With Tuesday night's rough outing, do the Angels trust Wilson in the playoffs?
It's too early to start thinking about such things, but I'm going to...If the Angels hold on to their division lead, does C.J. Wilson get any starts in the playoffs? I would say no based on how inconsistent he's pitched this year, and I'd hope the club goes with a Weaver-Santiago-Shoemaker 3-man rotation (going R-L-R). What do you think?
While you're pondering, here's today Halolinks:
I've been pretty giddy about the Angels' starting pitchers performance lately, especially the way Shoemaker and Santiago have stepped up their game, but C.J. Buzzkillington's outing last night was a major bummer...dude. Wilson regresses as Angels' 6-game win streak ends - The Orange County Register, "C.J. Wilson’s turnaround turned around. Just when it seemed like Wilson had righted himself from a disappointing couple of months, he tossed out a clunker in the Angels’ 8-3 loss to the Houston Astros on Tuesday night. Wilson (10-9) gave up five runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings, contributing to the end of the Angels’ six-game winning streak." Obviously, the loss isn't completely Wilson's fault -- the offense didn't show up until the game was out of hand: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros - September 2, 2014 - MLB.com LAA Recap, "Manager Mike Scioscia spoke candidly about the importance of Monday's day of rest heading into the stretch run. But instead of looking refreshed, the Angels appeared to be sapped of any momentum gained from last week's rush to the best record in baseball. It took them 6 1/3 innings to even get an earned run off Houston starter Brad Peacock, he of a 5.13 ERA entering the game. To be fair, Peacock had allowed one earned run in three of his previous four starts."
One of you HH followers (sorry, I don't remember who) wrote they were worried the Halos would lose their momentum following the day off, while others, including Scioscia, had hoped the day off would "refresh" the team. This got me curious. During this season, how have the Angels fared following a day off? Doing a little counting, I found that the club is 10-5 following an off-day, so that seems they fall on the refreshed side, but I also wondered, how did the team do prior to an off-day? Since I already had the data in front of me, I added up those dates too. Not much of a difference; they're 9-6 in games preceding a day off.
This is pretty cool, and something I really haven't noticed much of this season...comments from players about other players on the team. I admit, I really haven't been looking, but I do read an awful lot about this team, and can remember only a handful of quotes. Astros win again behind Peacock and Altuve - Yahoo Sports, "''God, he's the best player ever right now,'' Peacock said of Altuve. ''He's unbelievable to watch. He plays hard. He swings the bat really well.'' Altuve, who leads the majors with 193 hits, appreciated the compliment. ''Every time that your teammates give you that support it's going to feel good because you're playing outside not only for the fans, but you're playing for your teammates too,'' Altuve said. ''If they see me that way, I really appreciate it.'' I'm sure I'm making something out of nothing.
Hey Fernando Twisticap, how's that bow and arrow schtick going? Thanks for almost making yesterday a complete loss for us Angels' fans: MLB Recap - Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics - Sep 02, 2014 - CBSSports.com, "Seattle closer Fernando Rodney took over with a 6-3 lead and retired the first two batters. He then gave up consecutive doubles to Derek Norris and pinch-hitters Brandon Moss and Sam Fuld before retiring Josh Reddick on a grounder for his 40th save." The game ended with a score of 6-5, while Oakland had the tying run on second.
