Weaver Beats Tribe, Saunders Goes For 50th.  Halolinks

"You just better shut that pie-hole of yours young man"

Angels' Weaver delivers in win over Cleveland - LA Daily News
Weaver (3-0) left with a four-run lead after six gritty innings and 102 pitches, the fifth time in five starts this season he left with the Angels ahead, and the team won its ninth game in the past 13 following losses in six of its first eight. "You can see it coming together," Weaver said. "We've got too good a team to let a slow start get in the way."
Video Recap of last night's game - 4/26/10: Angels, Weaver hold down Indians

The Angels are 7-3 over their last ten games, which makes Weaver's quote even more insightful.  Most Angel fans would have to agree, Weaver looks like he's taken the staff ace role to heart, and has become the stopper an ace needs to be...at least so far.

Indians-Angels Preview -   Sporting News
Saunders, who is one win shy of 50, is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in five starts against Cleveland. He could improve that mark if the Angels (11-10) can build off Monday's season-high 15-hit performance.  Mitch Talbot (2-1, 2.25) takes the ball for Cleveland and will try to snap the team's three-game slide in Anaheim. The 26-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in his last two starts after allowing an unearned run in six innings of two-hit ball in Thursday's 8-1 win at Minnesota.  Talbot has never faced the Angels.

I read somewhere that Saunders has the second most wins over the last two seasons (Roy Halladay is first) of all A.L. starters.  I've also read a few times the only reason Saunders has those wins is because he's benefited from more than average run support.  That argument is probably valid over a season, maybe two, but Saunders is going for his 50th career win tonight.  There's got to be something else there other than run support for a pitcher to get 50 major league wins.  Something like, oh I don't know...talent?

Make your PREGAME PICK before the first pitch!

Team Reports - CBSSports.com
--LHP Joe Saunders will be going for his 50th career victory when he starts against the Indians on Tuesday. When Saunders wins his 50th, the Angels will become the only team in the majors with five starters who each have at least 50 career wins (Saunders, Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver, Scott Kazmir and Joel Pineiro). The Yankees are next with four 50-game winners (CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Javier Vazquez).

--Angels relievers walked six batters in the final three innings, raising their season total to 46. Angels starters have walked just 32. They are the only team in the American League whose starters have walked fewer batters than their relievers. Angels starters have the best strikeout-to-walk ratio (92 to 32) in the league.

I always think it's interesting when the Angels are the only team in the majors who are doing something or leading a statistical category.  The first fun-fact about the five starters is interesting, however the second fact is mind boggling.  Does this mean the starters are awesome, or the relievers suck?  Or both?  I'm guessing both...and looking forward to when the bullpen stabilizes.

Weaver keeps rolling in Angels' victory - angelsbaseball.com
Weaver, who became the club's de facto ace when John Lackey departed for free agency, has emerged as one of the top pitchers in the American League and he showed it again on Monday against the Indians. The right-hander turned in his fifth consecutive quality start by allowing just one run over six innings and was backed by home runs from Erick Aybar and Bobby Abreu, as the Angels downed the Indians, 5-2, at Angel Stadium.

Here's some video highlights from last night's game (all from MLB.com):

Angels' Morales gets hot, gets rewarded - The Orange County Register
Yankees manager Joe Girardi left town regretting his decision to pitch to Morales in the seventh inning of Sunday's 8-4 Angels victory. Morales' three-run home run in that at-bat was part of a 7-for-10, two-homer, six-RBI weekend against the Yankees – and part of a 13-for-22, three-homer, 10-RBI week that earned him the American League Player of the Week award.

Angels announcer Victor Rojas has been calling Morales "The Cuban Missile" which is somewhat over-played.  I think he should start calling him "The Cuban Muscle".

