Results tagged ‘ Ernesto Frieri ’

A Perfect Sweep, Not so Perfect Team

I think the World Cup has everybody distracted, at least that’s my case; but now I’m back and ready to talk about baseball again. The Angels are coming off a perfect home stand with a sweep of the Rangers and a sweep of the Twins. The Angels themselves have been far from perfect. They have lost nine games when leading in the seventh inning or later, as well as 12 blown saves this season so far.

The Angels traded Ernesto Frieri to the Pirates for Jason Grilli in order to try to address the bullpen issues. I myself wasn’t ready to give up on Ernesto, yes he has been responsible for some of the blown saves this season, however, he still seem to do well if he pitched as middle reliever with less pressure he seemed to perform better. I haven’t seen Jason pitch so I can’t comment on him just yet. But I’m sure either way I will reflect on him when the time is appropriate.

Ernesto is no worse than Francisco Rodriguez was when he was a closer. Both men are unpredictable and both men seem to do better as middle relievers. The Halos Would have been better served to wait a little bit more for Ernesto to come around just as they did for Rodriguez a few years ago.

The Angels might not be perfect just yet, however they have been getting better with the passage of each game. They may have some flaws, but the positives cannot be overlooked. They have an identical record to the Oakland A’s of 7-3 over the last 10 games, and are currently only 4 1/2 back. If they can to shore up the bullpen issues, they will be just fine.

-ICE

The Angels Are Reaching for the Stars

Once again I find myself apologizing for the short hiatus, life happens. I wish I could eat, drink, and breathe baseball every day if I could only be so lucky.

First and foremost, and let’s make a quick comment regarding the Freeway Series the Angels took four out of six games for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and head into the All-Star break 10 games over .500.

Mark Trumbo is hitting with the media has dubbed “Trumbombs” with regularity. His performance in tonight’s Home Run Derby could be a sign of things to come. The Angels sent four All-Stars to the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Jared Weaver, Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout, C. J. Wilson and were very close to sending a fifth, Angels’ closer Ernesto Frieri.

The second half of the season should be fun, the Angels are only four games behind the Texas Rangers at the All-Star break. They show no signs of letting up. It should be a lot of fun. Go Angels!

-ICE

The Halos Are Riding up and down Interstate 5 on a TNT Hunting Machine

What do you get when you combine “The Machine”, Trumbo, Trout “TNT”, and Hunter? You get a TNT hunting machine. That’s what I would call the awakening of the Angels’ offense. The Halos have been riding high on the combination of these players the Angels continued their dominance of interleague play by using this combined machine to hunt down the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday, 3-2 pulling ahead because of smart baserunning by Mike Trout and a key hit courtesy of Albert Pujols. As a result the Angels are now only 2 1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers for first place in the American League West.

The aforementioned players have been key to the Angels’ success Mike Trout was involved in every aspect of the Angels’ ability to score yesterday whether it was his ability to drive in runs or whether he himself was on the base paths. He is an impact player on this team, add to that the combination of both the top and the middle of this lineup; and one has an unstoppable offensive combination when they are clicking on all cylinders.

The Dodgers had no answer for “Ernasty” who shut down the “Big Blue wrecking crew” in the bottom of the ninth inning to earn his fifth save as a member of the Angels. I absolutely love the Freeway Series and interleague play. I especially am enjoying it this year since this is the last year of true interleague play. When thinking of TNT (Trumbo and Trout) I can’t help but think of the line from “TNT” by one of my favorite bands AC/DC; “TNT I’m (the Angels are) a power load watch me (them) explode!”

-ICE

A Trip Back in Time to the Wild, Wild, West, Can “Yu” Handle It?

Let’s close our collective eyes for a moment and travel back in time to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the desk is settling into place as it cradles the infant evening and puts the sun to sleep with a lullaby eerily reminiscent to that of the theme from the good, the bad, and the ugly. A showdown is about to happen, between the misunderstood yet respected outlaws with a halo and the supposed law men who call themselves the Texas Rangers. Indeed it is the wild, wild, west. However, instead of gun belts imagine that it is A weapon called A pitcher’s arm throwing bullets or in this case, baseballs at nearly 100 miles per hour.

Now imagine both C. J. Wilson and Yu Darvish who are both noted gunslingers in their own right, adjusting the brim of their hat squinting their eyes both cautious yet conscious not to be the one to make the first mistake; if they do it could prove to be lethal for their entire team. As they concentrate on the task in hand; and nothing more, ignoring the wind’s tired whistle of loneliness and despair. They both know that a mistake could bring the roar of the thunder stick and a flash of lightning that sends one of these bullets out of the ballpark and can very well send their entire team to an early grave, with no one to mourn them. The inscription on the tombstone reading: “Here lies the Texas Rangers who were unable to defeat the young upstart outlaws called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who carried a halo and the blessing of God, because of this; the Rangers were unable to repeat as American League West Champions.”

