Monday August 15, 2011 3:17 am
Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers push for postseason
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have been a playoff contender for years, and after missing the postseason last year, they’re back in the mix in 2011, trailing the Texas Rangers by four games in the AL West with 41 games left on the schedule, 10 of which are against those same boys from Arlington. They’ll play a four-game series this week and then a three-gamer on the last weekend of the month. Then, and we can only hope the division is still to be decided, the two teams will close out the season with three more games against each other.
Angels fans had high hopes going into the season. Not only did they have a veteran pitching staff that features Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana, they also put together what might be the best outfield in baseball with nine-time Gold Glover Torii Hunter and three-time winner Vernon Wells; both of whom were pushed aside to accommodate the young speedster Peter Bourjos. However, the outfield hasn’t performed quite as expected. Bourjos’ growing pains (and a hamstring injury) have cost the team some runs and Hunter and Wells are both performing way below their career numbers would suggest they should.
In fact, the Angels have some of the worst offensive numbers around. Howie Kendrick has barely made it to 100 hits this season, and he leads the team. They’re scoring less than four runs per game on average, and that can largely be attributed to the fact that only Wells, Mark Trumbo, and Kendrick have a double-digit home run total. If the Angels want to make a postseason run, they’ll need to find some offense in a hurry.
However, the offensive woes have been spelled by the starting pitchers. Weaver is in the running for a Cy Young, Santana has a no-hitter and Haren is pitching above expectations. The back end of the bullpen hasn’t been too bad either. Scott Downs and Jordan Walden have been two of the best eighth and ninth inning guys around. With 10 games left to play against the division leaders, it certainly still is, as they say, “anyone’s ball game.”
- Related Tags:
- cy young, dan haren, ervin santana, howie kendrick, jered weaver, jordan walden, los angeles angels, los angeles angels of anaheim, major league baseball, mark trumbo, mlb, no-hitter, peter bourjos, scott downs, sidefeatured, texas rangers, torii hunter, vernon wells
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