The New York Yankees continue their West Coast road trip with a final series in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels.
As of two seasons ago, facing the Halos anywhere was never a fun time for the Yankees or the New York fans, but times have change. This is not due to the Angels not being a solid ball-club, but more attributed to the Yankees not being scared of this team like they seemed to be in the past.
Still, this series features some hard hitters and noteworthy pitchers; here are the weekend’s match-ups as the Angels play host to the Yankees:
FRIDAY JUNE 3, 2011 – 10:05pm EST; YES, MLB.TV
Yankees Ivan Nova (4-3) vs. Angels Jared Weaver (6-4)
Yankees are expecting a better performance from Nova who is posting a 4.67 ERA. With Phil Hughes’ return looming, Nova knows he is pitching to keep the job he won out of Spring Training. Nova couldn’t get through four innings in his last outing, giving-up four earned runs to the Mariners, who are also meekest, line-up in baseball. Following that Yankee 12-inning loss, the other four Yankee starters all won their starts, each pitched through seven innings and combined for a 1.74 ERA. Nova is only 24- years-old and this is what young pitchers go through, but tiring out the bullpen and losing games is not productive. Let’s hope for a resurge from the kid.
Weaver was the hottest pitcher in baseball for the few weeks of 2011 season, posting a 6-0 record breaking Randy Johnson’s 2002 for most consecutive wins to start a season. In his succeeding six starts, Weaver has hit a career slump going 0-4. Still, the Angels have not been giving any run support, as in Weaver’s last start he threw nine-innings of two-hit baseball. He seems to be pitching up to par again, but until Vernon Wells and the team’s leading hitter Howie Kendrick are healthy the line-up will suffer. Kendrick is looking to be activated this Saturday, so Weaver will have to deal without his bat unfortunately. Weaver will have to be on target facing Curtis Granderson has made 14 at-bats, with four RBIs, four solo homers off and posts a .429 batting average against the Angels ace.
In his last three starts, Sabathia has pitched 25 innings in total and posts a 1.80 ERA. Sabathia always starts out the season slow, but now he has found his groove. Sabathia is looking to win his fourth straight start and seventh on the season. He has gone eight or more innings for the Yankees in his last four times on the bump and that is why he is the ace of this staff.
Sports Illustrated reports that Haren suffered back stiffness this past Wednesday, mid-bullpen session and as of now is still scheduled to make his start vs. Sabathia on Saturday. Haren, like Weaver has been hung out to dry and not getting any help from the Angel bats. With Kendrick made active prior to this game, Haren might just finally get that help. Keep an eye out regarding Haren’s status.
SUNDAY JUNE 5, 2011 – 3:35pm EST; YES, MLB.TV
Colon threw a shutout, complete game in his last start. Colon will be looking to continue his impressive revival on Sunday afternoon facing his old team, as Colon won the 2005 CY Young Award with the Halos and spent the majority of his career in Anaheim. The last time Colon faced his old peers was back in 2009, but he beat them and threw just shy of seven innings but held the Halos to just one-run.
Santana will have his hand full with the heavy-hitting Bombers, but he has improved vastly since his awful start to the 2011 season. Santana boosts a 3.56 ERA at-home compared to 5+ on the road, so he is happy to be back home. Following a complete game shutout against the Braves, Santana’s last start vs. the Royals was a mess, giving up six earned runs and two homers. He walked away with the win because the Angels offense did wake-up up by scoring 10 runs. This 28-year-old has a deadly slider and when he it is on, with his solid fastball he can be lethal for any clubs bats.
- Series Preview: NYY @ LAA ~ 6/3/11-6/5/11 (yankeesfansunite.wordpress.com)
- New York Yankees: CC Sabathia Is Actually Right On Track (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- 2011 MLB Season: Cashman A Genius? Best Pitching Not In Philly? Red Sox Suck? (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- What Should The New York Yankees Do With Phil Hughes? (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- Mound of pressure awaiting Nova (nypost.com)
- Pitching will be primary target (nypost.com)
- New York Yankees: What Do They Do with Phil Hughes When He Comes off the DL? (bleacherreport.com)