I don’t even know anymore. The Angels went 13-15 in May, have lost 5 of their last 7, AND lost a series against a terrible Tigers team 3 games to 1. The one good thing going for the Angels this year was that they had played well on the road but after a 4-6 road trip and dropping 4 games out of 7 against sub .500 teams, that happy road trip feeling has left the building.
How appropriate that the Big A giveaway on Friday is a cooler bag because this season has gone ice cold. Now all fans in attendance will have a place to store it.
Can we beat the Rangers? Sure. Will we? Flip a coin. Bartolo Colon and Doug Fister will probably shut us out so get ready. If nothing else, maybe reverse psychology will help? That - or we lower our expectations so much that games are are either “meh” or “yay” and a lot less “oh sh$#”.
It’s a new month so that means we get to start over, right? Here we go!
Know your foe:
Rangers - who’s hot (last 7 days):
Nomar Mazara .419 OBP, 2 home runs
Ronald Guzman .393 OBP, 1 home run, 7 RBIs
Robinson Chirinos ,476 OBP, 1 home run
Joey Gallo .407 OBP, 1 home run
What’s it like having so many players have a good week? Asking for a friend.
Jaime Barria (2.97 ERA) v. Bartolo Colon (3.55 ERA)
Friday, June 1st @ 7:07PM
Pitcher vs. Batters
This marks the first time in his career that Jaime Barria will be facing a big league team for the second time. Last time Barria faced the Rangers it was his major league debut and he held them to 1 run (a Ryan Rua home run) over 5 innings. Barria has put together a very respectable season so far but hit a bit of a rough spot against the Yankees when he gave up 4 runs on 6 hits and 3 homers over 5 innings
Bartolo Colon is 45 years old and has been playing pro baseball since Mike Trout was 3 years old and before his opponent Barria was even born. Don’t let his age fool you because he has 1.7 WAR this year with his 3.55 ERA and 0.932 WHIP. How is that possible? Colon may be still pitching when Albert Pujols finally retires.
Verdict: Well this could be fun. Big daddy vs. the young rookie. Old school vs. new. Will be fun to see who comes out on top. You are the future Barria - don’t let the big dude intimidate you.
Garrett Richards (3.67 ERA) v. Cole Hamels (3.74 ERA)
Saturday, June 2nd @ 6:07PM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Garrett Richards’ 3.67 ERA Is a bit deceptive given his -0.1 WAR and 1.352 WHIP. He’s also walked 28 batters in 54 innings and already has 14 wild pitches. Richards threw 70 pitches and lasted only 2.1 innings in his last start.
Cole Hamels has been a bit unpredictable in his results but very predictable in his duration. 6-7 innings most games plus 90-110 pitches pretty much every time he takes the mound. Last time out he was beat up to the tune of 5 runs on 8 hits by the Royals. In 2017 Hamels was rough on the Angels and in 34 innings he had a 2.38 ERA. The good news is there are trade rumors circulating about him. Maybe he’ll get traded before Saturday?
Verdict: The Angels haven’t hit lefties (26th overall) well this year so Richards will need to under control to keep the Angels in this game long enough for the offense to get to Hamels (or the bullpen).
Tyler Skaggs (3.60 ERA) v. Doug Fister (4.09 ERA)
Sunday, June 3rd @ 1:07PM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Back on April 10th, Tyler Skaggs struck out 7 Rangers and allowed only 1 run over 5 innings. In his 11 starts, he’s allowed more than 2 runs in only 3 of them, including the 5 he allowed to the Tigers in his last start. He doesn’t often go deep into games but he’s certainly been reliable.
The Angels scored 3 runs off Fister back in April, including an Albert Pujols home run. Fister has given up 10 runs and 17 hits in his last 10.1 innings but the majority of that was against the Yankees. Surprisingly, he’s only had two rough starts all season.
Verdict: I mean, this game SHOULD lean Angels, right? Right?
Overall Verdict: The Angels NEED to win this series after a rough road trip. They also need to prove they can win at home where their record is 5 games below .500. You don’t have a good season by playing that poorly at home.