Angels Finish Off A's, Kazmir's Next Start Critical.  Halolinks

Joel Pineiro pitches a gem as Angels win, 4-0, to sweep Oakland - latimes.com
Pineiro was brilliant Sunday, needing only 98 pitches to throw the sixth complete game of his career. The sinker-ball specialist induced 15 ground-ball outs, struck out five and walked one. "I think I got away from my game plan," Pineiro said. "I wanted to out-think those teams and went to a different style of pitching. Those are good offensive clubs, and you can't make mistakes, but I tried to do too much instead of trusting my stuff."

What was nice about this three game series was the Angels finally started showing what their team can be, and what fans had hoped for entering the season.  Friday and Sunday's games featured outstanding pitching, something fans have pretty much always expected from the Halos, and Saturday's drubbing highlighted what we were led to believe was going to be an improvement over previous versions of Angels teams by having a "batter's-box offense".  Here are some highlights from mlb.com -  Pineiro is sterling, shuts down Oakland.  A pretty play by Aybar -  Aybar snags a grounder to throw out a runner.  Abreu with a two-run "Jimmy-Jack" -  Abreu hits a two-run shot in the seventh

Angels-Rangers Preview - FOX Sports on MSN
"We're only going to go as far as our starters are going to perform,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. "If this weekend is any indication, hopefully we're starting to make some strides forward." Scott Kazmir (2-3, 6.82 ERA) will try to continue that momentum, but will need to improve his control. The left-hander has walked 16 batters over his last four starts, and has compiled a 9.64 ERA while losing his last two. Kazmir has produced much better results against the Rangers, going 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA in 10 career starts. The Houston native is 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA all-time at Arlington, where he threw six innings in a 2-0 victory Sept. 18. Derek Holland (1-0, 0.00) will try to send that ERA back in the other direction and aim for an encore of his season debut - six scoreless innings in a 10-1 victory over Oakland on Wednesday. The left-hander, who struggled at the end of his 8-13 rookie campaign, opened the season in Triple-A Oklahoma City after suffering a mild knee sprain in spring training. He responded by going 4-1 with a 0.93 ERA in six starts and earning a call-up. Texas took six of nine meetings with the Angels in Arlington last season.

MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...

Kazmir searches for answers in side session - The Orange County Register
"There are some concepts that Mike (Butcher) is trying to move forward with Kaz that are really fundamentally about throwing the baseball," Scioscia said. "Guys who have had a little history of arm issues -- sometimes you have to teach yourself where your arm slot is again. I think Kaz has slowly gotten away from his arm slot which affects a lot of the things he can do with the baseball. "He's got to get in tune with throwing the baseball with the understanding of where his release point is. At times, he can feel it and it's definitely there. All of his pitches are there. And at times, he's out of it a little bit and it's tough to get his pitches to where they need to be." Kazmir said he is anxious to put Saturday's work to the test Monday against the Rangers.

This is an important start not only for Kazmir, but for the entire Angel team.  If Kazmir can straighten things out and adequately fill one of the club's rotation spots, there'd be no need for the Angels front office to entertain thoughts of acquiring a starting pitcher via trade.  However, if Kazmir tanks, Tony Reagins and crew most definitely should consider look into picking up a replacement outside of the Angels organization.  Any trade would almost have to include Mike Napoli or one of the other catchers on the roster. 

May 17 - BR Bullpen
1973 - California Angels center fielder Bobby Valentine tries to scale a wall to prevent a Dick Green home run during a 5 - 4 loss to the Oakland Athletics. Valentine catches his spikes in the wall and fractures his leg. The injury will ruin his career.  And then 12 years later...
1985 - The Texas Rangers name Bobby Valentine as their new manager, replacing the departed Doug Rader.  May 17th, the day Bobby V probably refers to as "the day I suffered the most, and also the day I broke my leg".
Happy b-day to....
1868 - Fred Woodcock, pitcher (d. 1943)   No relation to Dick Wood.
R.I.P-
1915 - Happy Hogan, minor league catcher (b. 1877)  Probably not so happy after 1915.
1957 - Dummy Deegan, pitcher (b. 1874)  Later known as Dead Dummy Deegan.
1969 - Pants Rowland, manager (b. 1879)  Seriously, "Pants"?
2004 - Buster Narum, pitcher (b. 1940)  Best friend of Buster Hyman.

On a personal note, I want to thank all of you at the get together Saturday for all of your kind words.  It means so much to me that you took the time to let me know how much you've enjoyed the comics and some of the other things I've done here.  The only disappointment I had was not getting to talk with cupie and yeswecan, and only getting a short time to chat with The Legend of Wilfong  (and his wife) and RexTookMyStash.  Hopefully by the next get together Rev has his private plane fueled and ready to go and I can spend more time with all of you.

If you took any pictures at either Throwbacks or at the game, would you please email them to me (wihalofan at gmail dot com).  I have a couple ideas for a comic and the more pictures the better.  Thanks!

I still love you, Joel Pineiro:

Oakland Athletics
Cliff Pennington, SS 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 .239
Daric Barton, 1B 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 .263
Ryan Sweeney, RF 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .293
Kurt Suzuki, C 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .238
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .259
Eric Chavez, DH 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 .250
Jack Cust, LF 3 0 2 0 0 1 0 .333
Adam Rosales, 2B 3 0 1 0 0 0 2 .245
Eric Patterson, CF 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 .225
Totals 30 0 4 0 1 5    
Batting
2B - Adam Rosales (5, Pineiro)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Cahill-Rosales-Barton
E - Cliff Pennington (4, Misplayed grounder)

Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar, SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .236
Howard Kendrick, 2B 4 1 3 1 0 0 0 .292
Bobby Abreu, RF 3 1 1 2 1 1 1 .270
Torii Hunter, CF 3 1 1 0 1 0 0 .281
Kendry Morales, 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .277
Hideki Matsui, DH 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 .241
Michael Ryan, LF 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167
    Reggie Willits, LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .190
Mike Napoli, C 3 1 1 0 0 1 1 .230
Brandon Wood, 3B 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167
Totals 29 4 7 4 2 2    
Batting
2B - Torii Hunter (13, Cahill), Mike Napoli (7, Rodriguez)
HR - Bobby Abreu (5, Cahill)
SH - Brandon Wood (3)
RBI - Howard Kendrick (19), Bobby Abreu 2 (17), Hideki Matsui (19)
2-OUT RBI - Howard Kendrick (5), Bobby Abreu 2 (5)
PK - Bobby Abreu (1, Cahill)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Aybar-Kendrick-Morales
 
Oakland Athletics
Trevor Cahill (L,1-2) 7 5 3 3 0 2 1 4.37
Henry Rodriguez 1 2 1 1 2 0 0 11.57
Pitches-Strikes - Trevor Cahill 106-62, Henry Rodriguez 34-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Trevor Cahill 15-3, Henry Rodriguez 2-1
Batters Faced - Trevor Cahill 25, Henry Rodriguez 7

Los Angeles Angels
Joel Pineiro (W,3-4) 9 4 0 0 1 5 0 3.71
Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 98-62
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 14-7
Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 31
 
Game Information
Attendance - 41569
Game Time - 2:06
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi
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