Tonight's game isn't "must-win" by any means, but it sure would be nice not to be swept in a mini, 2-game series in Houston. However, even with Jered Weaver taking the hill for the Halos, this could be a tough game: Angels-Astros Preview - Yahoo Sports, "Los Angeles has won 12 of Weaver's last 14 starts with the right-hander going 8-1. Weaver (15-7, 3.57 ERA) earned his third win in a row with Friday's 4-0 victory over Oakland, yielding three hits in seven innings. "He's our guy for a reason," catcher Chris Iannetta told MLB's official website. "He goes out there day in and day out and gives us a chance to win." Weaver has had mixed results in two starts this season against the Astros (60-79). He allowed two hits in his only complete game this year, outdueling McHugh in a 2-1 home victory May 21, and gave up five runs in 5 2-3 innings April 6 in a 7-4 loss in Houston." Houston counters with their own recent ace: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros - September 3, 2014 - MLB.com Preview, "McHugh, who is still a rookie following cups of coffee in 2012 and 2013, has more or less penciled himself into the Astros' 2015 rotation with a 2.99 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 21 starts this season. He has also struck out more than a batter per inning. August treated McHugh especially well. He posted the best ERA (1.91), WHIP (1.14) and strikeout-to-walk rate (5.0) of any of his four full months in the Majors this season. Five of his six outings were quality, including the previous one, a seven-inning, two-run effort against the Rangers."
Don't let the title of this link fool you, this portion of the post is about the Rangers: The Grand Slam: Tigers rally in ninth on J.D. Martinez's three-run homer - Yahoo Sports, "It's nearly impossible to believe now, but on May 1 the Texas Rangers were 15-13 and sitting a comfortable three games behind the Oakland A's for first place in the AL West. They were also one-half game ahead of the Los Angeles Angels for second place, which definitely seems absurd as we study the standings on Sept. 3. After losing 2-1 to the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday, the Rangers fell to 53-85 and remained 30 1/2 games behind those same Angels, who now own the best record in baseball. They also became the first MLB team to be mathematically eliminated from postseason contention."
This is the time of year we get those "feel good" stories about a career minor leaguer finally getting the call to the big leagues. I suppose nine years is a long time to spend chasing your dream: Reinforcements arrive for the Angels - The Orange County Register, "The Angels added infielders C.J. Cron, Luis Jimenez, Shawn O’Malley and Efren Navarro. O’Malley is the only one of the call-ups who has not been in the majors before. "It’s kind of surreal," said O’Malley, 26, who just finished his ninth season in the minors. "I don’t know if its really sunk in yet. It’s been awesome so far. I’ve loved every second of it."
And it's also the time for those "sorry to see you go" moments: Angels Designate Michael Kohn, J.B. Shuck – MLB Trade Rumors, "Meanwhile, the 27-year-old Shuck is out of chances in Los Angeles just one season after receiving 478 plate appearances for the big club. He posted a .293/.331/.366 slash in last year’s audition, but has been much less productive over just 88 plate appearances in 2014. It would not be surprising to see some interest in Shuck from other clubs, however. The controllable outfielder has actually posted his best minor league numbers this year, slashing .320/.382/.446 in 465 plate appearances at Triple-A."
Well, if there's no clear option, then it looks like they're going to have to go with the 5-armed pitcher the next time Richards' rotation spot comes around again: Rasmus earns consideration for another start - angels.com, "Even with their beefed-up relief unit, the Angels don't particularly relish the idea of using so many arms in one game again. Ideally, they'd like to find a pitcher able to give five or six innings, though Scioscia said there's no clear option for such length."
Here's a pretty good Dirk Hayhurst article: I’m Supposed to Pitch? Oh, No! – The Hardball Times, "Out comes my catcher, Josh Bard, to chat with me. I think that may have been the moment when I settled down. It wasn’t because Bard had something useful to say, not by a long shot. Most catchers don’t say anything useful. They just come out and say the obvious, which in that case pissed me off. "Throw strikes," he tells me. Yeah, no kidding. Because I’m trying to throw balls and walk guys and ruin my big league debut. It’s my master plan to ruin my career in record time."
And here's a pretty interesting interview: MLB Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt Sat Down For A Pre-Game Interview, "MLB umpires rarely sit down with the media, however umpire Hunter Wendelstedt gave Todd Kalas a peek into this year's biggest game changer – the instant replay. Instead of being salty that technology was taking part of his job, Wendelstedt praised the positive impacts that instant replay has made on the game."