Game Countdown – 8/17/09: This is Only a Test – Angels @ Orioles

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (70-45) @ Baltimore Orioles (48-69)

Starters: LAA – Ervin Santana (5-6, 6.38 ERA)  BAL – David Hernandez (4-4, 3.81 ERA)

Game Info: 4:05 PM PT TV-Fox Sports West, Radio-KLAA 830 AM, KFWB, KWKW 1330 AM

This is a test of your Ervin Santana system.  For the next nine innings the Los Angeles Angels will be conducting a test of their starting pitching.  In the case of an actual good start, the Angels will be very pleased to finally have fixed their enigmatic would-be ace.  I repeat this only a test.

Ervin Santana

Coming off of his finest start of the season, a complete game shutout of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Angels are hoping to have Santana prove the success wasn’t just a one game fluke mixed into a season of otherwise lousy performances.  Even though another strong outing tonight won’t necessarily guarantee that all of his struggles are behind him, it will certainly make the Angel coaching staff feel a lot better, especially after watching Jered Weaver get lit up like a Christmas tree.  Of course if things go poorly, then it could open a whole can of worms for Halo management who will no doubt be feeling more pressure than ever to do something to address their potentially faulty rotation.

THREE Questions:

  • Can the Angels bullpen recover?  The Angel relief corps is reeling after their extra-inning, come-from-ahead win yesterday.  Jepsen and Fuentes are both coming off bad games and Bulger and Arredondo are likely spent after working two innings.  If the bullpen has to protect a tight lead, their mettle is going to be tested as well.
  • Is Vlad OK?  He had to sit out Sunday, but is back in the line-up today, so that suggests he should be fine, but it wouldn’t be the first time he tried to play hurt and only ended up making it worse.
  • Can’t Matt Albers start?  Too bad the Angels can’t have Albers pitch every game.  He has made two appearances in this series and allowed a grand total of seven runs.  He also made a relief appearances against the Halos earlier in the season and gave up three runs back then too (though to be fair he pitched two shutout innings another time too).  I think it is safe to say the Halos have his number.

TWO Predictions:

  • Whoever fills in for just-traded (to Detroiti) Aubrey Huff ends up killing the Angels tonight.  I just have a feeling they Halos are going to wish the Orioles held off on that deal by one more day.
  • Nobody takes a line drive in the head tonight.  Normally that wouldn’t need to be predicted, but the baseballs apparently started revolting this last weekend and started by taking out David Wright and Hiroki Kuroda.  Beware the baseball uprising!

ONE Wish:

  • I wish that somehow the Angels are able to pull off a belated deal for Heath Bell to do something to settle the pen, especially now that Brian Fuentes continues to struggle.

ZERO Tolerance for… Gary Matthews being back in the line-up.  I know they want to ease Hunter back into things, but I was ready to be done with Private Matthews, even if he hasn’t been horrible lately.

Leave your own questions, answers, predictions or wishes as a comment or just hang out with us during the game or even chat with us on twitter (@MonkeyWithAHalo).

Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the founder and Supreme Overlord of and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.