Results tagged ‘ Athletics ’
- At six hours and 32 minutes, it was the longest game in Angels history, surpassing the six-hour, six-minute game played on April 13, 1982 against the Mariners (20 innings).
- Innings-wise, it was the third-longest in Angels history. The Angels have played 20 innings twice, on the above-mentioned game against Seattle and July 9, 1971, against the A’s. That means two of the three 19-inning games in Angels history have been walk-off losses to the A’s.
- It was the longest MLB game since the Pirates beat the Cardinals, 6-3, in 19 innings on Aug. 19, 2012, in St. Louis; it was the longest AL game since the White Sox beat the Red Sox, 6-5, in 19 innings on July 9, 2006, in Chicago.
- The 18 runs scored were the fourth-most in 19-inning, Major League history.
- The two clubs used a combined 16 pitches (eight each) and threw a combined 597 pitches. The 297 pitches the Angels threw were the most since at least 1988.
- Howie Kendrick and Brendan Harris each went 2-for-9, becoming the second and third Angels players to log nine at-bats in a game. The first was Don Baylor, who went 5-for-9 on 4/13/82. It was the first game since 1993 to have three players (also Jed Lowrie) log nine at-bats in a game.
- Six different Angels pitchers allowed a run for the fifth time in team history, and first time since Sept. 30, 2000.
- Four players (Peter Bourjos, Luis Jimenez, Coco Crisp, Chris Young) exited early with injuries.
- Seven of the Angels’ nine position players went the full 19 innings, including catcher Chris Iannetta, who worked 18 2/3 innings behind the plate. The last American League catchers to be behind the plate for more than 18 innings in a game were A.J. Pierzynski and Jason Varitek in 2006, in a game between the White Sox and Red Sox that ended with one out in the bottom of the 19th.
The Angels’ 19-inning loss last night was a devastating one, but it was also quite memorable. It was the longest game in Angels history — A’s, too — and it witnessed several encouraging performances. Tommy Hanson pitched six innings of two-run ball with a heavy heart, Chris Iannetta squatted for 19 innings behind the plate, Mark Trumbo hit a 475-foot homer that was tied for the longest in the Majors this season, Albert Pujols had four hits, went deep twice and played the field despite having plantar fasciitis on his left foot, and Jerome Williams hurled six innings of one-run ball in relief.
Still, though, the Angels were in no mood to reminisce on Tuesday.
“I don’t feel any nostalgia towards it,” Trumbo said. “It’s all about winning, and we didn’t do it.”
SP: RH Garrett Richards (1-1, 3.65 ERA)
SP: RH Jarrod Parker (0-4, 8.10 ERA)
- The Angels officially placed Peter Bourjos on the disabled list today with a strained left hamstring, activating Aybar. Also, outfielder Scott Cousins had his contract purchased from Triple-A Salt Lake and Michael Roth was sent down. The Angels’ 40-man roster is back at 40, and the Angels are back to the traditional seven relievers and four-man bench — despite the fact seven relievers accounted for 12 2/3 innings the night before. “Really, we’re as banged up on the lineup side,” Mike Scioscia said.
- It looks like only Jerome Williams and Michael Kohn will be unavailable tonight. Ernesto Frieri is good to go, as are Barry Enright, Dane De La Rosa, Nick Maronde and Scott Downs.
- Luis Jimenez‘s bruised left shin is “a little tight,” Scioscia said, but he may be available to play defense. If the Angels get a lead late, don’t be surprised to see him sub in for Harris at third.
- Still no time frame on how long Bourjos’ hamstring will keep him out. Obviously, as a speed guy, he needs that to be 100 percent before returning.
- Ryan Madson is still not throwing.
- Jimenez has some experience in the outfield from winter ball, so that may be an option for him once Alberto Callaspo returns.
Tommy Hanson takes the mound today, in the opener of a three-game series, with a heavy heart, after spending six days on the bereavement list while dealing with the sudden death of his 24-year-old step-brother. The 26-year-old right-hander is happy to be back, joining his teammates and in some ways distracting himself from the sorrow that a loss in the family can cause.
“I think any time you’re doing something you have a passion for and you love, it’s therapeautic for all of us,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Hopefully it’ll help Tommy get through some of the things he’s dealing with in his personal life and come out here and move forward.”
