May 1, 2011 |
The tipoff for Jered Weaver came on his third pitch of the game Monday night, a first-pitch fastball that Oakland's Daric Barton grounded to first base for an out. That leadoff batter Coco Crisp swung at Weaver's first two pitches, producing a fly ball to right field, was no surprise. The A's outfielder is a free swinger who through Thursday had one walk in 91 at-bats this season. But Barton is one of baseball's most patient hitters, a guy who entered the weekend having seen a major league-leading average of 4.66 pitches per plate appearance and had walked 18 times, fifth-most in baseball.
April 8, 2011 |
History has done a number (50) on the Angels and all their incarnations: Los Angeles, California, Anaheim and LAA of A. It's been five decades since "The Cowboy," Gene Autry, saddled up to take on Indians (and others) in the American League. Lucky are those who have been tortured from the outset. You could pay for a psychiatrist's home on Maui rehashing the trials and tribulations since that inaugural "play ball!" on April 11, 1961. Babes weaned at the bosom of the 2002 World Series banner will never understand the astronomical anomaly of that San Francisco treat.
March 7, 2011 |
Mark Trumbo bristles a bit when critics look at the phenomenal numbers he put up last season, then say, "Yeah, but ?" As in, "Yeah, he led the minors with 36 homers, but he was playing at altitude. " Or, "Yeah, he led the league in runs scored and runs batted in, but can he field?" "I think I've pieced together a number of good seasons in a row. Most people probably don't know that. And that's fine," Trumbo said. "But I think I've steadily improved every year. So I don't think it's a one-hit wonder.
March 4, 2011 |
The addition of Vernon Wells gives the Angels two Gold Glove winners to flank speedy Peter Bourjos in center field, turning what had been a weakness ? outfield defense ? into a strength. But that might not mean much if the Angels don't play better defense in the infield as well. Last season the Angels were second to last in the American League in errors and fielding percentage and second to last in the majors in double plays. That was a big drop off from the year before, when they led the majors with 174 double plays.
March 3, 2011 |
After finishing among the top three in the American League in stolen bases for eight consecutive seasons, the Angels were slowed considerably last summer, stealing just 104 times while getting thrown out on a third of their attempts. That was their worst mark since Mike Scioscia's first season as manager in 2000. The Angels are up and running again this spring, though. With three steals in a 10-6 loss Wednesday to the Texas Rangers, the team has swiped 10 bases in 12 tries in Cactus League play.
March 2, 2011 |
Brandon Wood says he's a more mature player this spring, and not just because he turns 26 on Wednesday. He also got married three months ago, and then there's what Wood endured last summer when he batted .146 with more than twice as many strikeouts as hits. No major leaguer with as many as 200 plate appearances did worse. "I learned a lot. So, yeah, I've matured," Wood says. "And my confidence level is higher that it was at any point last year. " Manager Mike Scioscia hopes so, because the Angels are out of options with Wood.
October 6, 2010 |
The tone was strange. The words were foreign. The call to action was almost unrecognizable. Did I really just hear what I thought I heard? Did the owner of an underachieving Los Angeles major league baseball team just tell me that he was angry, disappointed, and would spend whatever it took to return his team to the playoffs? "Yes," Arte Moreno said Tuesday. "That's how I feel. That's what I'll do. " At that point in the phone conversation, I was so disoriented, I fanned myself with a large wad of Dodger divorce papers, wiped my brow with Dodger Stadium rent checks, and briefly rested my head upon a padded Dodger Dream Foundation salary.
August 31, 2010 |
Peter Bourjos, the youngest among them, spared the Angels the indignity of a franchise record for futility with a home run to lead off the sixth inning Monday night. So inspired were his veteran teammates that they added two homers in the inning, a solo shot by Bobby Abreu and a two-run blast by Hideki Matsui that propelled the Angels to a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners in Safeco Field. Ervin Santana (14-9) gave up two runs and eight hits in 7 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking none, to help the Angels end a losing streak at three games.
July 25, 2010 |
Thanks for your support. The Angels had backed Ervin Santana with mostly zeroes the last few weeks, combining for a not-so-grand total of three runs in his last three starts. They equaled that total in the seventh inning alone Saturday at Rangers Ballpark during a much-needed 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers. Erick Aybar had three of the Angels' 13 hits in the game, newly acquired Alberto Callaspo drove in two runs and Jeff Mathis homered on a night that Santana might have liked to hold some of the onslaught in reserve.
July 16, 2010 |
Torii Hunter knows he's made some strides in plate discipline, but 42 walks at the All-Star break for a free-swinging veteran whose career high in walks is 50, set in 2003 and 2008? "That's usually a whole season for me," the Angels center fielder said. "It's amazing. I looked at that when we were in Oakland last week. I knew one day I'd be more patient, but not this quick." Hunter credits Bobby Abreu , who joined the Angels in 2009, with schooling him on how to wait for the best pitch to hit in an at-bat, but he knows there is another obvious reason his walks are up: Kendry Morales is out. Hunter, who entered the second half with a .298 average, .385 on-base percentage, 15 home runs and 62 runs batted in, had 18 walks in the first 47 games of the season, when Morales was hitting behind him. The cleanup batter has 23 walks in 39 games since Morales suffered a season-ending leg injury May 29. With Hideki Matsui (.252)