May 24, 1989 |
Into every life a little rain must fall, but in Jim Abbott's case, it's getting ridiculous. For the third time in less than two months Tuesday, Abbott had a scheduled start delayed, a rainstorm here resulting in postponement of the series opener between the Angels and the New York Yankees. But this rainout will only cost Abbott 24 hours, since Manager Doug Rader said he would roll back his entire pitching rotation one day. That means Abbott will oppose New York's Rich Doston tonight at Yankee Stadium.
May 27, 1989 |
The scouting report on the California Angels' pitching staff has changed from last season, even though only two of the faces--Bert Blyleven and Jim Abbott--are new. The Angels aren't so wimpy now. Yankees pitching coach Billy Connors sees it: "Their overall look is more aggressive." And they're not the least bit afraid to use the inside edge of the plate, so watch out. Connors said they're throwing more heat, relying less on finesse. And the staff ERA reflects this brazen new approach.
April 27, 1989 |
Somewhere, Cookie Rojas is reading the Angel box scores every day and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Sure, the Angels have a new, bolder halo on their caps, but perhaps the former Angel manager is figuring these guys are truly blessed . . . or just on a roll that has to end. Can this be the same pitching staff that was 8-13 with a 5.03 earned-run average after 21 games last year? Can this be the same bullpen that blew eight of 13 save opportunities last April while Rojas grimaced and gnashed his teeth on the bench?
June 20, 1989 |
The Angel pitching staff has been taking a beating lately. Until Monday night, it wasn't a matter of bruised earned-run averages, though. They were winning, yet still experiencing the agony of the feet, shins and ankles. Starter Chuck Finley became the third Angel pitcher in four days to be hit with a batted ball, but the Blue Jays did more damage to Angel pitches than pitchers in an 8-1 victory in front of 24,430 at Anaheim Stadium. Toronto scored four runs off Finley, whose departure was hastened in the sixth by a sharp grounder off the bat of Tony Fernandez that struck him on the inside of the right ankle.
June 7, 1989 |
They used to have names such as Ray Chadwick, Mike Cook, Urbano Lugo and Terry Clark. They were the Angels' spot starters, who filled in when one of the top five was unable to pitch. They came from the triple-A Edmonton team with lofty aspirations and often equally high earned-run averages. They lived up to their statistics, not their ambitions. Chadwick was 0-5 in 1986. Lugo was 0-2 in '87. Cook had a 9.00 ERA in '86. Clark managed a 5.07 in '88. But when rookie Jim Abbott made the rotation this spring, it gave the Angels the luxury of having a quality starter waiting in the wings.
June 4, 1989 |
Much of the credit for the Angels' success this season has gone to their pitching staff. And deservedly so. After all, the starters are 27-14 with 13 complete games and five shutouts, and the relievers are 7-4 with 12 saves. As a result, the Angels have held opponents to two or fewer runs 25 times in 52 games. And they brought baseball's best team earned-run average (2.71) into Saturday night's game. But when is the Angel offense going to get its due? Angel hitters have managed at least seven hits in each of the last 19 games and they have averaged more than 10 hits in that span.