This is the imagery that the beautiful game of baseball brings me, especially in the American League West during an important series or a postseason matchup. Both teams are immensely talented. The Angels are now only 4 1/2 games back of the Rangers, and I strongly believe that the showdown will continue until the last day of the season. That’s what makes these head-to-head matchups that much more important; not only for positioning in the standings, but also to get an upper hand on the psychological warfare that these two teams put each other through.

The American League West has always had an aura akin to that of the Wild West, whether it’s with the Rangers or the battles that the Angels had with the Oakland Athletics nearly a decade ago. Both the A’s and Angels seemed to trade punches, much like the Angels in the Rangers do now with the glaring difference that both the Angels and the Rangers have never had this much talent and firepower at their disposal at the exact same time. The Rangers seem to do it with cunning and experience, after all they have made two World Series appearances in a row, both losing efforts, yet coming as close as one can to winning without winning, being one strike away.

The Angels also have the experience but they have the added bonus of youth, the young guns that rowdy outlaws need in Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, and Ernesto Frieri or as I like to call him “Ernasty” because of the filthy pitches he can throw at times.

The smell of burnt leather and burnt wood is in the air, Angel Stadium will be the site of this latest showdown, when the smoke clears and the dust settles a halo will shine brightly and above any Texas Rangers ‘remnants that is left. Man, I love the Angels! I also love baseball! Enjoy the showdown in Anaheim.

-ICE

 

The Halo Has Risen: How the American League West Will Be Won

Eight in a row; which includes wins against the A’s, a sweep of the Mariners and a potential sweep against the Yankees depending on what happens tonight. I am not naive enough to say that it’s because of the firing of Mickey Hatcher, this is what we expected from the Halos from the beginning. The Angels’ offense has been on fire especially Mark Trumbo, “The Prince Fish” Mike Trout, Albert Pujols. The bullpen has been fortified since the acquisition of “Ernasty” Ernesto Frieri who has been on fire. The Angels are only 5 1/2 games back of the Texas Rangers who have been rumored to have signed Roy Oswalt.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks between the Angels and Rangers which are scheduled to meet Friday for a three-game series at Angel Stadium. Will bloggers and sportswriters point to this they series to explain how the American League West was won?

The Angels are hot with one glaring shortcoming, they have lost Jared Weaver for at least the next few weeks, he was put on the 15 day Disabled List with back issues. I think the individual come down to which team can stay healthy for the most part, however I also think that the Angels need to find a way to slow down Josh Hamilton not necessarily by pitching to his weaknesses rather make him uncomfortable, keeping them off balance, and make him adapt to the Angels style of pitching. That’s easier said than done; but I think it’s going to come down to who takes the psychological control of this battle.

It’ll be interesting to see how Oswalt will fit into the Rangers’ rotation will he fortify it or disrupt it? Either way, I believe this is the first piece of the puzzle that will determine how the American League West was won. It will be a combination of a lack of injuries, offensive firepower, defensive prowess, and pitching precision and alternately domination of the psychological game that is baseball.

-ICE

The Sleeping Giant with a Halo Has Awoken

Ladies and gentlemen, the giant silver back gorilla on the back of Albert Pujols has officially left the building! He hit his first Home Run today against the Toronto Blue Jays. This couldn’t have come at a better time, the Texas Rangers have started to hit what appears to be a natural slump. If Pujols can stay on track along with what the media is dubbing to be TNT (Trumbo and Trout) hitting for power the Angels should be just fine. Combine that with the acquisition of Ernesto Frieri who was acquired from the San Diego Padres in exchange for Alexi Amarista and Minor League right handed pitcher, the seven footer Donn Roach.

This is the sleeping giant that the Angels, its fan base, the franchise, and the baseball community was expecting. With the Texas Rangers losing today in a prospective win by the Angels (the game is still in progress with the Angels leading up to this point) the Angels can pull within 6 1/2 games of the Rangers by the end of the day.

The Angels have a road trip coming up against the struggling Minnesota Twins and “the showdown at sundown in Arlington” against the Rangers this upcoming weekend. This series is highlighted by a C. J. Wilson versus Yu Darvish who in twist of irony is facing a very pitcher that he replaced in the Texas rotation. If things go well for the Angels, slice this deficit significantly. The sleeping giant has awakened, the question now becomes can the giant stay awake long enough to win the World Series?

-ICE

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