It didn’t work out for Jordan, but if this O.C. resident can hit the curveball…
While their neighbors to the north were dropping two of three to a team that had lost 11 of its last 13, Your Los Angeles Angels Of Wherever are living out their own less gloomy version of June Gloom.¬† They may not be playing particularly well at the moment, but the beauty of being in the only division more hideous than the NL West is that the Halos could lose nine of 11 and still find themselves only three games out of first place.
Now if they could just work out this hitting thing…
First the good news:¬† Howie Kendrick is back in the saddle after a couple weeks on the DL.¬† Bobby Abreu’s hitting .347 in June. Since his return from the DL, Vernon Wells is hitting all of .268 with three bombs in 11 games.¬† That doesn’t sound like much until you remember he was at .183 when he got hurt.
The bad news?¬† Say it with us: everything else!¬† Among the lowlights, Torii Hunter continues to unimprove – he’s down to .188 in June with four extra base hits, all doubles, and 13 whiffs in 16 games.¬† The current left side of the infield – Eric Aybar and Maicer Izturis – have okay batting averages, but bring little else to the table. ¬† The Kiddie Corps – Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo, and Hank Conger – have leveled off at below average levels.
Just to make things a little more fun, Team Red has six more roadies against NL teams this week, meaning six more games where Mike Scioscia gets to decide whether to sit his hottest hitter, Abreu, or his defensive stud, Bourjos.¬† Fun.
Okay, a brief mention of the good news: the pitching’s still pretty excellent behind the Orange Curtain.¬† Jered Weaver’s come out of what passes for a slump in his world, and has a 1.36 ERA over his last five starts, with the bad guys hitting all of .167 against him.¬† Oh, and he’s 2-0 in those five games, which tells you all you need to know about the Halo hitting.
The only starter with an ERA over four is Ervin Santana; he’s at 4.25…with a 3-7 record, which also tells you all you need to know about Halo hitting.¬† Jordan Walden’s converted 16 of 19 save opportunities, and the rest of the pen has been solid.
So, whither the Halos?¬† Well, in the optimistic news, you have to think that Wells and Hunter will catch fire at some point, and they’re due to really catch fire.¬† Combine that with Abreu and Kendrick, and that’s a pretty good core to go with all that pitching.
And now, for two pieces of really good news:¬† (1) the Texas Rangers haven’t exactly mounted that big run we expected – they’re all of three games over .500, and (2) this week’s six roadies against the National League?¬† The first three are in Miami, where the Marlins are in a little slump, losing 18 of 19 since the calendar hit June.¬† You read that right – they’re 1-18 this month.
The other three games are right here in SoCal against the Dodgers.¬† One look into the opposing dugout should make it clear to the Angels that things could be worse.¬† Lots worse.
At least no one’s wondering whether their owner can make the payroll.