Results tagged ‘ Indians ’

The Angels Are Singing The Dodger Blues

How blue can you get? The Angels are asking their fans that very question, they are playing with that sweet, yet painful sting of the B.B. King classic.

After a hot start coming out of the All-Star break, the Halos handed over the American League West to the Houston Astros. The Angels have lost five straight, and eight of their last nine. To make matters worse, the Angels lost the first two games of the Freeway Series to the cross-town rival, Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Halos were playing well, both as a team and as individuals. Which is impressive, considering the turmoil that the Angels have gone through with the resignation of their General Manager. This team has shown resilience not only to stay afloat, but take over the American League West, couple that with individual success, specifically the success of Mike Trout, who became the first player in Major League Baseball history to be the most valuable player of an All-Star game in consecutive years.

The Angels didn’t make the big splash during the trade deadline that the fan base was accustomed to in recent years, however, they quietly made moves. The Halos sought to improve themselves and with the acquisitions of David Murphy from the Cleveland Indians, David DeJesus from the Tampa Bay Rays, and Shane Victorino from the Boston Red Sox. These three outfielders were brought aboard to try to negate the disappointing contribution this season by Matt Joyce.

The Angels are not playing as well as it may look, if one looks at the head-to-head record against all the division leaders in the American League, the Astros, the Royals, and the Yankees, the Halos have a record of 5-17 in the head-to-head match ups with the division leaders so far this season.

I will be attending my first Angels road game of the season tomorrow against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium for the first-half finale of the Freeway Series, I am really not interested in how much more blue the Angels can get, rather, I would like to think that tomorrow will be the genesis of the Angels returning to greatness and becoming red-hot again.

-ICE

Rally Monkeys with Halos Are Swinging from Oak Trees, This Time With a Broom

How ironic, in my last entry I wrote about the Angels versus the Athletics and for this entry I will do the same thing. As I mentioned in my last entry, I went home to Southern California to take care of some family matters. As such, I was unable to write any entries when my home because I lack the technology necessary for example the voice recognition software in order for me to type at home. Now, in addition to my desktop I now have a laptop which will allow me to write entries from home whenever I go to see the Angels live. So the amount of time between entries whenever I go home should be minimized.

I think that not being able to write for a few weeks was a blessing in disguise. I went home to see the Angels play the Cleveland Indians; a game in which they lost. The Halos went on to lose the series against the Indians who took two out of three from the Angels. The Angels went on the road only to be swept by the Tampa Bay Rays, and lose two out of three games against the Tigers in Detroit. It was quite a free fall and I honestly thought that although they were not mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, I believed at that point that their poor play created a daunting task that they might not overcome. There were a lot of things on my mind at that point regarding my beloved team. I just could not write my thoughts down.

It was really frustrating not to be one who express myself at that point about this team, but like I said, I think it was a blessing in disguise. Since then the Halos took the three-game series against the Mariners, swept the A’s in Oakland and came back home to sweep the Tigers. After all this, the Angels find themselves only six games behind the Texas Rangers for that division lead and one game out of the American League Wild Card. With a big series starting tonight against the A’s in Anaheim and a big series against the Rangers at home with three games against the Royals in Kansas City sandwiched in between these two big series.

If the Angels can only continue their sweeping ways against Oakland and the Rangers and take two out of three from the Royals the Angels could quite possibly being the mix for the American League West division title again. I am well aware that this is a tall order for the Angels but they have demonstrated especially with their play as of late, that they are quite capable of being the team the Angels’ fan base expected them to be. The Rally Monkey must be wide awake with his broom in hand and continue his sweeping ways in order to help the Angels into the postseason.

-ICE

Rally Monkeys with Halos Are Swinging from Oak Trees

It’s early August and the dog fights are in full swing. Many predicted that the fight would be between the Angels and Rangers. Somehow the Oakland Athletics found a way to crash the party. I can’t really say that’s a bad thing, for Angels’ fans like me Oakland is a big part of the equation. I am actually glad that that they are part of the division battle and hopefully they knock out the Rangers for us. An Angels-A’s battle is more familiar and is much more meaningful for fans at least in California.

Oakland and Anaheim are separated by roughly a little bit more than 400 miles. For the most part of the first decade of the new millennium the Angels and A’s traded division titles. I distinctly remember at least three of the titles that the Angels captured were against the A’s during the last series of the season twice at the Oakland Coliseum and once at Angel Stadium. I recall these instances vividly since I was there for all three.

Believe it or not, the rivalry has its charm. I don’t know of any other team in baseball where you can be a wheelchair user and get field level seats at equal price maybe a bit more than the upper-level seats anywhere around baseball other than the Oakland Coliseum. Since I attended college in the Bay Area I was a regular at the Coliseum when the Angels played the A’s.