SP: Hanson (2-1, 4.24 ERA)
SP: RH Dan Straily (1-0, 2.70 ERA)
- Erick Aybar (bruised left heel) is slated to play for Triple-A Salt Lake today, while Alberto Callaspo (right calf strain) and Mark Lowe (left neck strain) will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Inland Empire on Tuesday. If all goes well, I’d expect Aybar and Callaspo to both be back for the weekend home series against the Orioles.
- Scioscia said he’d probably hit Aybar lower in the lineup initially, and was non-committal about whether he’d replace Bourjos in the leadoff spot.
- The Angels’ skipper has thought about putting Trumbo in the cleanup spot on a more frequent basis, instead of just against left-handed starters, but prefers to stay with that platoon for now — even though Hamilton continues to struggle and the Angels have seen seven straight right-handed starters (lefty Tommy Milone will start tomorrow).
- The 7 o’clock Angels games on Tuesday and Friday will be broadcast on KCOP.
Perhaps it’s too early for urgency. We are, in fact, just seven games into a 162-game season. But these are the Angels — the much-hyped Angels, with a $150-plus million payroll, tons of stars and the desire (necessity?) to get off to a much better start this year. As one player told me pregame, “We need an easy win today.”
SP: Tommy Milone (1-0, 2.57 ERA)
SP: Joe Blanton (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
- It doesn’t look good for Erick Aybar, who’s out of the lineup one day after exiting the game in the third inning with a left heel contusion. He’s in even more pain today than he was yesterday, and given his overall toughness, that isn’t a good sign. The Angels still haven’t received results of his examinations earlier today, so they’re still treating it as a day to day situation. But he appears headed for the DL.
- Mike Scioscia was asked about last night’s confusion, when he said Sean Burnett couldn’t go more than one inning because of a blister and Burnett said he could and the blister was already gone. The Angels’ skipper got pretty defensive, saying: “We’re totally on the same page. We are absolutely on the same page. I think he was talking about his performance and his pitching … Sean Burnett, part of what came up was he was used a lot in the first week of the season, he pitched a lot of baseball and not wanting to really repeat that I think there are some things you have to really be mindful of.”
- Ryan Madson felt good after his 30-pitch bullpen on Tuesday and will play catch with a softball, because it helps him get on top of the ball.
- Jered Weaver is off the sling and could be playing catch pretty soon. The timeline hasn’t changed, and he’ll still have to build back his length before returning, but it’s good for him to trigger the arm.
- Here’s what Scioscia said about using Harris over Andrew Romine: “Brendan, with his experience, is probably a little stronger in the batter’s box and he played good shortstop in the spring. [Andrew's] a terrific defender. With Milone actually he has that change-up so he is tough on righties, too. We feel good about Brendan, where he is, and he had a good game last night for us.”
- Pujols is at DH to give him a chance to regroup. It’s his third time in four games there.
- The Angels signed first baseman/outfielder Brad Hawpe to a Minor League deal. He’ll report to extended Spring Training in Tempe, Ariz., for four or five days, then head to Triple-A Salt Lake, providing coverage for Kole Calhoun (broken hamate bone).
- Bill Hall, resigned by the club, has already reported to extended spring. He’ll be there a little longer because he barely had a Spring Training while recovering from a quad and calf injury.
Boy, talk about a rough way to start out a home schedule, huh? The Angels started Tuesday with the news that Jered Weaver has a broken left (non-pitching) elbow, leaving them without their ace for the next four to six weeks. Time for the rest of the rotation to pick up the slack; time for the offense to perform as advertised.
SP: RH Jarrod Parker (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
SP: LH C.J. Wilson (0-0, 4.50 ERA)
- Garrett Richards will start Saturday in Weaver’s place, and may get somewhere between four to seven turns through the rotation, depending on where Weaver falls in that four-to-seven-week time frame.
- Weaver thought he had dodged a serious injury when X-rays came back negative in Texas. But a follow-up MRI on Monday left him stunned with the diagnosis: “This is all new to me. I’ve never broken anything before. I didn’t really know how to take the news. It kind of was a shock at first. Now you just have to play the waiting game, I guess.”
