Game 71: Dodgers-Angels …
The scene shifts for the Freeway Series tonight, with the Angels hosting the second leg and looking to build on an 11-4 mark against the crosstown-rival Dodgers over their last 15 games. Mike Scioscia, on the significance of it all: “I don’t think there really is as far as our clubhouse or anybody in their clubhouse, but I do know the media and the fans obviously have more interest in a game because of the geographical rivalry that’s here, with the two teams being so close. But for us, it’s another game. They’re a good team, we have to do things well if we’re going to beat them, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”
Pitching: RH Chad Billingsley (4-5, 3.75 ERA)
Pitching: RH Dan Haren (4-7, 3.96 ERA)
Some pregame notes …
- Jerome Williams (breathing problems) has been medically cleared to do everything, meaning he can begin the process of long-tossing, then getting in bullpen sessions, being stretched out and ultimately returning to the Angels’ pitching staff. Will that be as a starter or a reliever? That remains to be seen. But Scioscia said he’s received no indication from the medical staff that Williams would not be allowed to start.
- Chris Iannetta (wrist surgery and forearm strain) will restart his throwing program Saturday, but is still a ways away from getting in a rehab assignment.
- Scioscia, on how Weaver’s feeling after his Wednesday start: “He feels really good. I think he feels just some normal stiffness you would get from going out there and pitching, nothing connected at all with what put him on the disabled list, so that’s encouraging.”
- Every Angels starter will be on at least six days’ rest coming up, which can be good (it’s a long season) and bad (starters for the most part hate breaking routing). “I think long term it’s a good thing, for guys to maybe catch their breath,” Scioscia said. “Some guys aren’t sharp historically on six days, and some guys are very good on six days. There’s no rhyme or reason or one thing you can point to that’s going to make your staff better, but especially this time of year, these guys have been grinding a lot.”
- Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri have the best combined ERA of any Major League relief tandem, at 0.66 (or four runs in 54 2/3 innings). Minimum for this was 20 innings per player.
- Erick Aybar is on a seven-game hitting streak and is batting .417 over his last 10 games.
Some Angels.com links from Thursday …
- Jean Segura to represent Angels in Futures Game
- Angels Draft pick Michael Roth nearly perfect in CWS win
- Preview, on the Haren-Billingsley matchup
- Blog post on the Angels’ starting-pitching depth
Some AL West links …
- Mike Bauman: Roy Oswalt resuming career on his own terms
- Walk-off homer by Yoenis Cespedes caps A’s win
- The Mariners’ top prospects will pitch in the Futures Game
And in case you missed it, MY HEAT WON THE ‘SHIP!