I can remember vividly fans coming in their stadium with devil horns and rally monkeys tied to a rope as if hanging from a noose and the fans spinning the monkey around as they exclaimed “Let’s Go Oakland!” The young women showing their Oakland pride by wearing skintight green baby doll tops with a yellow A’s logo that has fake rhinestones glued inside the letter and their hip hugging apple bottom jeans. (What can he say, I’m a guy) although it down inside I wish they were wearing a red top, with a red “A” with a rhinestone halo around it. (A man can dream, can’t he?)

The Angels contingent was usually pretty strong and well represented there is usually plenty of people there who are fellow Angels’ fans to high five. The 400 miles means nothing if someone loves their team that much. Besides, The Bay Area is a beautiful area as well so Angels’ fans get treated to quite an experience when they go to visit Oakland.

I found myself debating whether I should take the 90 mile trip on the Amtrak from the state capitol to Oakland to watch my beloved team now that the games against the A’s means so much, and if I wasn’t going home later this month to see the Angels against the Indians I would probably consider it. Oakland Coliseum, I miss you!

Okay, enough reminiscing, the Angels split the latest series against the Rangers 2-2. They might as well have been exhibition games since the Angels arrived five games back for the division lead, and they left Arlington five games back for the division lead. They then went on to lose two out of three against the Chicago White Sox. All in all, they came out for the onslaught okay, relatively speaking since they only had a net loss of one game, now, the Halos find themselves six games back of the Rangers when it could’ve been much worse.

The offense is fine, yes, it’s the bullpen again, they can’t seem to hold leads late in the game. Yes, one can explain away by using the injury to Scott Downs, one of the two only reliable bullpen members in my opinion in the Angels’ bullpen. the head scratcher is, why not leave Garrett Richards as part of the Angels team so he can help them solidify the bullpen. Even better, leave him in the starting rotation and send struggling pitcher Ervin Santana to the bullpen?

Whether one blames the on the bullpen, or whatever dynamic they choose, I believe the problem is much deeper than that, it’s a problem that the Angels have been facing since 2010; their inability to defeat their division opponents when they should. That’s what makes this series against the Athletics that much more important on the one hand, they need these games to cut significantly into the Rangers’ lead it’s starting to get a little too close for comfort. At the same time they have to hope that some other team defeats the Rangers in order to make this hypothesis feasible.

On the other hand the Angels need to prove themselves that they can defeat division opponents. While at the same time sending the message to this Oakland team that the Halos are not going away anytime soon. It is my humble leave in order to get these two goals are accomplished they must sweep the Oakland Athletics and hope they get some help from other teams in the Rangers’ upcoming series.

Nothing is set in stone and it’s still early enough in the season that things can change in this wonderful division. If anything, this battle serves to put the rest of baseball on notice that the American League West is a pretty tough division. Go Angels!

-ICE

Jared Weaver “Weaves” a No-Hitter

Yesterday morning I was formulating a blog entry that I was supposed to write before last night’s game. I was going to talk about mainly about the perceived turnaround that the Angels have been making, as well as a missed opportunity that I believe the Angels squandered with Jorge Cantú who chose to opt out of his contract because the Angels decided not to use him at the major league level.

However all that went out the window last night because Jared Weaver masterfully orchestrated a no-hitter! The first one at home since the combined no-hitter of Mike Witt and Mark Langston. It is also the second no-hitter in two consecutive years going back to last year when Ervin Santana produced a no-hitter against Cleveland last summer in Cleveland. This time the victim was the Minnesota Twins.

I believe that this one however in my eyes is much more special, for starters Jared Weaver is a local kid. He grew up a Dodgers’ fan went to a local university, he attended Long Beach State, he was also coached by his father during his formative Little League years so it was only fitting that his father, his mother, and his wife were present during this history making event. The no-hitter was in doubt to the very end, until the last fly ball of the ninth inning was caught by Torii Hunter to cement history. It’s a great time to be an Angels’ fan, we recently have hosted an All-Star game, celebrated our 50th anniversary, and now deservedly so we are celebrating a special player in Jared Weaver.

Congratulations to Jared Weaver, his friends and family, and the Angels fan base; together, we witnessed history, for those of you that missed it, I’ve included links to the videos provided courtesy of Major League Baseball and both my Facebook and Twitter feeds, enjoy! Go Angels!

-ICE

No Career Wins in Cleveland, No Problem, No-Hitter for Ervin Santana

It’s great to have something positive to write about, not only is a positive, but also historical. Ervin Santana pitched a no-hitter, the first no-hitter in 21 years for the Angels yesterday, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, the Angels are only two games behind the Texas Rangers. The Angels lead the American League in team ERA. Santana has claimed a spot in already stellar rotation in as it could be seen whether he is able to solidify his position in the rotation.

