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The Angels

Posted By Cliff Corcoran On April 26, 2005 @ 10:00 am In Bronx Banter | Comments Disabled

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

2004 Record: 92-70 (.568)
2004 Pythagorean Record: 91-71 (.562)

Manager: Mike Scioscia
General Manager: Bill Stoneman

Ballpark (2004 park factors): Angel Stadium (99/99)

Who’s replacing whom?

Steve Finley replaces Jose Guillen
Orlando Cabrera replaces David Eckstein
Dallas McPherson replaces Troy Glaus
Juan Rivera replaces Tim Salmon (injured)
Lou Merloni replaces Casey Kotchman (minors)
Maicer Izturis replaces Shane Halter and Alfredo Amezaga
Paul Byrd replaces Aaron Sele
Esteban Yan replaces Troy Percival
Jake Woods replaces Ramon Ortiz

Current Roster:

1B – Darin Erstad
2B – Chone Figgins
SS – Orlando Cabrera
3B – Dallas McPherson
C – Jose Molina
RF – Vladimir Guerrero
CF – Steve Finley
LF – Garret Anderson
DH – Jeff DaVanon


R – Juan Rivera (OF)
S – Maicer Izturis (IF)
R – Robb Quinlan (IF)
R – Lou Merloni (IF)
R – Josh Paul (C)


R – Kelvim Escobar
R – Bartolo Colon
L – Jarrod Washburn
R – John Lackey
R – Paul Byrd


R – Francisco Rodriguez
R – Brendan Donnelly
R – Scot Shields
R – Kevin Gregg
R – Esteban Yan
L – Jake Woods


R – Tim Salmon (OF) (60-day)
L – Adam Kennedy (2B)
R – Bengie Molina (C)
R – Matt Hensley
R – Bret Prinz

Typical Line-up

L – Darin Erstad (1B)
S – Jeff DaVanon (DH)
R – Vladimir Guerrero (RF)
L – Garret Anderson (LF)
L – Steve Finley (CF)
R – Orlando Cabrera (SS)
L – Dallas McPherson (3B)
R – Jose Molina (C)
S – Chone Figgins (2B)

A curious observation about current trends in roster construction: as I continue to rail against the Yankees carrying too many pitchers (though I must admit, I haven’t figured out whom they should get rid of), the Angels are the first team the Yankees will play this year that is not carrying twelve pitchers. Every team in the AL East as well as the departing Rangers are carting around 12 hurlers and a four-man bench.

Anyway, Vlad is as Vlad does, but other than a solid performance from Orlando Cabrera and a hot streak from Bengie Molina before he landed on the DL with a quadricep injury, no one is hitting. Things are looking much better on the other side of the ball, however, where Kelvim Escobar returned from the DL (sprained elbow) with six scoreless innings on Sunday and the bullpen has posted a 2.30 ERA. Bartolo Colon, who goes tonight against Carl Pavano, has earned his ace tag thus far with a 2.60 ERA, dominating in his last two starts. It seems likely that Meat will have to keep those Halo bats silent to keep the Yankees in the game tonight, while the Bombers would be well advised to get on the board early.

Tomorrow Mike Mussina opposes lefty Jarrod Washburn, who will get Andy Phillips back in the line-up. Washburn has been alternating good and bad starts and is due for a good one. All four of his starts have been decided by one run with Washburn getting no decisions in each (nine of the Angels’ 19 games have been one-run games, they are 5-4 in those contests). Finally on Thursday, Kevin Brown will attempt to suck less than John Lackey, who sucked least in his most recent start.

Overall, I expect this Angels team to put it together and win the West more comfortably than they did last year, though for the most part they’re no stronger than last year’s team except on the bench. Let’s just hope the Yankees don’t serve as the launching pad.

One year ago, the Yankees, 8-11 after 19 games then as now, welcomed the A’s Three Aces to town as we all covered our heads expecting a beating following a demoralizing three game sweep at home at the hands of the Red Sox. In game one [1], the Yanks got to Tim Hudson in the third, but then fell behind as Mike Mussina was victimized by his defense and Gabe White poured gas on the fire. Trailing 8-4, the Yanks then put together a six run eighth inning against Jim Mecir and Ricardo Rincon, with the big hit being a three-run bases-loaded double off the left field foul line by pinch-hitter Ruben Sierra against Rincon. That hit turned the Yankees’ season around as they went on to rip off eight straight wins, sweeping the Three Aces (the first time anyone had done it since the 2001 Yanks) and playing scorching baseball in May (18-8) and June (19-7; combined .711 winning percentage in the two months) on their way to 101 wins and the AL East title.

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[1] game one: http://cliffordsbrb.blogspot.com/archives/2004_04_25_cliffordsbrb_archive.html#108312981556066749

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