- To give them more coverage, the Angels purchased the contract of reliever Dane De La Rosa from Triple-A Salt Lake in a corresponding move on Tuesday. De La Rosa, a 6-foot-7 right-hander who was acquired from the Rays for Steven Geltz on March 27, posted a 2.79 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings for Triple-A Durham last year. To make room for him on the roster, lefty Andrew Taylor (labrum tear) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.”He’s a power arm,” Mike Scioscia said. “He’s a big guy with a power arm and good stuff.”
- The Angels will stay in-house with their rotation depth. “We’re comfortable with our in-house candidates,” Jerry Dipoto said.
- The most important bullpen guy right now? Probably Mark Lowe. He can expect to get in more high-leverage situations now.
- Hamilton, on making his home debut after returning from Texas: “It’s more exciting for me to be here and be ready, as far as a routine for a week or so — same kind of schedule. That’s probably the most exciting thing for me.”
- Pregame festivities for the home opener will include an unfurling of a 300-foot U.S. flag, a condor squadron flyover with six WWII AT-6 Fighters and the first pitch thrown by former Angels great Bobby Knoop.
Come Monday, Jered Weaver will be making his fourth straight Opening Day start, Josh Hamilton‘s reunion tour will begin and the Angels will (once again) try to cash in on the grand expectations they carry into the season.
Before that happens, here’s a station-to-station look at where they stand heading into what should be a very fun 2013 …
Position players: I don’t see a way this team won’t be among the top three in runs scored in the American League this season. From mid-May to the end of the season last year, when Mike Trout arrived in more ways than one and Albert Pujols remembered he’s Albert Freakin’ Pujols, the Angels led the Majors in runs per game. And that was without Hamilton, mind you. The Angels have three dynamic speed guys (Peter Bourjos-Trout-Erick Aybar) and three lethal power hitters (Pujols-Hamilton-Mark Trumbo) all conveniently lining up together. The rest of the guys (Howie Kendrick, Alberto Callaspo, Chris Iannetta) don’t need to be anything more than themselves for the Angels to be an offensive juggernaut. Defensively, Trout-Bourjos-Hamilton could be the best defensive outfield in baseball (which tailors perfectly to their flyball-heavy pitching staff) and the infield is solid at every position.
Starters: Angels starters got their necessary work this spring, but just barely. Spring Training may not teach us much, but it certainly didn’t quell any apprehensions about this rotation. Everyone except the no-walks Joe Blanton struggled at some point, with Weaver, Jason Vargas and Tommy Hanson all bringing temporary concerns that they wouldn’t have enough stamina heading into the regular season. But they do, and most importantly, they’re all healthy. Are they good enough to match one of the best offenses in baseball? No. Will they be adequate enough to eat innings (so the ‘pen doesn’t get worn out) and keep the Angels in games (with the lineup taking care of the rest)? That’s the plan. The key: C.J. Wilson, the $77.5 million No. 2 starter who should be a lot better than his 2012 second half.
Relievers: The Angels are deeper here, with or without Ryan Madson (who is still on track to return in late April or early May, barring another setback). They’ve added arguably the best free-agent lefty available in Sean Burnett, will have a full season of Ernesto Frieri, are banking on Kevin Jepsen‘s last three months being no fluke and, along with Scott Downs, seemingly have four formidable options to protect leads late in games. There’s also the high-upside Garrett Richards, coming off a great spring, the hard-throwing Mark Lowe, who the Angels have targeted since November, and the veteran Jerome Williams. Many will point to last year’s 22 blown saves as the biggest reason the Angels ultimately missed the playoffs, and this year, they’re better in the ‘pen. But that’s on paper. Relievers are a very unpredictable species.
Reserves: If all their everyday players stay healthy, this won’t be much of a factor, particularly in the AL. Chances are, though, injuries will happen. And given that, the Angels took a step back with regards to their bench (though if you’re going to pick one area to downgrade, this would be it). Without Vernon Wells, they don’t have any real power threat in reserve — besides Hank Conger, but he’s the backup catcher — and are pretty darn young. Andrew Romine takes over for the seasoned Maicer Izturis and Conger, awfully talented but coming off a spring soured by throwing woes, has spent most of the last three years in Triple-A. Contact-hitting lefty outfielder J.B. Shuck is the third player on this bench making his first Opening Day roster. The last reserve, veteran infielder Brendan Harris, hasn’t been in the big leagues since 2010.
