Maniac Ball

Because you have to be a maniac to be an Angels fan


Photo by Nakai Green

Photo by Nakai Green

After ending their homestand with a bang with a walk-off homer from Chris Iannetta, the Angels embark on a three-series road trip. Their first stop is at the Motor City as they visit the Detroit Tigers starting today at 4:08pm PST and ending on Sunday (both Saturday and Sunday’s game start at 10:08am PST). Here’s what to keep an eye on during this series:

Probable Pitching Match-ups:

Fri 4/18 Jered Weaver 0-2 5.79 18.2 17:7 1.13
Drew Smyly 1-0 0.00 6.0 6:1 0.50
Sat 4/19 C.J. Wilson 2-1 3.92 20.2 24:6 1.16
Max Scherzer 0-1 2.70 20.0 25:5 1.05
Sun 4/20 Hector Santiago 0-2 4.96 16.1 13:7 1.47
Rick Porcello 1-1 4.15 13.0 8:2 1.15

Keep An Eye On…

  • Jered Weaver has not looked crisp in any of his starts so far this year. However, the fact that he’s going to be pitching at one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks combined with that the Tigers players have not hit particularly well recently against him is a bit encouraging. We can potentially see Weaver snap out of this funk that he’s been in.
  • Weaver’s counterpart, Drew Smyly, is making his first start of the year after pitching two 3-inning relief appearances. It’s likely that Smyly won’t be pitching past the 5th or 6th inning, which bodes well for the Angels since outside of Smyly, Ian Krol, and Evan Reed, the Tigers’ bullpen has not done well so far.
  • Two-time reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera has not gotten off to a smooth start by any means. He’s had a slashline of .250/.294/.396 and has only hit one home run while drawing only three walks (one of which being an intentional walk). He has not fared too well in recent years against Weaver (.231 in 13 ABs in last 5 years) and Santiago (.200 in 5 ABs in last 5 years), but he has hit well off of Wilson (.308 with one HR in 13 ABs in last 5 years).
  • Speaking of Wilson, along with Cabrera, former Angel Torii Hunter (.310 with one HR in 29 ABs in last 5 years) and everybody’s “favorite” second baseman (and former teammate of Wilson) Ian Kinsler (.444 with one HR in 18 ABs in last 5 years) have all hit well against Wilson. C.J. is coming off of back-to-back splendid outings with two wins to show for it, so he’ll be bringing some good momentum into this start.
  • The Angels will see a couple of familiar faces as they will be reunited with recently-traded infielder Andrew Romine and fan favorite outfielder (and mentor of Mike Trout) Torii Hunter. Sadly, neither one of them has been hitting well so far this year. Romine has one hit in 12 at-bats with his new team and Hunter has gone 3-for-18 since hitting a home run in three-consecutive games against the Baltimore Orioles. We wish both of them well (but not too well against us, of course).
  • Rick Porcello has had a bipolar start to the season so far as his first start went well against the Orioles (6.2 innings pitched while giving up 3 hits and only 1 earned run), but his last start definitely did not go so well against the Padres (6.1 innings pitched while giving up 10 hits and 5 earned runs). With Angels’ hitters having recent success versus him, it could look pretty promising for the Angels.
  • On the flip-side of the optimism against Porcello, Max Scherzer presents a frustrating challenge. The reigning AL Cy Young is sporting an impressive 2.70 ERA and an even-more-impressive 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Though he’s coming off a loss versus the Padres, where he only went five innings and gave up four earned runs, he still struck out 10 batters in those five innings. The Angels will need to jump on him quickly, otherwise he’ll get into a groove and the Angels’ hitting will likely be shut down.
  • Speaking of the Angels’ hitting, coming into today, the team is leading the majors in home runs (24) and is third in the majors in runs scored (83). On the flip-side, Angels’ pitching is 23rd in the majors in ERA (4.31) and have given up the third most home runs in the majors (20).
  • With Hamilton and Calhoun both out for awhile, J.B. Shuck will be getting the full-time nod in left field while left-handed-hitting Brennan Boesch and right-handed-hitting Collin Cowgill will be platooning in right field.

Be sure to check out our Series Recap of the series VS Oakland!!!!!

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Record: 1-2

Runs Scored: 16

Runs Against: 17

After a good series against the Mets, the Angels potentially gave away 2 games in the series from poor bullpen performance. A 1-2 record against a division rival at home doesn’t look great but the fact is they lost the first 2 games in 1 run fashion. Outside of Kole Calhoun’s sprained ankle on Tuesday, the series was an exciting one that was close throughout the games.

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Though there have been many struggles from the bullpen, looking to minor league depth may not be an option at the moment. While the thoughts of seeing such prospects as Mike Morin and R.J. Alvarez may fill Angels fans with anticipation, calling them up too early could hinder their progression. In order to make a more immediate impact of the Angels’ bullpen, a trade or two might be in order.

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Photo by Nakai Green

Photo by Nakai Green

Coming hot on the heels of an offensive explosion in their series finale against the New York Mets, the Angels now face the division rival Oakland Athletics in a three-game home series starting tonight and ending this Wednesday (all three games start at 7:05pm). Here’s what to keep an eye on during this series:

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Record: 2-1


Runs Scored: 25


Runs Against: 13


After splitting the series in Seattle, all eyes were on the lineup to see how the dust would settle after the Angels found out Josh Hamilton would be out for 6-8 weeks. With a couple of extra inning games in the books, the Angels appeared to rebound nicely after losing one of the “Big Three” in the middle of the order.

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Photo by Nakai Green

Photo by Nakai Green

The Angels get their first regular season taste of inter-league play this year, as they host the New York Mets in a three-game series spanning tonight (first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm) through this Sunday (April 13th; first pitch scheduled at 12:35pm). Here’s what to keep an eye on during this series:

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Results: 1-1

Runs Scored: 5

Runs Against: 5

The biggest news to come out of this series was losing Josh Hamilton for an extended period of time but the Angels rebounded nicely in the 2nd game of the series. Going home with a 4-5 record sounds much better than going home 3-6. Albert Pujols stepped up in a big way this series as he chases his 500th home run and helps become the middle of the order hitter this team needs.

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Results: 3-1

Runs Scored: 28

Runs Against: 10

The Angels really came out and played well in this series, which was a must following an abysmal Opening Series against Seattle. Houston gave the Angels fits last year as Houston went 10-9 against the Angels so it was a good sign that the Angels played well. Houston is probably the worst team in baseball so winning 3 of 4 was important for the Angels.

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by Bliss Drive Review