Yes, I know, it seems like the Angels and Red Sox are on a collision course to meet in the playoffs yet again. This is the part where everyone would normally call this upcoming regular season series a playoff preview with all sorts of internal importance to both teams. I am here to tell you that it is not the case, not even close.
Another Angels-Red Sox showdown? Not just yet.
We all know the Angels’ recent history against Boston in the post-season is, too put it mildly, a living nightmare. So no matter what happens between the two teams here in the regular season, it is meaningless to both teams because the playoffs are a completely different animal. The Angels learned that the hard way last season when they thought they had finally exorcised their Boston demons by winning 8 of their 9 regular season contests only to get trounced by Boston in the ALDS one more time.
Frankly, both teams have bigger fish to fry right now. Boston is trying to get their starting rotation settled, thus tonight’s important start for Matsuzaka, while the Angels are trying to reignite their offense and sort out the disarray in the back of their bullpen. These issues, combined with each team still looking to assure their playoff berth, take precedence right now. Who wins and loses this series is really just incidental.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (86-57) @ Boston Red Sox (84-58)
Starters: LAA – John Lackey (10-7, 3.53 ERA) BOS – Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-5, 8.23 ERA)
Game Info: 4:10 PM PT TV-Fox Sports West, Radio-KLAA 830 AM, KFWB, KWKW 1330 AM
- How will the bullpen be used tonight now that Jepsen and Fuentes are sharing closer duties?
- Does Dice-K have anything? He is getting activated from the DL today after missing nearly three months and the Angels would be wise to be extremely patient with him seeing how his already iffy command should be even iffier after such a long layoff.
- How funny will it be to see Kendry Morales playing in the same game as Casey Kotchman, tonight’s starting first basemen for the Red Sox? To think that Kotch was supposed to be the Angel first baseman of the future instead of K-Mo is now positively hilarious.
- Dice-K throws 20+ pitches in every single inning and is gets the hook in the middle of the fifth inning.
- Big John has his worst start in weeks “only” going seven innings and allowing three earned runs (which is two more than he has allowed in his last three starts).
- I know I said this game doesn’t have any meaning, but I am still wishing for the Angels to kick some Beantown ass. Post-season implications be damned, I just hate the Red Sox with a fiery passion that consumes my soul and want to see them lose.
ZERO Tolerance for… more Angel RISP ineptitude. This one keeps popping up doesn’t it? Sooner or later the Angel bats will break through, but it really is getting very frustrating to see the fielder’s choice becoming the Angels’ offensive weapon of preference.
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).