Counting down to the Angels’ series against the Royals in which the long and winding road begins.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (25-27) @ Kansas City Royals (21-30)
Game 1 Starters: LAA – Ervin Santana (4-3, 3.65 ERA) KC – Luke Hochevar (5-2, 4.95 ERA)
Game 1 Info: 11:10 AM PT TV-Fox Sports West; Radio-ESPN Radio, KLAA 830 AM, KWKW 1330 AM
Game 2 Info: 5:10 PM PT TV-Fox Sports West; Radio-ESPN Radio, KLAA 830 AM, KWKW 1330 AM
Game 3 Info: 5:10 PM PT TV-Fox Sports West; Radio-ESPN Radio, KLAA 830 AM, KWKW 1330 AM
Game 4 Starters: LAA – Jered Weaver (3-2, 2.87 ERA) KC – Zack Greinke (1-6, 3.57 ERA)
Game 4 Info: 11:10 AM PT TV-Fox Sports West; Radio-ESPN Radio, KLAA 830 AM, KWKW 1330 AM
5. So begins the Angels massive 14 games, 14 days road trip and it couldn’t be coming at a worse time as the Angels are now without Kendry Morales and haven’t even had adequate time to find a suitable replacement yet. Fortunately for the Angels, they get to start the trip on the lowest level of difficulty by taking on the lowly Kansas City Royals who also happen to be a lousy home team (9-14) which is great news for the Angels as they look to clean up their equally as lackluster road record (9-14).
4. I might have to take work off on Thursday so that I can watch the stellar Weaver-Greinke matchup live. The Royals don’t have much in the way of stars, but Greinke certainly counts (in spite of his 1-6 record) and it will be great to see him go toe-to-toe with Jered Weaver who has thus far shown a knack for finding another gear whenever he has to face another ace.
3. Who’s on first? Napoli got the first crack at filling in at first for Morales, but that is not a workable solution on a permanent basis until Naps gets some more practice at the position. He might start a game or two their, but the Angels need to look for other options and I have the unfortunate notion that there is just one option: a Mike Ryan-Robb Quinlan platoon. This could get ugly.
2. This will be a big series for both Scott Kazmir as he is coming off a bad start against a bad offense. The Royals are a better group of hitters than the Mariners, but not by a huge margin, so he better get some good results or we are all going to have to start panicking over him again.
1. Believe it or not, in spite of everything the Angels have been through this year, they are just 2.5 games out of first place entering this series. So as bad as it might seem to have them taking on this big trip and scrambling to replace injured players, they are still right in the thick of things and must keep their heads up. If they do, they might even emerge from this four-game set all by themselves atop the AL West.