Game 113: Mariners-Angels …
After a long, rough, 4-6 road trip, the Angels return home for a 10-game homestand against the Mariners, Indians and Rays. We use the term “critical” too much in this game, but you can call this stint just that for the Angels, considering they just came off a stretch in which they played 42 of 45 games against above-.500 teams and now play Seattle and Cleveland — two teams with combined 103-122 records — over their next six. Problem: The first contest will pin them against Felix Hernandez, who’s 6-0 with a 1.41 ERA over his last 10 starts. A better-lately Ervin Santana, at least, will be navigating an offense that’s statistically the worst in the American League.
Pitching: RH Hernandez (10-5, 2.63 ERA)
Pitching: RH Santana (5-10, 5.83)E
- Scott Downs (strained left shoulder) continues to long toss without any next-day soreness, but there’s still no telling when he’ll get off a mound again. He hopes it’s within a week, but doesn’t know for sure. As for whether he’s concerned about being the same pitcher upon returning from a shoulder injury: “There’s nothing structurally wrong with the MRI. Now it’s just a matter of getting back out there and doing it — getting off the mound that first time, getting in a game that first time and getting those butterflies out of the way again. I don’t see any reoccurring issues that are going to pop up. As long as I don’t rush it, and try to do anything I’m not supposed to be doing, to get back any faster.”
- Jordan Walden (neck soreness and right biceps strain) is slated to pitch in a rehab assignment for Triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday and Monday, and could rejoin the Angels’ needy bullpen shortly thereafter.
- Bobby Wilson is off Twitter. He’s simply sick and tired of all the vitriol pointed in his direction through the social-networking device. The Angels’ backup catcher tweeted Thursday: I’m done with twitter. Try to be fan friendly and all I get is criticism. I wasn’t blessed with 5 tools. I worked hard to get here. So, @BW46 has been removed.
- The Angels will celebrate the 10th anniversary of their 2002 World Series championship team next week, with several giveaways and events taking place, and most of the team scheduled to be on hand.
- I know it’s been a long time since they played at Angel Stadium, but the Angels have been shutout in each of their last two home games and haven’t scored a run at home over their last 23 innings. That’s tied for the Major League lead, along with the Dodgers (June 28-30) and themselves (May2-5).
Opposing Twitter follow: Greg Johns.