Saunders Stinks While Wood Catches Fire.  Halolinks

"Hey, how'd I do that? Don't think, it'll only hurt the club."

Saunders struggles again in Angels' loss  - The Orange County Register
But there was no hiding the fact that it was Saunders' second consecutive poor start – and really his fourth in five starts this season. Saunders has allowed four runs or more and lasted six innings or less four times. Over his past two starts, he has allowed eight runs in 7 2/3 innings, missing the strike zone frequently (six walks and 75 balls in 163 pitches) and getting hit hard when he finds it (15 hits, eight for extra bases).

Remember a couple of seasons ago when it seemed that whenever the Angels faced a rookie pitcher, regardless of who he was or how highly rated, the Angels would lose?  And what's up with Joe Saunders?  Both he and Mike Scioscia claim there is nothing physically wrong with the pitcher, but this is starting to look awfully familiar to his mid-season slump from last season.  And that was blamed on a knot in his shoulder.  (By the way, good analysis from OCR's Bill Plunkett in the linked article).

Hey, look who's getting hot.  Or at least warm.  Brandon Wood has had back-to-back three-hit games!  Last night featured his first home run of the 2010 season (here's video - Wood ropes his first home run of the season - in case you changed channels to watch "American Idol").  Wood is now batting a buck ninety-seven, which is 14 points HIGHER than Seattle's Chone Figgins.  Two other quick stats; It seems like Wood has struck out in each of his at-bats (okay, maybe not that bad), but Figgins has struck out 5 more times so far this season.  On the other side of that stat, Figgins has drawn a walk 16 times compared to Wood's two.  Yes, two.

Indians-Angels Preview - FOX Sports on MSN
Jake Westbrook (0-2, 5.82 ERA) will make his first start at Angel Stadium since throwing a seven-hitter in a 4-3 win April 8, 2008. That victory also still stands as the right-hander's last in the majors. Elbow surgery sidelined him for most of 2008 and all of 2009, and he's 0-3 with a 4.73 ERA in seven starts since beating the Angels. The Angels will give the ball to Ervin Santana (1-2, 4.73), who is 0-6 with a 6.03 ERA in seven career starts against the Indians but hasn't faced them since a loss at home July 21, 2008. The right-hander has struggled in his last 16 starts at Angel Stadium, going 2-8 with a 6.26 ERA. He's 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in two starts there this year.

Looks like a battle of crappy pitchers today.  And now that I've said that, prepare for a 1-0 duel. 

A COUPLE MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...

Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker to undergo heart surgery -  SI.com
The 75-year-old Uecker will have his aortic valve replaced Friday morning, and will be away from the team for up to three months while recovering.

Hope everything goes well for one of baseball's coolest people. 

April 28 - BR Bullpen
1966: The Cleveland Indians tie a modern day major league record by winning their 10th consecutive game since Opening Day. Sonny Siebert, a 16-game winner in 1965, defeats the California Angels, 2 - 1.
Happy b-day:
1966 - Tammy Gardner, wife
R.I.P.
1995 - Gus Polidor, infielder (b. 1961) Gus Polidor died?  How did I not know that??
2006 - Steve Howe, pitcher; All-Star (b. 1958)

Angel pitchers give up 18 hits:

Cleveland Indians
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS 5 2 4 0 1 0 0 .301
Grady Sizemore, CF 4 0 0 1 1 0 7 .191
Shin-Soo Choo, RF 5 2 2 2 1 1 1 .329
Austin Kearns, LF 6 2 3 5 0 0 4 .386
Jhonny Peralta, 3B 3 0 2 0 2 0 0 .200
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B 5 0 2 1 0 1 3 .233
Andy Marte, 1B 4 0 1 0 1 0 4 .200
Matt LaPorta, DH 5 0 2 0 0 0 3 .211
Lou Marson, C 3 3 2 0 1 0 1 .135
Totals 40 9 18 9 7 2    
Batting
2B - Asdrubal Cabrera (5, Saunders), Austin Kearns 2 (6, Saunders, Palmer), Jhonny Peralta (4, Saunders), Lou Marson (1, Stokes)
HR - Austin Kearns (2, Saunders)
SF - Grady Sizemore (1)
SH - Lou Marson (2)
RBI - Grady Sizemore (7), Shin-Soo Choo 2 (15), Austin Kearns 5 (10), Mark Grudzielanek (4)
2-OUT RBI - Shin-Soo Choo (3)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Shin-Soo Choo 1

Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar, SS 5 0 1 0 0 0 1 .256
Bobby Abreu, RF 4 0 1 1 0 1 1 .291
    Reggie Willits, CF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167
Torii Hunter, CF 3 0 1 0 1 0 2 .286
    Robb Quinlan, RF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Hideki Matsui, DH 2 0 0 0 2 0 1 .284
Kendry Morales, 1B 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 .300
Juan Rivera, LF 4 0 1 0 0 1 4 .253
Howard Kendrick, 2B 4 0 2 0 0 0 4 .311
Mike Napoli, C 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .154
    Ryan Budde, C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Brandon Wood, 3B 4 2 3 1 0 0 0 .197
Totals 35 2 9 2 4 4    
Batting
HR - Brandon Wood (1, Smith)
RBI - Bobby Abreu (13), Brandon Wood (3)
2-OUT RBI - Bobby Abreu (3)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Saunders-Napoli-Morales, Wood-Kendrick-Morales, Kendrick-Aybar
 
Cleveland Indians
Mitch Talbot (W,3-1) 6.1 6 1 1 3 1 0 2.05
Aaron Laffey (H,3) 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 0 3.97
Jensen Lewis 0.2 2 0 0 1 1 0 1.08
Joe Smith 1.1 1 1 1 0 1 1 6.43
Pitches-Strikes - Mitch Talbot 100-58, Aaron Laffey 6-6, Jensen Lewis 36-22, Joe Smith 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mitch Talbot 8-9, Aaron Laffey 1-0, Joe Smith 2-1
Batters Faced - Mitch Talbot 27, Aaron Laffey 2, Jensen Lewis 5, Joe Smith 5

Los Angeles Angels
Joe Saunders (L,1-4) 5 9 3 3 4 2 1 5.74
Matt Palmer 2.1 6 5 5 2 0 0 5.63
Scot Shields 0.2 1 0 0 1 0 0 10.50
Brian Stokes 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 4.35
IBB - Choo by Matt Palmer
WP - Matt Palmer (1), Scot Shields (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 104-59, Matt Palmer 51-26, Scot Shields 13-8, Brian Stokes 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 7-3, Matt Palmer 3-4, Scot Shields 1-1, Brian Stokes 2-1
Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 25, Matt Palmer 15, Scot Shields 4, Brian Stokes 5
 
Game Information
Attendance - 39619
Game Time - 3:20
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Paul Schrieber
 
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