Game 59: Cubs-Angels …

Just before Thursday’s off-day, and an ensuing six-game road trip through Boston and Baltimore, the Angels — fresh off being swept in a four-game series by the Astros — will host a two-game series against the Cubs, who are making their second ever visit to Angel Stadium and first since 2004.

About a month ago, I identified this as a crucial 29-game stretch, with only seven games (vs. the Royals) coming against teams that were sub-.500 at the time. The Angels are currently 14-13 in that stretch, which ends once they arrive in Boston. Not bad, but certainly not what they needed after the slow start.

“What we need to do is get into our game,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think that our guys, as we were talking a week ago, we had a lot of things moving forward that were important to us, and some of them just evaporated for us. We need to get back in our game, and I think that everybody in the clubhouse is on board with that. We know what we have to do on the field, and we know what we have to execute. We just have to do a little better job of it.”

Lineups …

Cubs (23-32)

CHCDavid DeJesus, CF
Carlos Villanueva, 3B
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Alfonso Soriano, DH
Nate Schierholtz, RF
Ryan Sweeney, LF
Starlin Castro, SS
Welington Castillo, C
Darwin Barney, 2B

Angels (25-33)

CALErick Aybar, SS
Mike Trout, CF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Mark Trumbo, DH
Josh Hamilton, RF
Howie Kendrick
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
J.B. Shuck, LF

SP: Jered Weaver (1-1, 3.71 ERA)

  • Hamilton — who drew a ninth-inning, pinch-hit walk despite falling behind 0-2 last night — came out for early batting practice on Tuesday. He talked yesterday about getting back to his pregame routine from 2010.
  • Asked if starting Pujols at first base today was because he felt good or simply becuase he needs to stay acclimated with the position, Scioscia said: “I think it’s both. We’re using the DH with Albert both for preventative measures, and also if it’s needed where you want to keep him swinging in the batter’s box the way he needs to. There’s also that aspect of when he feels good, you definitely want him playing first base.”
  • Garrett Richards‘ left ankle is feeling better, and he’s available tonight.
  • Angels pitchers haven’t allowed a walk in consecutive games, marking the first time that’s happened since July 2011. Joe Blanton hasn’t issued a walk in his last three starts.
  • Peter Bourjos will DH for Class A Inland Empire tonight and is expected to play center field for them on Wednesday. Scioscia wants him to play in Triple-A before returning to the big leagues.
  • Right-hander Cam Bedrosian (1.80 ERA, .193 BAA), outfielder Zach Borenstein (1.085 OPS, .356 BA) and outfielder Randal Grichuck (.980 FLG %, 46 PO) were named Minor League Pitcher, Player and Defender of the Month, respectively.
  • Weaver is 8-0 with a 1.94 ERA in his last 12 interleague starts.

Alden

1 Comment

Jason Grabowski. He’s hitting .094, for chiessakrs. There’s even a case to be made for sending down Blake DeWitt, now that he’s down to hitting .169 over the last month. The point is, there’s a lot of

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