Oakland Athletics (11-11) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (12-10)
Pitching Probables: OAK – Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 1.80 ERA) LAA – Jered Weaver (5-0, 1.23 ERA)
Game Info: 7:05 PM PT; TV - Fox Sports West; Radio - KLAA 830 AM
So the Angels are coming off a 4 game sweep at the ends of the Red Sox, but can you honestly say you're surprised? The Angels have never had any luck against Boston, The Angels being demolished was practically a foregone conclusion. The good vibes from the road series are officially completely dead, replaced with feelings of ire towards the team. Alas, today is a new day, so let's create some new positive vibes in this home series against Oakland.
Talk about a buzzkill. One day we are celebrating the Angels as the new AL West division leader. A few days later the Angels are wallowing in their own misery and trying to figure out how their offense got so bad so fast.
Granted, it wasn't like the lineup was putting up big numbers to begin with, but after getting shutout by the likes of Dice-K and Big John Lackey in the span of 24 hours, some thigns clearly need to change. The question is what changes will make any kind of difference?
Oh, sorry, did you think that was a rhetorical question? No, I'm literally asking. I have no idea how to fix this offense and, sadly, I'm not sure that Mike Scioscia does either. Ladies and gentlemen, the suggestion box is now officially open.
We aren't even out of April yet and the Angel offense looks to have already gone bust. With so many things go wrong, do we even know who to blame for this complete and total offensive failure?
Time to vote!
Daily Links for the LA Angels including Wood gets claimed by the Pirates, Pineiro on pace to be back this weekend, Downs placed back on the DL and much more...
The Monkey Says: Well, the era is over even though it never really began. For Brandon's sake, Pittsburgh might actually be the best possible situation for him since he gets to return to his natural shortstop position and play somewhere where he will be under almost no pressure to perform whatsoever.
The Monkey Says: Joel sounds like he is ready to go right now. It is worth noting that he is on pace schedule to return Saturday, which suggests that Matt Palmer will be the odd man out in the rotation.
The Monkey Says: This guy just can't catch a break, can he? Hopefully he will be back and finally healthy soon, if only so he can finally make me look smart for saying he will make the Angel bullpen markedly better.
I hope you had a Good Easter Sunday because the Angels sure didn't. For the second time in 24 hours, the Angels allowed themselves to be shutout by a pitcher who had been struggling mightily before facing the pathetic Angel lineup.
I did a chat over at a Red Sox blog last night and as I signed off, I said the only way this series could get worse for the Angels is if they get shutdown by John Lackey today. Well, I guess I jinxed it because that is precisely what happened today. Six hits, one walk, no extra bases and no serious threat ever mounted against the traitor that is Big John. It didn't even help that Mike Scioscia finally tried a drastic reshuffling of the lineup. I also expect he would have tried for some more aggressive baserunning too, but that would actually require baserunners. I don't even know where Sosh goes to try and fix this epic offensive slump, I just know that he should consider every option at his disposal.
Boston Red Sox (9-11) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (12-9)
Pitching Probables: BOS – John Lackey (1-2, 9.82 ERA) LAA – Matt Palmer (1-0, 4.22 ERA)
Game Info: 12:35 AM PT; TV - Fox Sports West; Radio - KLAA 830 AM
Easter is a time to celebrate a miracle (or at least I think it is, I didn't ever go to Sunday School) and a miracle is exactly what the Angels need to do something to salvage this series. Losing the first three games to the hated BoSox is bad enough, but getting swept in four games at home will absolutely obliterate all the positive vibes the team had after winning a road series in Texas.
When I talk about a miracle, I don't necessarily mean just beating the Red Sox, but rather doing something to shake this team out of a general funk. The already weak bats have gone completely silent and the excellent defense they played to start the season has just totally abandoned them. Trying to overcome those two struggles and the mental block they have against Boston will be no small task, especially with Matt Palmer on the bump during a day game where the ball will be carrying well. This could get very bad in a hurry.