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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hey, Let's All Gather Round The Dumpster Fire-I Mean The Los Angeles Angels In 2013

The Angels are proof that you can spend a shit ton of money in MLB and assemble an All-Star lineup yet come nowhere close to being .500. Every time you see Los Angeles (haha them or the Dodgers) you think "hey, they'll turn it around at some point." This weekend at Fenway Park is a statement that no, they probably won't.

The teams split a day-night doubleheader yesterday (after Friday's game was rained out) but Boston (39-25 overall, 21-14 home) beat Los Angeles (27-36 overall, 12-18 away) 10-5 this afternoon. With the win, the Red Sox moved a season-high 14 games over .500, improved to an MLB-best 13-6 in day games and 13-6-2 in all series. Oh and they have the best record in the American League.

I'm not saying it's all Angels manager Mike Scioscia's fault since by and large, I think that baseball managers are mostly useless but after 14 years in charge (longest tenured in MLB), hey maybe it's time for a new voice. Just a thought.

Whatever is going on with the Angels, it's clear that this current group isn't working. They missed the playoffs last season and at this pace, they look like they'll out of contention by the All-Star break this year. Explain to me how that's possible with Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo, Howie Kendrick, Jered Weaver, etc on your club. Weird.

Anywho, Boston took the rubber game by smashing four home runs. Pujols (.241) showed that he's not completely washed up with a solo shot to right center in the first inning but Joe Blanton (1-10) was given the task of winning a game. Haha yeah good luck with that. In five innings of batting practice, he allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits with six strikeouts and a walk. He allowed three of the four homers by the Red Sox.

Daniel Nava tied it with an RBI single in the third then David Ortiz crushed a three-run bomb, his 13th of the season, to right center that gave Boston a 4-1 lead it wouldn't relinquish.

Ryan Dempster (4-6) got the ball for Boston and he did enough: six innings, three earned runs, six hits, six strikeouts and two walks. He notched his 2000th career strikeout (which I never would have guessed), only the second Canadian to have done that in MLB (what up Ferguson Jenkins?). If there's one thing that Dempster loves more than strikeouts, it's solo homers. He gave up another one, this time to Alberto Callaspo in the fourth.

Jacoby Ellsbury (walk, run, stolen base) answered with an RBI triple (his sixth of the season) in home half of the fourth. Mark Trumbo (2 hits, 2 walks) had an RBI single in the fifth but that's all the Angels would get until garbage time in the eighth.

Blanton gave up back-to-back solo homers to Mike Carp (6th of the season) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (8th of the season) in the sixth. Salty added a two-run bomb in the seventh.

J.B. Shuck-the guy with one of the best names in MLB had a two-run single in the eighth for Los Angeles. What a waste of Mike Trout's (3 for 5 with 2 doubles, run) many talents.

Boston finished 4-2 on this homestand vs. Rangers and Angels with two more series victories against AL West opponents. Looking ahead, their next 14 games are no joke: three at Tampa Bay (34-28, 4th in AL East), four at Baltimore (35-28, 3rd in AL East) then three at Fenway vs. Rays and four in Detroit. Ouch babe.

The Red Sox are 5-1 against the Rays this season but I don't really expect that to stay so one-sided. Tomorrow night (7:10, NESN), John Lackey (3-5) faces Alex Cobb (6-2)-Tampa Bay's next great young pitcher. On Tuesday (7:10, NESN) Jon Lester (6-2) faces the artist formerly known as Fausto Carmona (now Roberto Hernandez who is 3-6) and Wednesday (7:10, NESN) is Clay Buchholz's spot in the rotation but at the moment he's TBD vs. rookie Chris Archer (1-1).

UPDATE 6/10: Will Middlebrooks was recalled from Pawtucket and Pedro Ciriaco was designated for assignment.

Franklin Morales will start on Wednesday for the Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay. Buchholz is supposedly questionable for a start on Friday which doesn't sound very promising.

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