Former Angels starter Dan Haren certainly doesn't belong among those names and probably doesn't belong in the Dodgers' starting rotation with the way he is pitching.
Haren tries to end his career-worst five-start losing streak in his first appearance on the blue side of this rivalry Wednesday night in Anaheim.
These clubs split contests Monday and Tuesday at Dodger Stadium and now move to Orange County for two more.
The Angels (67-45) have to like their chances of opening a seven-game homestand on a winning note as they face Haren (8-9, 4.76 ERA), who pitched for them between 2010-12 and won both starts against the Dodgers in that period.
The right-hander has posted a 10.03 ERA during his slide. He failed to get through the fifth inning for the third time in four outings Friday, yielding seven runs over 4 1-3 in an 8-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
"I should be pitching better," he said. "I feel bad for the fans. It's the toughest time of my career."
This will be Haren's first look at Puig, who will play in Anaheim for the first time in his career after going 0 for 8 in his first two games against the Angels.
Dodgers fans booed Trout earlier this week and Puig can expect that kind of treatment on the road in this rivalry, especially in the wake of a play in Monday's 5-0 loss. Puig wasn't paying attention after catching a routine fly ball, and a heads-up Pujols tagged up and went to second.
Manager Don Mattingly did his best to put out any fires between Puig and Pujols.
"I'm always going to fight for my guy, but I can see both sides of it," Mattingly said. "There's no reason to stir things up. The guys will take care of it."
Pujols is 4 for 7 against the Dodgers, including a tying homer in the eighth inning Tuesday. He ended a 21-game drought with the 513th of his career.
It didn't stop the Angels from losing 5-4 when third baseman David Freese's throw to the plate was errant, allowing Juan Uribe to score the winning run in the ninth. Uribe also hit a three-run homer in the second as the Dodgers (64-50) won for the 12th straight time with Kershaw starting.
Trout is 3 for 8 in the first two games and hitting .429 during a 20-game interleague hitting streak.
Like Puig, Dodgers RBI leader Adrian Gonzalez is 0 for 8 against the Angels. Matt Kemp is 1 for 7 with four strikeouts and will likely serve as the designated hitter Wednesday.
The Angels will start rookie right-hander Matt Shoemaker (9-3, 4.09), who improved to 4-1 with a 3.29 ERA in his last five outings by surrendering three runs over five innings Friday in a 5-3 victory at Tampa Bay. His ERA is 2.84 at home compared to 6.16 on the road.
Shoemaker will try to become the first Angels rookie to win nine starts since Matt Palmer in 2009.
- Sports & Recreation
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Los Angeles Angels
- Albert Pujols
- Yasiel Puig
- Mike Trout
- Clayton Kershaw