The Angels weren’t exactly ready to let the Mariners sweep the Angels out of town Thursday night. The Halos were backed by a strong effort from Joe Saunders (2-1), going 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 3. Thankfully, the bullpen wouldn’t collapse either, ensuring the Angels of a 5-1 victory. Jose Arredondo needed only 7 pitches to get through 8th inning untouched, and Brian Fuentes would come in in a non-save situation, and close the door on the Mariners in the 9th. The Angels move to 4-5 on the year, whereas the AL West-leading Mariners slip to 7-3.
Also, congratulations to Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners for breaking Isao Harimoto’s record of 3,085 hits by a Japanese player. Ichiro now holds the record of most hits in a career by a Japanese player, and has hit over 200 base knocks in each of his 8 seasons in the MLB (average of 225.63 hits per year!), and holds a career batting average of .331 in his MLB career.
Thoughts on the Game
Of all pitchers, Chris Jakubauskas was shutting the Angels down through the first 5 innings? He allowed 3 hits in 5 innings in his first career MLB start! Sweet lord, if he can shut down the Angels offense, then man, what’s gonna happen when the Angels face legit pitching? Eesh.
I was impressed again the Joe Saunders. Going 7 innings, keeping a good pitch count, and most importantly: 1 run on 3 hits. Wednesday night, the Mariners had 11 runs on 15 hits, last night they’d be limited to 1 run on 4 hits overall. Arredondo continues to look like the future Angels closer, and Fuentes settled down and pitched a good 9th inning.
The offense. Ohhhhhh that dreaded Angels offense. They can’t cash in a run if their life depended on it. Putting up an even 4 runs per game just isn’t going to cut it. Their batting average with runners in scoring position coming in to the game was dead last in the AL at an even .200 mark. But thankfully, after allowing a hit in the 6th inning, the Mariners took out Jakubauskas! Then the hit parade came. The Angels would put up 6 hits in the inning after only having 3 through the previous 5 frames. There was a span of 4 straight at-bats where the Angels had run-scoring base knocks from Mike Napoli, Juan Rivera, Gary Matthews Jr. (who knew) and Maicer Izturis. The 6th would be the only half inning where the Angels would score, but it was more than enough.
Bad news regarding Vladimir Guerrero as he missed the final game against the Mariners, and would travel back to Anaheim to see a team physician regarding his current diagnosis of a right pectoral strain. Vladdy hasn’t been producing like baseball fans know he can, so maybe the best medicine is just some rest, but that’s not good news to a struggling Angel offense. I’ll keep you updated on this.
All Halos except Howie Kendrick and Kendry Morales would have hits in this game. Bobby Abreu would pick up his 6th stolen base of the game as well as 2 hits, upping his average to a team-best .342. Torii Hunter would make it 4 straight games with an extra-base hit (something the Angels haven’t hit many of this season). Joe Saunders would throw 91 pitches through his 7 innings of work, lowering his ERA to 2.18 after 3 starts, going 2-1 in those 3.
Halo of the Game Pick and Review
4/16 Halo of the Game Pick: Howie Kendrick
Stat Line: 0-5, 0 RBI, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB, 2 LOB
Thanks a lot, Howie, way to be “that guy” in the lineup last night. He was “that guy” who didn’t get on base at all in any of his plate appearances (Kendry would go 0-3 but draw 1 walk). So I completely missed on this pick. The first time I pick HK, he hits a home run and has 2 RBI, the next time, he would have been better off not playing. Oh the Angels offense just reeks with inconsistency. And he brings the hitting streak back to 0 after a lovely 8-gamer. Thanks.
Current Halo of the Game Hit Streak: 0
Halo of the Game Season Hitting Statistics:
.297 avg. (11-37), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 6 K, 2 BB, 1 SB
Friday’s Halo of the Game Pick: Kendry Morales
Sorry I didn’t get in to much detail today, but I’ll be back on track after tonight’s contest.
The Halos kick off a 3-game set in Minnesota with Twins starting tonight, with Nick Blackburn going for the Twins, and Dustin Moseley toeing the rubber for the Angels.
Tonight’s game against Minnesota is scheduled for 5:10 Pacific time.