Depth: The Angels’ farm system is dead last in all of baseball, according to ESPN and Baseball America. But those in the organization will tell you that mostly has to do with pitching; their position-player talent is just fine. Furthermore, the Angels’ front office is confident they’ve built more depth in the upper levels to serve as insurance in 2013. The Triple-A roster has several players with Major League experience, such as Luis Rodriguez, Tommy Field, Scott Cousins, Trent Oeltjen, Chris Snyder (possibly), John Hester, Luke Carlin, Mitch Stetter and Fernando Cabrera. But with Richards’ length shortened in the ‘pen, and Williams’ workload unpredictable as a swing man, where do the Angels turn if something happens to one of their starters? Barry Enright, Billy Buckner, Matt Shoemaker and the young A.J. Schugel figure to make up the Salt Lake Bees’ rotation.
Financials: The Angels’ payroll sits under $150 million, thanks to the Yankees taking on $11.5 million of Wells’ 2013 salary in the recent trade. The deal also bought them some luxury tax flexibility. Prior to the deal, the Angels’ Competitive Balance Tax payroll — which takes into account the average annual value of all 40-man roster salaries, plus benefits and performance bonuses at the end of the season — was $178 million, the threshold at which first-time offenders are taxed 17.5 percent by Major League Baseball. Now, it’s about $172M, giving them some flexibility to take on salary in an in-season trade. Last year, after acquiring Zack Greinke, their CBT payroll was at $178 million, which affected their pursuit of some necessary relief-pitching help.
Underlying theme: Expectations can do some funny things, and it’ll be interesting to see how the magnitude of it all will play into how the Angels go about — and react to — their second year under the microscope. Will it affect them out of the gate? Will it bring turmoil in the clubhouse, especially now that Torii Hunter is gone? Can it cause more tension between Jerry Dipoto and Mike Scioscia, who have their philosophical differences and were at odds at times last season? And what will it lead Arte Moreno to do if they miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season?
In addition to Trumbo at DH, how much time do you think he will get a first base and right field, giving Pujols and Hamilton a day to rest their legs? (Stephen H., San Luis Obispo)
Plenty. And if I had to pin a number on it, I’d say there’s a very good chance — even if everyone stays healthy — that Trumbo spends about half his time playing the field. If he’s hitting, he’ll be in the lineup for all the Angels’ Interleague games. For a good chunk of April, with Pujols in the early stages of his return from offseason knee surgery, he figures to play plenty of first base. With Wells gone, he’s also the fourth outfielder. And fundamentally, with so much money tied to Hamilton and Pujols long-term, Scioscia will get them off their feet as often as necessary now that he has a revolving door at DH (that wasn’t very feasible with Kendrys Morales there last year).
Do you see the day when the Angels move Trout down in the batting order and put Bourjos, if he can cut it, in the leadoff spot? (Albert H., Los Angeles)
I do. Scioscia continues to say Trout profiles better in the middle of the order, the reason being that you want your best hitter to be in as many RBI situations as possible. The makeup of the Angels’ lineup right now — with Pujols, Hamilton and Trumbo in the middle of the order, and no clear solution in the leadoff spot just yet — means Trout is the best fit to bat first. You can argue that the Angels’ everyday lineup doesn’t figure to change much any time soon, with almost everyone in the books long term. But Trout is the kind of player you construct a lineup around, and his bat figures to eventually become too potent to not put in the 3 spot.
Is this the year the Angels finally get back to the playoffs and make a deep run? (Samuel M., Tempe, Ariz.)
Who knows. I do think that, on paper, they are the best team in the AL West and should win the division. Once you get in the playoffs, it’s a crapshoot. The sample size is too small. But 162 games is not a small sample size, and if the Angels stay healthy, there is no excuse for not taking the division crown. The Rangers’ lineup took a step back, replacing Hamilton with Lance Berkman, and the pitching staff won’t have Neftali Feliz, Colby Lewis or Joakim Soria to start the season. The A’s are deep, but will need a lot of guys to over-perform again. It’s nice to see the Mariners spending money, but they still have holes and concerns all over the place. And the Astros are a last-place team. But who am I kidding — predicting a baseball season is a foolish act.
