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Dan Haren Returns, Angels Losing Streak At 4

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Dan Haren was back on the mound tonight after his consecutive games started streak was stopped at 214 extended to 215. 7 innings and 3 earned runs allowed later, you realize that nothing about this team has changed as the Angels drop another game to the Rays 4-1.

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Before tonight's game, Vernon Wells was activated from the DL to inject some "offense" into this punchless lineup. I must have missed it as Wells went 0-3 tonight. Granted, he is returning from an injury so he will need some time to warm up and get back into the swing of things... till you remember that he was batting under .200 before the injury.

Damn.

All told, this wasn't a bad start for Dan Haren as he gave up 8 hits, including a solo HR to B.J. Upton in the 3rd inning, striking out 6 and walking just 1. The bullpen wasn't that bad as Rich Thompson and Kevin Jepsen combined for 2 innings of relief but allowing 4 hits and a run (charged to Thompson), striking out 1 and walking 1. Actually, that's not good when you think about it....

Once again this Halo "offense" continues struggle with the bat as they are 1-9 with Runners In Scoring Position (RISP) and batting a sickly .229 so far this season with RISP. Leadoff batters are reaching base, getting the single or double or even a gift single and 2 base error (thanks Upton!) and with such a grand opportunity to play for the "big inning" the offense shuts down by hitting into a double play or strikeout to end the rally.

As Jose Mota mentioned on the postgame interview: "It's time for a lineup shakeup" and I couldn't agree more. Just another tease to get the hopes up. I almost feel bad that Jered Weaver has to pitch tomorrow. Will we see Perfect Weaver of April, or the hard-luck Weaver of May?

Other notes and observations: Why does this team continue to underperform during giveaway nights? Was there ever any magic or success (or some kind of mojo) to this team when they wore the alternate red jersey? It seemed like you could count on a W for the Angels when they were in red. Nowadays, no matter what color the jersey this team has mediocre written all over it.