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Sunday, June 19, 2011
Angels 7, Mets 3: Three Up, Three Down

By Mark Saxon

The Angels are off to another promising start in interleague play, with Sunday's 7-3 win over the New York Mets giving them four wins in their first six games against the National League. The Angels beat a hot team. It was the Mets' first dropped series since late May.

The Good:

.200! Vernon Wells has finally gotten hot, lifting his batting average above the fabled Mendoza line for the first time since Opening Day. Wells went 3-for-4 and blasted his seventh home run to get up to .202. Maybe this will help him relax and let his talents take over.

The big bat. So far, Tyler Chatwood is having a good time in interleague play. He has beaten both the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets and, best of all, he got a hit. The veteran Angels pitchers might never live this one down. Chatwood has an edge: He was in high school just a few years ago and hasn't had time to forget how to hit.

Mathis homers! Jeff Mathis hit a home run on Opening Day (his birthday) and he hit one in the Angels' 73rd game. Expect one more on about Aug. 31.

The Bad:

The mushy middle. The Angels have tried just about every reliever their Triple-A team can offer and none of them has done enough to stick. The latest to get a look, Bobby Cassevah, had a rough go of things trying to mop up for Chatwood and now has an 8.10 ERA to show for it. Relievers have a hard time overcoming one bad outing, both in terms of their ERAs and in the eyes of management.

Timing? Are the Angels running into the Florida Marlins, their next opponent, at the perfect time or the worst? Florida has lost 10 in a row and 18 of its last 19, but just accepted the resignation of manager Edwin Rodriguez. Sometimes, teams respond to manager switches in mid-season.

Senior circuit. The Angels make it look like the Babe Ruth League. Since 2007, they've gone 53-25 vs. the National League, the best interleague record in that span of any team.