Monday, June 20, 2011
Angels 2, Marlins 1: Three Up, Three Down
By Mark Saxon
The Angels continued to tear through the National League, beating the Florida Marlins 2-1 behind another dominant performance from ace Jered Weaver (9-4) Monday night. The Angels have now won five of their seven interleague games this season.
Hard work. Weaver looks like a leading contender to start the All-Star game for the American League next month, but things haven't been coming easy for him lately. He had to throw 121 pitches to get through seven innings Monday night. He's getting used to heavy workloads. Weaver has thrown more than 120 pitches in four of his last five starts.
The spark. Setting the table generally hasn't been a problem this year. Part of the reason for that is Maicer Izturis, who has given the Angels stability at the top of the order. He had three hits in four at-bats and scored the winning run. He and Erick Aybar played a nice two-man game in that eighth-inning hit-and-run. Izturis' jump created a hole on the right side and Aybar bounced it through to put the go-ahead run at third with one out. Torii Hunter pulled the ball, but Izturis was off with contact and scored easily.
Kid closer. Jordan Walden hasn't been perfect this year, but he's generally done an awfully good job in his first season as the closer. Walden has saved nine straight chances and hasn't blown a save since May 16. With his wicked slider and 100-mph fastball, he's got the tools for the job. His confidence seems to be catching up.
Weather. The Angels have walked into ugly weather all over the country. Monday's game was delayed nearly two hours by rain. It was the Angels' eighth rain delay this year. Add them all up and that's nearly 10 hours of waiting around.
Opportunity. Obscured by a few good at-bats and Weaver's outing: more poor situational hitting and general futility. The Angels were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and somehow squeezed just two runs out of 11 hits. They didn't draw a single walk.
Miami baseball. The Marlins are building a pretty cool ballpark where the Orange Bowl used to be, but they don't exactly have a lot of momentum going to open the new building right now. They're 1-19 in June and their stadium was barely one-third full Monday night.