Tag:Garret Anderson
Posted on: May 28, 2008 3:14 pm
  •  
 

Angels Checklist

Starting pitching: Check.  What was supposed to be a weakness in the early part of the season with John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar missing time has been anything but. Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana have been two of the better pitchers in the AL, and now that Lackey's back and Jered Weaver is pitching better of late, the Halos have one of the top rotations in all of baseball.

Bullpen: Check.  One of the Angels biggest strengths over the last several seasons was a major liability in the opening weeks of the season. Scot Shields opened the year on the DL and Justin Speier, Darren Oliver and company were just plain horrendous in the early going. Speier is still a bit of a mess, but D.O., Darren O'Day and the return of Shields got the pen going again and Franky has been getting the job done, albeit in shaky fashion.

Defense: Check.  Trading a Gold Glove shortstop and having a young, unproven kid try to fill his shoes, you'd expect some growing pains. I did. But Erick Aybar has been very good defensively and, to this point in the season, better than O.C. with the bat. Uh, that Torii Hunter guy IS pretty good, isn't he? Having another plus defender in Gary Matthews roaming left or right field has been a luxury. Casey Kotchman is one of the best in the league, and the kids (Brandon Wood, Sean Rodriguez) haven't hit a lick but have been solid with the leather.

Offense: What's the opposite of a check? After getting off to a blazing start, to say the offense has fizzled out would be a massive understatement. There really hasn't been any offense to speak of. To be fair, one-third of our lineup should be playing in Salt Lake and missing our lead-off guy and catalyst Chone Figgins has really hurt. All that said, we should still be better than this. Vlad - Hunter - GA is a decent middle of the order but it seems like we can't get two or more of those guys going at once. Kotchman has been the team's most consistent offensive player, but after an early HR tear, hasn't hit one in a while. Mike Napoli's early power stroke has been fun to watch, hopefully it continues. I'm honestly not worried about the offense, or lack thereof. When we get healthy and have Figgy, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar back, we'll have a much more balanced attack and we all know Vlad won't stay down for long.

The good news has been that the team is winning even through this drought. We went through a similar stretch last season, but we dropped a bunch of games then. The pitching has been so good, it's like they won't let us lose right now.

 

Posted on: May 7, 2008 1:53 pm
 

Halos finding the road 'heavenly'

After last night's 5-3 win over the Royals in Kansas City, the Angels record away from the Big A stands at a league-best 12-5. Very impressive, considering the team did most of its damage in the friendly confines of Angels Stadium last season and played roughly .500 ball on the road. If we can start dominating like we have at home, and keep up a better pace on the road, the Angels are easily capable of surpassing last season's win total, which would hopefully mean another AL West title.

Nick Adenhart, the sequel. A little better than the original, but still not quite there. 4 1/3 innings with five walks against a fairly young and punchless Kansas City team. I think he walked 9-hitter Tony Pena twice and he's hitting like a buck-fifty. You gotta be able to lay one or two down the middle to hacks like that and Nick just couldn't. Good, live arm, and he did improve from his first outing. Got to within two outs of having a chance at his first big league win, but after walking consecutive batters in the 5th, had to hit the showers. He might get one more shot at that first win four or five days from now.

There was a Garret Anderson sighting last night. Finally. GA singlehandedly carried the offense knocking in five runs, including a 3-run shot, his second homer in two days. Hopefully GA gets it going.

Vlad had a triple-double last night. Make that a triple and a double, and he was robbed on a laser up the middle by Royals second baseman Mark Grudzasomethingorother. All those were hard hit balls to the right side. When Vlad's going good, he hits a lot of balls hard to right field. Watch out.

Howie Kendrick went 3-3 with 2 HR in a rehab start in single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He should be back soon, maybe tonight.

Uh, Casey Kotchman is pretty good. Kotch is batting .333 with 6 HR and 21 RBI and is leading the majors with a .545 average off of lefties....545. That's pretty good.

Posted on: April 18, 2008 1:10 pm
 

Pop the Champagne!!!

The Halos have defeated the mighty Royals...finally.

OK, so a little over the top, but geez that streak was getting a little long for my taste. The Angels beat the Royals 5-3 last night behind a solid effort from Jon Garland, who ran his record to 2-2. Garret got the big hit, a bases-clearing double in the 3rd inning off Royals starter Brett Tomko and Gary Matthews and Erick Aybar each added an RBI in the 5th. Aybar is swinging a hot bat right now, and after his 2-for-3 last night his average is up to .318. As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, even the outs he's making right now are sharply hit. It's nice to have production up and down the lineup.

Vlad sat out after bruising his finger in game 1 of the series, but he's fine. He probably needed a night off anyways and it was good to get Juan Rivera some at-bats. I expect he'll be back in tonight against the Mariners.

Speaking of the Mariners, they have taken care of the A's the last few nights rather easily and we miss "Prince" Felix in this series. Here are the pitching matchups:

Game 1: Joe Saunders (2-0, 1.27) vs. R.A. Dickey (0-0, 0.00) - Dickey was called up to replace Erik Bedard who is on the DL. Dickey is a knuckleballer, so the Halos need to show some patience.

Game 2: Ervin Santana (2-0, 3.32) vs. Jarrod Washburn (1-2, 3.50)

Game 3: Dustin Moseley (1-1, 7.80) vs. Miguel Batista (1-2, 6.35)

Hopefully we can exact some revenge for the 2 of 3 they took in their home park and do the same here in Anaheim. As always with the M's, it should be a good series.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com