Dodgers Avoid Sweep in Anaheim, Weaver Set to Rock.  Halolinks.

Dodgers pull plug on sweep for Angels - LA Daily News
The Angels picked up where the Dodgers left off Wednesday, running themselves into two outs on the basepaths in the first inning and getting caught in a rundown to snuff out a sixth-inning rally (Video: Dodgers nab Willits in a rundown at home). The Angels at least got a run home on Bobby Abreu's single that scored Howie Kendrick from third in the opening inning. Abreu was then thrown out trying to steal second - a base he never even reached before being tagged out. With two outs, Torii Hunter doubled off center fielder Matt Kemp's glove, then he too was thrown out by catcher Russell Martin trying to steal third. "We didn't play well in a lot of areas," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We made some outs on the bases, but we didn't pitch well, we didn't play the kind of defense we need to play. We were looking up the wrong end for almost the whole night."

Didn't Torii Hunter get thrown out trying to steal third a couple nights ago?  Sorry, that was a rhetorical question since I already knew that, yes, Hunter had been caught stealing third against the Brewers last week.  I understand it's Angels baseball to be aggressive, but there's a difference in being aggressive and being stupid.  Especially when being aggressively stupid happened just a week ago.  Oh well, here's a highlight for ya: Napoli launches a solo blast to left-center - Mike Napoli cuts the Angels' deficit to 5-2 with a long ball to left-center field in the fourth.

Rockies-Angels Preview - 6/25/10 - FOX Sports on MSN
Jered Weaver (7-3, 3.04 ERA) will try to continue his solid work in interleague play after he gave up two hits and struck out 11 over seven innings of a 12-0 win over the Cubs on Saturday for his third win in four starts overall. With the victory, the right-hander improved to 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA in three interleague starts this year. This is Weaver's first start at home since May 29, when he gave up one unearned run and three hits in seven innings of a 5-1, 10-inning victory over the Mariners. He is 2-1 with a 1.85 ERA in six starts at Angels Stadium.The Rockies, meanwhile, will hand the ball to Jeff Francis (2-2, 3.43), who has pitched effectively in his last two starts, leading Colorado to victories in each. The left-hander made his only start against the Angels on June 28, 2006, allowing two runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-2 win. He is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two interleague starts this year. The Angels won two of three at home against the Rockies last year.

This time last season the Angels were 38-32 and tied for first in the A.L. West.  This season, the Halos are 41-34, 4.5 games behind the Rangers.  Just sayin'.

Angels FYI: Mike Napoli trying to make all the adjustments - latimes.com
Napoli, who has always had decent plate discipline for a power hitter, entered Thursday's game with a .249 average, 11 home runs and 27 runs batted in, but he ranked second in the American League with 73 strikeouts in 209 at-bats. That would put Napoli, who strikes out once every three at-bats, on pace for a whopping 160 strikeouts.
The Erick Aybar saga took another turn, this time for the better.  "I'm ready; I'm not in any pain," said Aybar, the speedy leadoff batter who is hitting .272 with 41 runs and 11 stolen bases. "The shot helped. Maybe I'll play [Friday]."

To me, striking out isn't a big deal as long as a hitter is able to maintain a decent OBA and SLG, but what's disturbing about Napoli is he has only drawn 17 walks so far this season, continuing a downward trend:

Year BB/PA
2006 .16
2007 .13
2008 .12
2009 .09
2010 .07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scioscia Halo effect aids Angels, not Dodgers -  Yahoo! Sports
...three Angels draft choices – high schoolers Ryan Bolden, Taylor Lindsey and Chevy Clarke – visited Angel Stadium with their parents. They took batting practice in the hours before the Angels would host the Dodgers. Scioscia stood behind the batting cage and shook their hands. Beforehand, Angels scouting director Eddie Bane told them, “This is going to be your manager in the big leagues. He’ll be here when you’re here, and he’s the best in the game. Say hi to him now. This is not going to be the last time you think about him – or him about you. And, with some help, he’s going to be the guy who makes the decision to bring you here.” There is no other organization in baseball that could honestly make the same claim to a high school senior.

The Juice: Rangers 'family' celebrates its 11th straight win - Big League Stew -  Yahoo! Sports
Happy Rangers poured from the dugout and surrounded Andrus near home plate as the Rangers won their 14th game in ther last 15 tries and officially came back from an first-inning 4-0 deficit. And perhaps because they were playing Pittsburgh, Guerrero later borrowed a theme from Pops and the '79 Pirates to describe the current chemistry of the first-place Rangers. "It's a family that wins together." Gimme a quarter for the jukebox, 'cause it's time to cue the Sledge. Must it already be coming to an end?: The entirety of the Rangers' 11-game winning streak has come against the National League and they sport a 12-3 record in interleague play, which is only bested by the White Sox's 13-2 mark. They'll finish the cross-league dabbling this weekend when they welcome the Astros, whom Texas swept last weekend, to town.

This could be the worst news of all, the Rangers are becoming a "family".  Yes, I'm one of those "chemistry" guys who thinks a team who lives well with each other, plays better.  Although winning creates good chemistry, this could carry over for the Ranger for the rest of the season making the Rangers even ore dangerous.

2010 Bowman Stephen Strasburg Red Autograph 1/1 AUTO - eBay (item 200485213281 end time Jun-28-10 18:00:48 PDT)
Current bid: US $999,900.00

Something fishy going on in ebayland.

