Los Angeles Angels: Florida Marlins

Marlins 5, Angels 2: Three Up, Three Down

June, 21, 2011
6/21/11
7:56
PM PT
The Angels continue to find new offensive lows, and the Florida Marlins now have two wins this month.

The Angels somehow managed to pick up 15 hits while scoring only two runs (one unearned), allowing the Marlins to end an 11-game losing streak with a 5-2 win in South Florida on Tuesday night. Florida was 1-19 in June entering Tuesday's game.

The Good:

Ervin Santana. He took a spin on the low-run-support express that so many of the other Angels starters have ridden this season. Santana (3-8) seemed to find his groove as the evening progressed, striking out six batters in five innings. The short night had more to do with National League baseball -- Mike Scioscia pinch-hit for him in the sixth -- than it did with how he was throwing at the time.

Torii. The Angels have three RBIs in this series, all Torii Hunter's. They need him to produce runs and, while he hasn't exactly been blistering the ball, he's getting that done.

Jack McKeon. You've got to be around the guy -- or at least watch his news conferences -- a few times to get a sense for what a character he is. The 80-year-old got his first win in his second stint on the Marlins' bench. Who knows, maybe he'll take them to the World Series this time, too. Probably not, though.

The Bad:


Runners on. When hitters see base runners in front of them, the Angels seem to freeze. Tuesday night they went 1-for-15 with men in scoring position. They stranded 13 runners. In two games in Florida, the Angels are 2-for-26 with runners in scoring position. That's not very good, right?

Russell's muscles. Russell Branyan basically does one thing that teams really like. He hits home runs. But thus far with the Angels, he has six hits and all of them are singles. Since they're not paying him much, the Angels might give him a little more time to find his swing, but their patience might be wearing thin with Branyan batting .188.

Doubling up. The Angels have had a pretty good trip (5-3) playing against some mediocre teams, but they're setting a blistering pace in one regard. The Angels have hit into 11 double plays in the eight games and lead the majors with 75 on the season.

Angels 2, Marlins 1: Three Up, Three Down

June, 20, 2011
6/20/11
9:09
PM PT
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.

The Good:

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.

The Bad:

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.

Angels 7, Mets 3: Three Up, Three Down

June, 19, 2011
6/19/11
2:27
PM PT
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.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jered Weaver
WINS ERA SO IP
18 3.59 169 213
OTHER LEADERS
BAH. Kendrick .293
HRM. Trout 36
RBIM. Trout 111
RM. Trout 115
OPSM. Trout .939
ERAG. Richards 2.61
SOJ. Weaver 169