September 20, 2009 |
As dominant as Kevin Jepsen has been -- the setup man has a 1.72 earned-run average in 30 games since July 1 and has begun pitching into the ninth inning -- there is one statistic that would make the Angels hesitant to make him their closer entering the playoffs. Although the rookie right-hander has limited right-handed hitters to a .211 average (20 for 95) and no home runs, left-handers have a surprisingly robust .354 average (35 for 99) with two home runs against Jepsen. Granted, many of those hits were accrued in April, when Jepsen was suffering from lower-back spasms and had a 19.29 ERA before going on the disabled list, and June, after he was recalled from triple A and was ironing out his mechanics and refining a new pitch, a cut fastball, to go with his 96-mph fastball and curve.
September 13, 2009 |
It has taken five months, one trade and a lot of rehabilitation for the Angels to get their injury-plagued pitching rotation into shape. But now that they've figured out how to start games, they aren't sure how -- or with whom -- to close them. For the second time in six days Manager Mike Scioscia pulled closer Brian Fuentes in the middle of an inning Saturday, this time with one out in the 10th inning with the score tied. Fuentes gave up a double and a single, then got an out before he left the game.
July 20, 2011 |
It's hard to imagine where the Angels would be without closer Jordan Walden , who began Wednesday with a 2.77 earned-run average and 21 saves, and setup man Scott Downs , who was 5-2 with a 1.45 ERA. "What Downs and Walden have done has been a season-saver up to this point," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "We wouldn't be talking about getting into a pennant race if it wasn't for those guys. " They might be talking about sliding out of a pennant race if the rest of the bullpen doesn't shape up. The Angels expected Fernando Rodney , Kevin Jepsen and Michael Kohn to be key relievers, but Rodney (upper back strain)
June 16, 2013 |
When Tampa Bay's Alex Cobb was struck in his right ear by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City's Eric Hosmer on Saturday, he became the fifth pitcher since September to be hit in the head by a batted ball. Cobb was hospitalized overnight and will be out at least a week. And though Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen says every pitcher is aware of the risks when he takes the mound, that doesn't make the replays any easier to watch. "It makes you cringe," he said. "It's tough. " Jepsen is fortunate never to have been hit, but he says it's not hard to understand why it's happening so frequently.
July 15, 2012 |
NEW YORK - As the ninth inning dragged on Sunday and the Angels came perilously close to blowing a five-run lead, Torii Hunter stood in right field in Yankee Stadium wondering how his team would vanquish this pesky, powerful and persistent foe. "They're like vampires - you need a silver bullet or a wooden stake to drive through their heart," Hunter said of the New York Yankees, who lead the major leagues with 142 home runs. "They're out for blood in this park. No lead is safe here.
August 20, 2009 |
When Kevin Jepsen was experiencing severe lower-back spasms in late April and was struggling to get his fastball down in the zone, the reliever received a startling diagnosis from doctors: he had scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine. "Here I was, 24 years old, and someone tells me my spine is crooked," Jepsen said. "It was kind of weird. But it made sense as far as the back problems I've had over the years." The condition hasn't slowed the hard-throwing right-hander a bit. After a two-week stint on the disabled list, Jepsen, who had a 19.29 earned-run average in his first five appearances, was sent to triple A to iron out his mechanical problems and strengthen his back.
September 23, 2009 |
It's the ninth inning of a playoff game in Fenway Park, the score is tied, Red Sox speedster Jacoby Ellsbury is on first with no outs, and the Angels' catcher is . . . Bobby Wilson ? There is a very good chance this could happen in October. Though the Angels carried two catchers -- Jeff Mathis and Mike Napoli -- for most of the season, they are strongly considering carrying Wilson as a third catcher for the playoffs. The reason? Mathis, the team's best defensive catcher, is a .208 hitter who will most likely be pinch-hit for in the late innings of a close game.
January 15, 2013 |
The Angels avoided arbitration with pitcher Jerome Williams on Tuesday, agreeing to terms with the right-hander on a $2-million contract for 2013. Four other Angels -- pitchers Jason Vargas, Tommy Hanson and Kevin Jepsen and third baseman Alberto Callaspo -- filed for salary arbitration Tuesday and are set to exchange figures Friday. If the team and players can't come to terms, arbitration hearings are scheduled from Feb. 4-20. Williams, 31, went 6-8 with a 4.58 earned-run average in 32 games, 15 starts, last season, striking out 98 and walking 35 in 137 2/3 innings.
June 13, 2010 |
When Jered Weaver got the start Sunday, there was the possibility that the Angels' ace could pitch against his older brother. That situation arose early as Jeff Weaver replaced Dodgers starter Carlos Monasterios with two out in the third inning at Dodger Stadium. Jeff led off the bottom of the third against Jered, the first time brothers had faced each in the major leagues since Oakland's Ruddy Lugo pitched to his brother Julio in Boston on Sept. 26, 2007.