Still, even before Morales broke his leg in walk-off celebration, the Angels had not been playing typical Angel-style baseball.
Manager Mike Scioscia’s motto is run, steal bases, sacrifice, hit for contact no matter what the situation. Since Scioscia took over in 2000, this type of overly-aggressive play has defined the Angels.
After watching the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim slaughter the New York Yankees, any encouragement that the team could manage without the Southpaw went right out the window.
Phil Hughes went into the game with a 3-0 career record against the Halos. That was short and sweet after Hughes gave up nine hits, six runs and two home runs over five innings.
It was the icing on the cake on this streak of bad luck the Yankees have had since the start of the second half of the season.
Hughes started the season on fire, but he has been declining over the last month. His velocity is still around the mid to low 90′s, but he continually lacks command of his fastball and in turn not getting strikes.
So, Hughes relied on his cutter again, which has never been completely in control. If the pitch doesn’t cut down, it becomes ineffective and easy to hit. This became a fact with the final score reading 10-2.
The Yankees had a shot to win the game with their bats, but Angels rookie Sean O’Sullivan had a different plan after being called up earlier in the day from Triple-A. He replaced ex-Ray Scott Kazmir, who just went on the DL.
O’Sullivan faced 22 Yankee batters, throwing a total of 85 pitches, over six innings. He struck out four, walked three and allowed the only two runs to score in the first inning.
Nick Swisher smacked a homer in the bottom of the first inning.
New York Yankees fans first fell in love with Joba Chamberlain in Game Two of the 2007 ALDS, also known as the infamous “bug” game.
Joba was everything and more that night. It was the spirit in his young eyes that does not come around that often.
Yankees Universe went totally crazy for this kid that night, even making losing the game bearable. Joba was the future, an authentic, talented, home-grown player that Yankee fans had been waiting for since 1996.
New York City saw Joba as the long and overdue messiah of our most coveted sports franchise. Finally, fans could be proud again.
Joba became a hero before learning how to be an MLBpitcher. Mind you, Joba hails from a small town in Nebraska, so imagine adjusting to New York. He was thrown into playing under baseball’s biggest spotlight, facing the hard-ass NYC media and the expectations of the Yankees fan-base.
Even though, Joba came-up alongside his rookie buddy Phil Hughes, it was all about Joba. Hughes did not seem to mind being in Joba’s shadow. In turn, Hughes was deemed as the less-talented, so he went out and earned the team’s trust. Which has concluded to be Hughes greatest asset.
Joba had the pressure on his shoulders and the Yankees cut him no break. Joba was going to be a starter, as the Yankees went bananas by treating him like a baby.
All the attention caused a media spectacle, evaluating Joba’s every move. The problem was that Joba’s mistakes were not excused as a rookie with growing pains. The prematurely crowned star’s errors were marked as failures, which was not fair and stunted his growth.
After saying good-bye to two prolific men, the New York Yankees ended the weekend placing ace Andy Pettitte on the DL.
Pettitte will be gone for five weeks with a grade one tear in his left hamstring. This digs the dagger even deeper as the Seattle Mariners played the reigning champs like fools by trading Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers.
The Yankees got used by Seattle, who got more bang for Lee with the Bombers in the mix. Well, nothing good comes from dwelling in the baseball past, but this wound is still fresh after such a long week.
The Angels are in town today for a quick two games in the Bronx. These Halos have a history of reeking havoc on the Yankees, but the reality is these Angels are coming with broken wings.
Losing All-Star 1B Kenny Morales for the season was the biggest blow to a team dealing with a lot of injuries already. The latest victim was SP Scott Kazmir, who Yankee fans might remember. Kennedy was slated to start on tonight against his old buddy Phil Hughes.
With Kazmir on the DL, the Angels have yet to confirm who will take the mound, leaving Wednesday afternoon in question as well.
MLB’s second-half of the season is officially in full swing.
Thus far, in 2010 is proving to be one for the books. With so many tight division races, fans will have plenty of excitement to keep them occupied.
Still, fans tend to throw in the towel and write-off their teams chances of playing in October. A few teams stand out that might not be division leaders now, but still have the potential not to be counted out yet.
Remember, that pennants are not won in July and baseball can look decidedly different from week to week.
Here, are two teams, one from the AL and the other from the NL that should not be counted out:
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Angels lost their best player for the season, 1B Kenny Morales, which has finally impacted the team. Still, this is a group who has won the AL West six of the last seven years and it would be foolish to consider them out this soon.
Even with the first-place Rangers acquiring SP Cliff Lee, the back of rotation is not significant. The Angels have an ace in Jered Weaver. Weaver beat out Seattle’s King Felix for the third time this season, but the Angels have to give Weaver some run support. The vets need to step it up now specifically Abreau, Hunter and Matsui to stay in the mix.
Truthfully, they are not the same Angels from 2009. They lost a lot of speed on the bases, which played a enormous role in their past successes. The Halos should pick-up a solid bat before the end of July. Rumors that Red Sox Mike Lowell or Orioles Miguel Tejada are possibilities, but are a tad too old to get that excited or could be the difference makers.
The Angels remain just four and a half games out, and the next two weeks are the time to make a move on Texas. Angels are a second-half team, with a proven history and now’s time to prove it.
The Phillies, even worse than the Angels, have been hit with injuries. So far 12 players have seen the DL, including three All-Star hitters, the closer, a setup man, two starters and both their starting and backup catchers. Things have been far from sunny in Philadelphia. Continue reading ‘Two MLB Teams Not To Give Up On’ »