 

Santana who debuted for the Angels in Cleveland,he has not won Cleveland in his career, making yesterday’s accomplishment that much more astonishing. The strength of rotation is especially important since the Angels are 12th in the American League in runs scored.

 

There’s so much I can say, but sometimes less is more, this is one of those entries that I must step back and Let the annals of history speak for itself, for me, this is another notch in my belt as an Angels fan, I have witnessed my first no-hitter by my favorite team as an adult. That in itself is awesome. Angels’ fans, bask in the moment we have witnessed baseball history.

 

-ICE

The New York Yankees Do Not Fear Any Major League Baseball Team… Well, Except the Angels

The Angels continued their winning ways against the New York Yankees beating them on Friday three runs to two. Jared Weaver had a stellar performance, and the Yankees can’t seem to find a way to beat the Angels. The Angels are the only team in Major League Baseball to hold an all-time winning record against the Yankees, and for some reason the Angels always seem to do well against them. I sincerely hope that we continue to do so, however, the Angels should not define their season on whether or not they were able to beat what some people refer to as “the evil empire.” Saturday night the Angels were edged three runs to two on, Sunday they were beaten five runs to three.


Although the Angels have a stellar rotation with pitchers like Jared Weaver, Dan Haren, Joel Piñeiro, among others is currently in the top four rotations in baseball when it comes to team earned run average, I’m a little concerned about various aspects of the offense such as taken advantage of game situations which are in the Halos’ favor more specifically their inability to score runs when given the opportunity. In Friday night’s game alone they left 15 men on base. That just will not get the job done. Base running mistakes are creating unnecessary outs. Another key aspect is situational hitting. The Angels seem to have forgotten what that is, a good example of this would be the last few at-bats of Torii Hunter over the last couple of games. I’m not trying to criticize him in fact he is one of my favorite players of all time. However his batting technique definitely needs some tweaking; he needs to shorten his swing a little bit and put the ball into play and trust his teammates to bring him in. Instead, over the last few games he has tried to put the Angels ahead by attempting to hit the ball using a Home Run swing, opposing pitchers now adapt to this swing of his and are now by starting to throw unhittable balls.

 

 I just wanted to highlight as what I as an Angels’ fan can be corrected rather quickly, in order to keep us from falling further behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West. When the series started with the New York Yankees, the Angels were only 1  1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers we have now fallen to 4 1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers. I would definitely consider this a mini free fall, but it is one that can be stopped relatively easily.

 

In my 29 years as an Angels’ fan, this year I attended my first Boston Red Sox game,  and my first New York Yankees game ever. I have already described the Boston experience in an earlier entry, now it’s the Yankees turn.

 

Unlike the Red Sox series, the Yankees series felt like a true home game which is the way it should feel when you’re home. I didn’t feel outnumbered this time. It was more like both teams were evenly represented and equally as loud. But just as I mentioned in the Red Sox series, I can’t help but wonder who truly has a connection to the New York area. I met Derek, who actually is from the Bronx and cheers for his team with a passion. He is a transplanted Yankee fan, who works in Southern California. He was a very nice man and I must say that I had a lot of fun meeting him.

 


Overall, I must say the Yankees’ game made me yearn for the start of the second half of Inter-League Play, especially when the Angels play against the cross town Los Angeles Dodgers. I definitely plan to go to a Angels-Yankees series again very soon.

 

This was definitely a tough series against the New York Yankees especially since the Cleveland Indians were unable to keep the Texas Rangers from exploding and opening a wider lead in the division. Where were the impressive, unstoppable, Indians this past series with the Rangers?

 

 That’s the beauty of baseball, the Angels will have to take the attitude of an old adage, “if you want something done, you have to do it yourself.” Go Angels!


-ICE

One Angels’ Ace in Search of 29 Other “Lost Souls”

For those of you that are familiar with my MLB blogs in the past, you may remember my list of “lost souls”, which was a creative and fun way to refer to those that were not necessarily Angels’ fans but were just as diehard for their respective teams as I am about the Angels. For those of you that may remember my past blogs I haven’t been able to logon to this site in a little under a year, now with the move to WordPress, I’m glad to say that that issue is resolved. However I lost my original list of lost souls. With the exception of the rays’ renegade and the original Washington Senators fan who represents the Texas Rangers, I am still looking for 28 other lost souls to be part of my main list. Especially since the MLB blogs main page doesn’t exist anymore; I would like these bloggers to be active, passionate fans who I can get my non-Angel information from. If you are interested please reply with your blog location the team you blog for, and a little information about yourself, I would look over your blog. And add you to my list.

 

Thank you,

-ICE

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