Bobby Abreu: Angels' solid-state drive - latimes.com
Abreu might have been a Yankees leftover, but he has become the brick and mortar of the Angels' lineup, with statistics worthy of the Hall of Fame.Abreu smiles at the topic but doesn't laugh it off. Asked which team cap he might wear on a special day at Cooperstown, he answers like a man who has thought about it. "I have to be honest and say the eight years I had in Philadelphia would steer me that way," he says. "But I love it here, and who knows how a nice finish here might feel when it is over."

Someone should probably let Abreu know that he doesn't get to choose which cap he wears in the Hall.  But that's not the important part of the story, what's important is he's getting serious Hall of Fame consideration.  And deservedly so.

Abreu points Morales in the right direction - ESPN Los Angeles
Bobby Abreu has been scorching the baseball lately, with a .455 batting average in the last six games. But the best thing he did for the Los Angeles Angels last week might have been far from the batter’s box. It was a conversation that took place in the Angels clubhouse. First baseman Kendry Morales, mired in a .216 slump to start the season, approached the 13-year veteran for advice.

Another Abreu story (it's Bobby Abreu Day today)...Abreu signed a two-year deal this off season, when that contract expires (Abreu will be 39) and you can probably say good-bye to Mickey Hatcher. [crosses fingers]

Ryan Howard signs extension with Philadelphia Phillies -  SI.com
The Philadelphia Phillies signed Ryan Howard to a five-year extension with a club option for a sixth year on Monday. The team said the deal guarantees Howard $125 million over five years and could be worth as much as $138 million over six seasons.

How does something like this happen when there are so many advanced stats, analysis, reader/fan input, mega-data overload?  Do they not have the internet in Philadelphia?  They must not or else the Phillies front office would already know this....

What Are the Phillies Thinking? - FanGraphs Baseball
Even if you think baseball’s salary per win goes up to $4.25 million this coming offseason and rises at a 5% clip every winter through 2017, Howard will need to produce an average of 4.75 wins from 2012 through 2017 just in order to justify his salary. In other words, Howard will need six seasons that were better than his 2009 season, except over his 32-37 years. I’m not sure I would lay even money on him achieving even half of that. This contract is both incredibly risky and unnecessary since Howard was already signed through 2011. Say hello to baseball’s newest worst contract.

Yankee fan alleges racism at Angel Stadium -  The Orange County Register
‘The usher looked at me and said, ‘You don’t speak English, get the f— out," Gonzalez said… in English. ‘He then looked at my wife and said, ‘You look like you speak English, why are you with them?"

What the usher was referring to wasn't racially motivated when he said "what are you doing with them", he wondered why she was hanging out with Yankee fans.

Deaf icon Curtis Pride bringing big-league game to Gallaudet - USATODAY.com
When Gallaudet hired Curtis Pride to coach its baseball team, the move served two purposes: It gave a woebegone Division III program credibility by snagging an 11-year major leaguer to lead it. And it gave deaf athletes nationwide a chance to play for an iconic figure in their community. "Curtis Pride is a hero in the deaf community," Gabel says through an interpreter. "He's exciting and gives hope. It's amazing to be playing for the guy I loved watching as a kid. He's inspirational, someone that I look up to."

The best story of the day.  (Curtis Pride spent parts of 3 seasons in Anaheim - 2004 to 2006)

April 27 - BR Bullpen
1983 - Walter Johnson's 56-year record of 3,508 career strikeouts is eclipsed by Nolan Ryan. Ryan strikes out Montreal Expos pinch-hitter Brad Mills in the eighth inning as the Houston Astros beat the Expos 4 - 2.
Happy b-day to the only person who I've ever heard of with the name "Rogers".  Can someone explain to me why there is an "S" added to his first name?
1896 - Rogers Hornsby, infielder, manager; Hall of Famer (d. 1963)

 

Brandon Wood's first multi-hit game of 2010:

