3 up, 3 down: Angels 6, Giants 0
June, 20, 2012
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com
ANAHEIM -- Jered Weaver returned from the disabled list and looked no worse for wear.
The Angels' ace dominated the San Francisco Giants in a 6-0 Angels win Wednesday. Only a tight, precautionary pitch count could knock Weaver out: He exited after six innings of two-hit baseball and throwing 78 pitches.
Weaver spent three weeks on the DL after limping off the mound because of lower-back spasms in his May 28 start here. He is practically unbeatable in Anaheim: Weaver is 5-0 with a 0.70 ERA at Angel Stadium this season.
Still No. 1. Weaver made it look as if he missed four days, not three weeks. Surprisingly, the Angels went 14-7 without Weaver, but make no mistake: They're glad he's back. He's 7-1 with a 2.40 ERA and, even after missing all that time, looks like a candidate to start the All-Star Game again. Some guys filled in capably while he was out, but this is Weaver's pitching staff to lead.
Bottom's up. Seeing Howie Kendrick hammer a ball off the center-field wall and line a double into the alley was as encouraging as anything the Angels saw Wednesday. What offense they've gotten as the team has heated up usually has come from the top of the lineup, with Kendrick and Erick Aybar slumping. On Wednesday, the Nos. 6-9 hitters had five of the seven hits off Ryan Vogelsong and created most of the action.
Late-inning lockdown. Jason Isringhausen just keeps going. He's a totally different guy from the pitcher who used to throw 96 mph with a big curveball, but the salty 39-year old has re-invented himself with a cutter and is proving to be a valuable bullpen piece for the Angels. He pitched a scoreless seventh, which set up Scott Downs and Jordan Walden perfectly for the final two innings.
Might Kendrys has... The Angels designated hitter just didn't look right.. and then he did. Kendrys Morales had one hit in his last 22 at-bats and none in his last 13 before he hit a deep home run to right field to give the Angels an insurance run in the eighth. Morales had struck out in eight of his last 17 at-bats. Considering Mark Trumbo has nine more home runs, he seems like a logical candidate to take over full-time cleanup duties.
Off night. Here's a thought: Will players vote Albert Pujols onto the AL All-Star team so he can compete in his hometown of Kansas City? Pujols' numbers don't jump out as particularly worthy of an All-Star appearance. After going 0-for-4 Wednesday, he's batting .255 with 11 home runs. If he doesn't go to Kansas City, it would be only the third time in his career he has been left out of an All-Star Game.
Sportsmanship? The Giants apparently were a little miffed at Trumbo for his bat flip after hitting his three-run triple Tuesday, so they ... hit two guys not named Trumbo? Who knows, it probably had nothing to do with it, but Torii Hunter looked as if he took a painful shot to the left side from a Vogelsong fastball in the seventh inning. Vogelsong also grazed catcher Bobby Wilson in the fifth.