Now, at last, we can see how it all plays out on the field.
If you’re in Arizona and really want a Josh Hamilton autograph this spring, chances are you’ll get one, if you haven’t already.
The Angels’ new right fielder, brought in on a five-year, $125 million deal over the offseason, practically signs for everybody. Last Saturday, shortly after the team’s bus rode out to the A’s complex in Phoenix, Hamilton started signing for fans in the bleachers behind the first-base dugout. Then more and more of them started making their way down the stands, hoping to get an autograph before he decided to leave. Hamilton, out of the starting lineup that day, did the opposite. He pulled up a chair, faced the crowd, sat there and signed until he got every single fan. It took about an hour.
And there’s a reason for that.
To Hamilton, it’s more than a mere autograph.
“The reason I sign is I put scripture on everything,” he said. “I don’t sign because I really enjoy signing. I sign because I want to get the word out, man. Bible verses, and then people ask me to personalize stuff. You write a neat little message to them, a Bible verse, it goes a long way.”
Hamilton’s entire life now revolves around his faith. It’s what helped him through years of drug-and-alcohol abuse, getting him back on track to enjoy the fulfilling life he has today. Hamilton doesn’t take that for granted. And as a famous baseball player, he feels a responsibility to use his fame to touch other peoples’ lives through his faith.
Ridiculous as I may find it, people are sometimes annoyed by athletes who preach their faith (think Tim Tebow). Hamilton wears Christianity on his sleeve, not because he’s trying to push his religion on others but because it’s truly a constant, driving force in his day-to-day life.
Autographs are his way of relaying that in a subtle way.
“I really take it serious as far as that,” he said. “Guys are always like, ‘Why are you signing so much?’ Because I’m spreading the word. What better way to use your platform than to interact with people and share the Gospel with them?”
Thanks to Angels fan Barbara Freeman for passing the picture of the ball along; Hamilton signed that for her 14-year-old niece.
OK, so Sunday’s doubleheader at Rangers Ballpark is really important for the Angels. I mean really important. Like, make-or-break-their-season important. All in one day. The Angels (87-70) enter with a 2 1/2-game deficit of the A’s for the second AL Wild Card spot. After Sunday, they have three regular-season games left in Seattle. The A’s host the Mariners at 1:05 p.m. PT on Sunday, then host the Rangers for three to finish their regular season.
Here’s a look at the scenarios for Sunday …
Angels win both; A’s lose: Angels are one game back.
Angels win both; A’s win: Angels are two games back.
Angels split; A’s lose: Angels are two games back.
Angels split; A’s win: Angels are three games back and the next Angels loss or A’s win eliminates them from postseason contention.
Angels lose both; A’s lose: Angels are three games back, the next Angels loss or A’s win eliminates them, and the Rangers clinch the AL West.
Angels lose both; A’s win: Angels are four games back and thus mathematically eliminated from the postseason.
Perhaps the Angels are, in a very small way, indeed in control of their own destiny. Yeah, they enter today two games back of the final playoff spot, with only nine games left and none of them against the teams ahead of them in the Wild Card race. But if they win out, they would at the very least be guaranteed a tie for the final playoff spot, because the A’s and Rangers play each other six more times (including tonight, in Texas) and the Angels have three remaining against the Rangers. (Thanks to Twitter follower @Monyett88 for passing that along). Now, of course, the likely scenario is that they don’t win out. That would give them a 12-game winning streak to end the season. Their longest winning streak of the year has been eight. So, in the end, they probably will need help. The Angels are 22-8 in their last 30 home games against the Mariners …
Dustin Ackley, 2B
Franklin Gutierrez, CF
Kyle Seager, 3B
John Jaso, DH
Justin Smoak, 1B
Eric Thames, RF
Miguel Olivo, C
Trayvon Robinson, LF
Brendan Ryan, SS
Pitching: RH Erasmo Ramirez (1-2, 3.28 ERA)
Pitching: RH Zack Greinke (5-2, 3.51 ERA)
- Mike Scioscia opted to push Ervin Santana back for a second straight time this week. Dan Haren will pitch Thursday’s series finale, on normal rest, and Santana will pitch at Rangers Ballpark on Saturday, on seven days’ rest. The reason is two-fold: Santana has been pitcher pretty well and is seems he’d prefer to have him face the Rangers’ lineup; the extra rest will come in handy if Santana needs to be available out of the bullpen in the season’s final series.
