Tag:Jon Garland
Posted on: May 5, 2008 6:47 pm

Angels - O's Series Wrap

After dropping game one of the three-game set with the Orioles, the Angels stormed back to defend the Big A and took the final two games to win yet another series. Game one was there for the taking too, as we mounted a nice little rally in the 9th, but fell short, as pinch-hitter Juan Rivera popped up with one out and runners on second and third.

Garland twirled a gem, leading the Halos to a win in game 2, 3-1. Garland's last two starts have been his worst and his best. Hopefully he can avoid outings like the meltdown he had against the A's and just be more consistent. I don't expect a ton of 8-inning, lights-out performances like he showed this weekend, either...just to keep us in games, eat innings and give the team a chance to win on most nights.

The Halos took the rubber match by jumping on Orioles starter Steve Trachsel (seriously, how's this guy still pulling a big league paycheck?) and bailing out Joe Sauunders, who struggled through 5 innings, but improved to 6-0 on the season. The offense probably owes Joe a couple as he's needed minimal run support up until this outing. Vladdy got some rest and hopefully he starts to heat up soon as I don't expect Garret to anytime soon. Torii Hunter hit his first bomb since the walk-off granny, this one, an absolute rocket shot over the bullpens in left field, gave the team a nice jolt early in the game after the O's had come out strong themselves. Mathis looked good throwing out Roberts attempting to steal third and then picked him off in the 9th to help seal a win in a tight game.

Off on another roadie, this time to Kansas City and then to Tampa Bay, to visit our old friend Joe Maddon, who's got a nice young team and should pose a tough challenge.

Posted on: April 21, 2008 6:42 pm

Early Season Test for the Halos

Not that the Angels schedule so far has been easy, but it is about to get much tougher as they embark on a roadie that has them playing three in Fenway against the scorching hot Red Sox and three in Detroit against the resurgent Tigers, who are starting to hit the ball.

I think this is a nice test to see where we stand right now while putting our somewhat depleted team up against some of the best the AL has to offer. We have obviously had our troubles at Fenway, so I'm just hoping to get one game there and then maybe steal two in Detroit if we get a couple quality starts (I haven't really checked the pitching matchups yet). All in all, I'd be happy with a 3-3 trip.

Just want to see the club play some good baseball...and see how Hunter and Garland repsond to helping their new team beat our nemesis...the hated Red Sox. Should be interesting.

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.

Posted on: April 17, 2008 1:50 pm

Royal pain in the butt

That road trip to Boston and Detroit is looking pretty inviting right about now. Seriously, anyone but the Royals...they own us. Last night's 3-2 win ran their streak to six in-a-row over the Halos dating back to last season. They beat Jered Weaver with a few well-placed singles and an error, commited by Weaver himself, that allowed the third and deciding run. Gil Meche seems to own us as well, as he picked up the victory to run his career record versus the Angels to 7-2.

I do own Meche in a fantasy league, so the game was bitter-sweet for me, although I am NOT one of those guys who roots for his fantasy players when they're playing my team. Real baseball always trumps fantasy baseball, and if you don't agree, you're not a real fan.

*steps off soapbox*

Some positives from the game:

  • Weaver again battled and kept us in a ball game without his best stuff. This seems to be a recurring theme for him. Just waiting for his "best stuff" or at least some "better stuff" to appear, because he'll need it for his next start in Boston.
  • Casey Kotchman is turning into a professional hitter. That little inside-out single to left to drive in our only two runs was Gwynn-esque. Cool stat - Kotch currently has more homeruns (4) than strikeouts (3). Pretty sweet. Also that heads-up double play he turned on that infield pop-up was very nice. ESPN showed him look down the line to check where the batter was. Very heady play.
  • The bullpen was good, especially O'Day, who looks like he's going to be a fixture for the season.
  • Aybar had a nice 0-for-4, if such a thing exists. He hit some absolute tracers to left field that seemed to be Teahen-seeking missles because they ultimately found their way into the Royals' left fielders glove. He's swinging the bat pretty good right now.

Hopefully we can solve the juggernaut that is the Kansas City Royals tonight against Brett Tomko. He's pitched pretty well so far, but c'mon he's Brett Tomko. Jon Garland takes the ball for the Halos looking to rebound from a so-so outing in Seattle.



Posted on: April 13, 2008 3:01 am

Winless in Seattle

Pitching, defense and timely hitting wins ball games, and the Angels haven't done much of any so far in this series in Seattle. Another sub-par pitching performance, this time by Garland, two errors and Raul Freaking Ibanez did in the Halos as they lost to the M's 8-3.

Once again, the Halos hit the ball pretty good, amassing 12 hits, including Casey Kotchman's third homer of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth inning. Problem is, scoring only three runs on those 12 hits isn't very good, ie. "timely." The middle of the order didn't do much of anything tonight, as all the production came from the 6-9 spots in the batting order. Another bright spot besides Kotch's bomb was Howie Kendrick going 3-for-4 after missing a few games with a banged up thumb. Dude can flat-out hit. Aybar also had a nice night with three hits and a run scored.

The pitching continues to be a weak spot for the club. Garland battled for a while without his best stuff (although truthfully, I don't really know what his "best stuff" looks like yet) before the M's scored three times in the fifth, getting two on a Richie Sexson homer. I know our pitching staff isn't anywhere near full strength, but veteran guys like Garland need to step up and give us a chance to win games. The bullpen has been atrocious, except for O'Day, whose been getting the job done. Bulger just isn't a big league pitcher yet, but we don't have a lot of options.

Still no reason to panic. The pitching will get healthy and the bats look pretty good from top to bottom. Tough matchup tomorrow with Bedard going (I think McLaren held him back just to face us), although April is not his best month historically and he has looked farily hittable so far. Hopefully we can avoid the brooms. Saunders on the bump for the Halos...and we need a good outing from the lefty.

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