self. The bigger issue here though is that it makes it even more unfortunate that Jerry Dipoto was unable to add another southpaw reliever at the deadline as he had hoped.
The Monkey Says: That additional reliever would have been nice, but it never happened. In fact, there was nary a mention of an Angel rumor yesterday. No doubt Dipoto was still working the phones, but nothing ever got serious enough for anyone to bother leaking it to a media member.
Yeah I know it may seem too early to start throwing out the word sweep, but is it really???
I don't feel this way.
With the way the Angels have been playing this series I see the Angels having an incredibly good shot at sweeping the Rangers this series. The Angels have been outplaying the Rangers on every level. What the Rangers do to the Angels is finally being done back to them in great fashion, especially in Arlington. The Angels are hitting like the Rangers while the Rangers have been going through an ugly breakdown as of recently. The fans have even resorted to boo'ing their star player, Josh Hamilton. The pitching is breaking down and it's getting ugly with the Rangers, almost like it was for the Angels in April, and the Angels decided to come around to Arlington at the perfect time.
A win tomorrow and the Angels will steamroll through the Rangers, but with the win this evening we can sleep happily tonight.
Angels 6 Rangers 2
Admittedly, the following post would've made a lot more sense had it been posted before last night's Kendrys Morales-led 15-run outburst, but the points remain (mostly) valid.
So caught up have the Angels and their fans been in their furor to plug the hole in their rotation that it has gone almost unnoticed that the Halo lineup still isn't exactly performing at optimum levels. This even with them getting shutout on consecutive nights by the Rays this last weekend. Even with their Monday night explosion, the Angels are only sixth in the American League in runs scored. That is what happens when your offense is driven by three, sometimes four players. It isn't the biggest problem, but it is pretty obvious that the Angels lineup lacks depth.
I know it sounds like I'm asking a lot, but could Jerry Dipoto possibly find a way to swing another deal for a bat before the deadline is up in just a few hours?
It certainly won't be easy, I realize that. The Greinke deal sapped the Angel farm system of almost all their best assets. Nor have they been linked to really any position player of any kind in the last few weeks, so if JeDi is brewing something up, he is being awfully secretive about it. So, yeah, this probably isn't happening, but a guy can dream can't he?
The July 31st, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Trumbo out with back spasms, Haren might miss start with more back stiffness, Angels showing trade interest in reliever Rafael Betancourt and much more...
The Monkey Says: He tweaked it during batting practice on Sunday but was held out Monday as a precaution. The team said he could have pushed through it or even pinch-hit if need be. Still, this will be something to monitor going forward.
The Monkey Says: We are somehow supposed to feel better about this because it is in a different part of his back. They are saying though that there is currently no concern that he will have to go back on the disabled list. However, it seems pretty likely that Garrett Richards will draw the spot start for Haren on Wednesday.
Holy sweet mother of Jesus can you really believe this game happened? Every Angels faithful today expected an absolute disaster out of Ervin Santana's start against the Rangers, and why wouldn't you expect the worst? While he did end up putting up a pretty decent start he did still held on tightly to the good old Santana tendancies. Every time the Angels pulled themselves ahead of the Rangers Santana gave the lead right back up, thankfully the 15 out limit was there to to limit the damage though he did manage a couple fairly harmless innings near the end of him start.
But nobody cares about that, everyone cares about the fireworks graciously supplied by the Angels for all the fans in Arlington looking for a show. They even managed to not totally screw up when being televised nationally on ESPN!
Angels 15 Rangers 8