- Izturis is starting in place of Howie Kendrick against a right-handed starter once again, but Scioscia said it has more to do with today’s pitching match-up and isn’t any sort of long-term plan. “It’s a smaller sample size with this pitcher tonight,” Scioscia said, “but right now it looks like he’s really just doing a good job against righties. He’s pitching well against lefties, but there’s a little bit of a spread there.”
- Asked why it appears Garrett Richards has jumped ex-closer Jordan Walden in the bullpen depth chart, Scioscia said: “In that area that they’re in right now, the depth isn’t as important as just the production. It’s not like you’re going to a guy in the sixth inning or whatever on a nightly basis. We’ve been able to get past that at times. Garrett’s been fresh and has really been bringing some good stuff into games, so he’s getting maybe a couple more of the looks than Jordan does. We definitely need Jordan, he’s got a big arm, and hopefully he’s going to bring that stuff into games that he’s shown he has.”
- The only other active player, besides Pujols, with 10 or more triple-digit RBI seasons is Alex Rodriguez (14).
- Trout is the fourth rookie in history since 1964 to reach 120-plus runs and is two runs shy of matching the Angels’ single-season record of 124 by Vladimir Guerrero in ’04.
- The Angels announced one of their Class A affiliates will no longer reside in Cedar Rapids. For the next two years, it’ll be the Burlington Bees.
Well, here we are. That 15-3 run the Angels went on beginning on Aug. 20 — essentially wasted over the last three nights, with the offense struggling against the young, supremely talented pitching staff of the upstart A’s. Now, with 19 left, they’re 3 1/2 games back of the second Wild Card spot, which is amazingly further back than the Brewers and Phillies are in the National League at this point. Here are the lineups, with a different look against a left-handed starter …
Pitching: LH Brett Anderson (4-0, 0.69 ERA)
Pitching: RH Jered Weaver (16-4, 2.86 ERA)
- Trumbo, as expected, is in the starting lineup, with Kendrys Morales getting that “natural” day off against a left-handed starter. But Trumbo’s struggles don’t warrant placement in the cleanup spot these days, so that means Hunter slides out of the No. 2 spot — a spot that has treated him so well all year — so that Pujols can have some protection. “This is just a fact of, the right-handed bats that you’d want to hit behind Albert right now, the one that matches up against Anderson and is really swinging well, it would be either Trout or Torii,” Mike Scioscia said. “We want to keep Trout in the leadoff spot, and we’ll just flip Torii down there short term and see where it leads today.” It’s a look you can expect to see more of against left-handed starters.
- Maicer Izturis (left ribs) will start to swing today. Scioscia said he should be available tomorrow.
- Scioscia, on limitations for Weaver: “There won’t be a hard pitch count on him, but I don’t think we’re going to let him go out there and throw 115, 120 pitches today. We’re not going to cap him at 80 or 90. It’s supposed to be warm today, we’ll be watching a lot of things about how the ball’s coming out of his hand and how he’s holding up. I don’t think we need to artificially limit him to anything right now. We’ll see how the game flow goes.”
- Scoiscia, on where the Angels stand right now: “We’re disappointed in the fact that if you look at just our record, it’s not where we want to be. I think what’s happened is very tangible. It’s not like any of this is some enigma. You can see where some of these things have set up back, and how adjustments are being made that are getting those areas back to where they need to be. So, there’s time for us to reach our goal. Discounting these last three games, if you look at where we are the last three weeks, we’re playing at an extraordinary level, and hopefully it’s going to translate into us reaching our goal.”
- Pujols went a month without hitting his first home run of the season, and still, with three weeks left in the season, he reached 30 for the 12th straight season. Scioscia isn’t surprised, though, given how he turned his season around last year, too. “Although it was a little bit more prolonged, there was no doubt that he had enough time to do what we can do on the offensive end, and we’re starting to see that. It remains to be seen where he finishes with his batting average [currently.287], but you look at his home runs and his RBIs, he’s going to be 30 and 100 easily.”