Cleveland Indians
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS 3 0 0 0 2 1 0 .269
Grady Sizemore, CF 5 0 0 0 0 0 3 .203
Shin-Soo Choo, RF 4 0 2 0 1 1 0 .324
Travis Hafner, DH 5 0 0 0 0 3 5 .197
Russell Branyan, 1B 5 1 1 0 0 1 4 .294
Austin Kearns, LF 4 1 3 1 1 1 1 .368
Jhonny Peralta, 3B 5 0 2 1 0 3 2 .175
Luis Valbuena, 2B 2 0 0 0 2 0 3 .170
Mike Redmond, C 2 0 0 0 1 2 4 .231
   a- Mark Grudzielanek, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .200
    Lou Marson, C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .088
Totals 36 2 8 2 7 13    
a-struck out for Redmond in the 8th
Batting
2B - Russell Branyan (3, Jer. Weaver)
HR - Austin Kearns (1, Stokes)
RBI - Austin Kearns (5), Jhonny Peralta (5)
2-OUT RBI - Jhonny Peralta (2)
SB - Austin Kearns (2, 2nd base off Jer. Weaver/Napoli)
Team LOB - 14
Fielding
DP - Peralta-Valbuena-Branyan, A. Cabrera-Valbuena-Branyan

Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar, SS 4 1 2 1 0 0 2 .260
Bobby Abreu, RF 4 2 2 2 1 2 4 .293
Torii Hunter, CF 4 1 2 0 1 0 4 .284
Hideki Matsui, DH 4 0 1 1 0 1 3 .291
Kendry Morales, 1B 4 0 0 0 1 0 3 .312
Juan Rivera, LF 4 0 2 1 0 1 3 .254
Howard Kendrick, 2B 4 0 2 0 0 0 2 .300
Mike Napoli, C 3 0 1 0 1 2 3 .171
Brandon Wood, 3B 4 1 3 0 0 1 1 .158
Totals 35 5 15 5 4 7    
Batting
2B - Torii Hunter 2 (9, Huff, R. Perez), Juan Rivera (4, Huff), Howard Kendrick (5, R. Perez)
HR - Erick Aybar (1, Huff), Bobby Abreu (4, Huff)
SF - Hideki Matsui (1)
SH - Erick Aybar (2)
RBI - Erick Aybar (4), Bobby Abreu 2 (12), Hideki Matsui (12), Juan Rivera (9)
2-OUT RBI - Juan Rivera (6)
SB - Bobby Abreu (3, 2nd base off Sipp/Marson)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
E - Brandon Wood (4, Throwing)
 
Cleveland Indians
David Huff (L,1-3) 5.1 12 5 5 1 4 2 4.10
Rafael Perez 1 3 0 0 1 2 0 3.00
Tony Sipp 1.2 0 0 0 2 1 0 3.68
Pitches-Strikes - David Huff 104-66, Rafael Perez 28-16, Tony Sipp 22-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Huff 6-6, Tony Sipp 2-0
Batters Faced - David Huff 29, Rafael Perez 7, Tony Sipp 5

Los Angeles Angels
Jered Weaver (W,3-0) 6 7 1 1 1 7 0 2.53
Jason Bulger 0.1 0 0 0 3 0 0 7.04
Kevin Jepsen (H,8) 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.86
Brian Stokes 0.1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3.86
Fernando Rodney (H,2) 0.2 0 0 0 1 1 0 3.38
Brian Fuentes (S,3) 1 0 0 0 1 3 0 4.91
Pitches-Strikes - Jered Weaver 106-72, Jason Bulger 20-6, Kevin Jepsen 7-5, Brian Stokes 15-8, Fernando Rodney 18-10, Brian Fuentes 26-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jered Weaver 4-7, Jason Bulger 1-0, Kevin Jepsen 1-0, Brian Fuentes 1-0
Batters Faced - Jered Weaver 26, Jason Bulger 4, Kevin Jepsen 2, Brian Stokes 3, Fernando Rodney 3, Brian Fuentes 5
 
Game Information
Attendance - 34837
Game Time - 3:19
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Angel Hernandez
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