June 25 - BR Bullpen
1971 - Actor Kurt Russell makes his pro baseball debut for Bend (Northwest League), getting a single, double, and two stolen bases. Russell's baseball career will be ended by injury two years later.  I thought this was a cool story.  Kurt Russell was in the Angels minor league system, and was actually pretty decent (okay, small sample size).  Some of Russell's teammates included Tom Trebelhorn, Chuck Hockenberry (sorry, he owns a bar a few miles from me), Bruce Bochte, Dave Chalk, Ron Jackson, and Frank Tanana.
1986 - Kirk McCaskill one-hits the Rangers 7 - 1, vaulting California past Texas into first place in the American League West. The Rangers' only hit is Steve Buechele's 3rd-inning home run.

Yuck:

Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS 6 1 2 2 0 0 0 .299
Jamey Carroll, 2B 6 1 3 1 0 1 1 .293
Andre Ethier, RF 5 1 1 1 0 0 2 .322
Manny Ramirez, DH 4 2 2 2 1 1 2 .304
Matt Kemp, CF 5 1 2 0 0 3 2 .260
James Loney, 1B 3 2 1 1 1 0 1 .297
Casey Blake, 3B 5 0 3 1 0 0 3 .267
Russell Martin, C 2 1 0 1 2 1 2 .248
Reed Johnson, LF 5 1 1 1 0 1 5 .291
Totals 41 10 15 10 4 7    
Batting
2B - Rafael Furcal (10, Kazmir), Andre Ethier (19, Fr. Rodriguez), Casey Blake (14, Kazmir)
SF - Russell Martin (2)
RBI - Rafael Furcal 2 (20), Jamey Carroll (11), Andre Ethier (45), Manny Ramirez 2 (36), James Loney (47), Casey Blake (29), Russell Martin (17), Reed Johnson (7)
2-OUT RBI - Manny Ramirez (11), James Loney (21)
CS - Casey Blake (2, 2nd base by Shields/Mathis)
Team LOB - 10
Los Angeles Angels
Howard Kendrick, 2B 5 2 2 0 0 1 2 .282
Kevin Frandsen, 3B 5 2 2 1 0 0 1 .354
Bobby Abreu, RF 3 1 2 2 2 1 0 .272
Torii Hunter, CF 4 0 2 1 1 1 2 .287
Hideki Matsui, DH 4 0 1 1 1 1 1 .259
Mike Napoli, 1B 4 1 1 1 0 1 3 .249
Jeff Mathis, C 3 0 0 0 1 2 0 .275
Reggie Willits, LF 3 0 1 0 1 0 2 .255
Brandon Wood, SS 4 0 1 0 0 3 3 .176
Totals 35 6 12 6 6 10    
Batting
2B - Kevin Frandsen (9, Miller), Torii Hunter (23, Haeger)
HR - Mike Napoli (12, Haeger)
RBI - Kevin Frandsen (9), Bobby Abreu 2 (39), Torii Hunter (52), Hideki Matsui (41), Mike Napoli (28)
2-OUT RBI - Torii Hunter (18), Hideki Matsui (19)
CS - Bobby Abreu (6, 2nd base by Haeger/Martin), Torii Hunter (8, 3rd base by Haeger/Martin), Reggie Willits (2, Home by Weaver/Martin)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Brandon Wood (8, Misplayed grounder)
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
Charlie Haeger 4.2 5 4 4 4 4 1 8.40
Ramon Troncoso 0.2 2 0 0 1 1 0 5.51
Jeff Weaver (H,4; W,4-1) 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3.27
Hong-Chih Kuo 0.2 0 0 0 1 1 0 1.25
Justin Miller 1 3 2 2 0 2 0 3.77
George Sherrill 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 6.62
Jonathan Broxton 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.86
WP - Charlie Haeger (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Haeger 101-56, Ramon Troncoso 19-10, Jeff Weaver 14-11, Hong-Chih Kuo 15-7, Justin Miller 18-15, George Sherrill 1-1, Jonathan Broxton 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Haeger 5-3, Ramon Troncoso 1-0, Hong-Chih Kuo 1-0
Batters Faced - Charlie Haeger 21, Ramon Troncoso 5, Jeff Weaver 3, Hong-Chih Kuo 3, Justin Miller 6, George Sherrill 1, Jonathan Broxton 2
Los Angeles Angels
Scott Kazmir (L,7-6) 3.2 6 5 5 3 2 0 5.42
Scot Shields 2.1 1 1 0 0 2 0 5.19
Francisco Rodriguez 0.1 3 2 2 1 1 0 4.26
Trevor Bell 1.2 4 2 2 0 1 0 6.38
Sean O'Sullivan 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 2.08
IBB - Loney by Francisco Rodriguez
HBP - Loney (by Scott Kazmir)
WP - Francisco Rodriguez (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 93-56, Scot Shields 30-21, Francisco Rodriguez 22-13, Trevor Bell 33-23, Sean O'Sullivan 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 4-5, Scot Shields 3-2, Trevor Bell 2-2
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 21, Scot Shields 8, Francisco Rodriguez 5, Trevor Bell 9, Sean O'Sullivan 4
 
Game Information
Attendance - 44043
Game Time - 3:52
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Mike DiMuro
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