Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (65-54) @ Toronto Blue Jays (59-59)
Pitching Probables: LAA -- Jered Weaver (14-5, 1.78 ERA) TOR -- Ricky Romero (10-9, 2.94 ERA)
Game Info: 10:07 AM PT; TV - Fox Sports West; Radio - KLAA 830 AM
There's someting comforting about having your ace on the mound. Everything feels different when your #1 guy is on the hill. No matter wha the team is going through, the ace has this calming effect as if to say, "Don't worry guys, I got this!" Such is the case today with the return of Jered Weaver. Weaver wasn't gone long, he only missed one start, but having him out there is light years better than another AA or AAA emergency starter. So sit back, relax and enjoy the soothing sounds of THE WEAVE putting Blue Jay batters to sleep.
Vernon Wells has a taste for the dramatic after all. Following a moving tribute to his long standing work in the Toronto community and a stadning ovation of appreciation, Wells went out and took a sledghammer to the hearts of the Blue Jay faithful by crushing a home run to key the Angels victory. Scoff all you want, but I believe that this sort of thing means something to players and Vernon will now breathe a lot easier for the rest of the series.
Angels 5 Blue Jays 1
-- Nice to see Russell Branyan get some run. After his three run shot off Mariano yesterday, it was a nice change of pace for Scioscia to give him a start at first. Branyan responded with a double that led to a run. Hopefully this will lead to a line-up with Branyan as the DH and Trumbo playing first to save us from the soul sucking crappiness of Bobby Abreu. That's right, old Bob had another hitless night. But hey, he drew a walk so by all means keep hitting him 3rd. That makes a ton of sense.
-- I have said this before but after his first inning highlight double play I will say it again. If Erick Aybar doesn't win a gold glove I will be forced to go on some sort of three state killing spree. Oh, who am I kidding, that dude from Cleveland with the freaky first name is going to win. Baseball writers still don't know they play baseball west of the Rockies.
-- Having sung his defensive praises, we must also speak of Aybar at the plate. Another 0-4 night raises concern over just how long his slump will last. Aybar is hacking away like a blind lumberkack and needs to bat somewhere else in the line-up. But the leadoff options are getting thinner and thinner by the day.
-- Ervin Santana did not have his best stuff and still controlled the Jays easily. I am amazed at the maturity he has developed over the past couple of months. It's like he woke up one morning a whole different person. He got a ton of ground balls and never seemed rattled at any point against a tought Toronto line-up.
Welcome home!!! Now just keep up hitting those dingers for another 43 games and we might be on to something.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (64-54) @ Toronto Blue Jays (59-58)
Pitching Probables: LAA -- Ervin Santana (8-8, 3.21 ERA) TOR -- Brandon Morrow (8-8, 4.51)
After three rather frustrating days in the big apple, the Halos take their traveling road show North of the Border to Toronto. I have no facutal data to back this ascertion up, but my memories of the Angels playing in Toronto are usually filled with pain and misery. Toronto seems to be a place the Angels tend to lose a lot of weird games in. With Texas heading Oakland before next week's first big showdown, it would be a good idea for the Angels to pick up at least two of three over the weekend.
The August 12th, 2011 edition of daily news for the LA Angels including Trumbo could move to third in 2012, the Angels want Pineiro back in the rotation, Scioscia talks up Trumbo for Rookie of the Year and much more...
The Monkey Says: It is worth a shot since Trumbo was drafted as a third baseman, but I recall a story about him trying to play there during winter ball last year and it being a total trainwreck, and even he says he isn't a very good third basemen either. As such, I doubt they'd move him their full-time, but if they can make him a passable fielder, they could maybe sneak in 20 or 30 starts for him at third in 2012 when the Angels might have a hard time finding him playing time should Morales return healthy.
The Monkey Says: This sounds like more of a pipe dream than anything as I can't imagine he is going to magically solve his issues in a handful of mop-up appearances over the next few weeks. I'm sure this is just the team being positive to the media in order to help Joel save face and thank him for being such a good soldier throughout all this.
Why, Maicer? Why?!?! I know Jeff Mathis channeled his 2009 ALCS form by ripping a clutch double in the first game, but that doesn't mean you also had to channel your 2009 form by making another brutal error in Yankee Stadium to cost the Angels the game.
Just when you thought it was safe for the Angels to compete with the Yankees, they go and shoot themselves in the foot again. Instead of one of the usual suspects like Mathis or Wells or Rodney (oh, wait, oops) screwing it up, it was Scioscia's most loyal soldier Maicer Izturis booting a routine bouncer that should have allowed them to escape the seventh inning unscathed. That error, of course, set up the Yankees to not only take the lead the very next batter, but to take it in dramatic fashion via a grand slam from Robinson Cano. A big blow that would loom large since the Angels improbably tagged Mo Rivera for three runs in the ninth.
What's the take away from this? I'd hope the Angels try and take it just like any other loss, but to lose in such a fashion to a contending team that they could well face in the playoffs, that could end up being the sort of thing that sticks in the back of their minds for the next two months.
Jeff Mathis has been historically awful his entire career and the Angel fan base has responded with an appropriate amount of loathing all along. Unfortunately, Mike Scioscia still can't seem to quit Mathis, no matter how loud the public outcry is. With Hank Conger destroying Triple-A and the Angels in the heat of the playoff hunt, that desire to finally see Scioscia get rid of Mathis for good appears to be at an all-time high. Clearly logic and rationale have not convinced Scioscia to part ways with his favorite backstop yet, so if we are really going to put our long nightmare to an end, we are doing to have to resort to some extreme measures.
Don't you yell at me! You're the one who sucks!!!