Really, we have to do this now? After that crazy and tense and awesomely victorious sweep over Oakland, they have to play the Astros? Nothing personal against Houston, but the level of interest just isn’t there.
It isn’t just the Astros either. The next 13 games for the Angels are against some of the worst teams in the league (excluding the one game against the average Cleveland Indians). With that coming on the heels of seven all-important games against Oakland in then days, it is just a real big comedown.
I enjoyed that playoff atmosphere, but now it is gone for the next two weeks and it kind of feels like the AL West race is already wrapped up. I know these games still count just the same, but they don’t feel the same.
LAST TIME ON ANGELS VS. ASTROS…
The last time the Angels faced the Astros, they swept a four-game series against them in Anaheim. Hmmm, that reminds me of something. Something that just happened recently. I can’t seem to put my finger on it. Weird.
Anyway, the Halos are 10-4 against the Astros this year. This two-game series will be their last visit to Houston in 2014. It will, however, be their first against Houston since they fired Bo Porter. Actually, it will be anyone’s first series against them since they fired their manager. That could be a factor depending on whether the Astros roster takes that as a wake-up call or a sign of impending doom.
TUESDAY, 9/2: C.J. Wilson vs. Brad Peacock
Wilson has had a lot of trouble with Houston this year. In fact, you could point to the awful start he made against them early in June as the start of all his troubles the last few months. The Astros aren’t really getting on base against C.J., but they are taking him deep. Chris Carter, in particular, has eaten C.J.’s lunch just about every time they’ve faced each other.
Peacock is having a dreadful season, but he actually beat the Angels in his one start against them this season. He actually didn’t pitch well in that game, and his overall numbers against the Halos are poor, so don’t read too much into it. Hell, he gave up a homer to Hank Conger, for crying out loud.
WEDNESDAY, 9/3: Jered Weaver vs. Collin McHugh
We probably all still remember the four-homer game Weaver had against Houston back in April, but he came back to two-hit them in May. Of course, one of those two hits was a homer, so clearly there is an issue there. Dingers aside, Weaver has been totally dominant against Houston, limiting the current Astros to .538 OPS. He’s allowed just nine hits against them collectively, but three of those hits left yard.
Coincidentally, McHugh has also allowed just a .538 OPS against he Angels in his career. He’s faced the Angels three times this year and dominated them twice. Maybe the Angels finally figured him out in that third start, but McHugh is coming in hot having allowed two runs or less in his last six starts.
I should predict a sweep here. I mean, the Angels really should sweep the Astros with the way they are playing right now. However, Houston hasn’t been a pushover of late and I’m really worried about the struggles Wilson has had against the ‘Stros this year and McHugh’s success over the Angels. Plus, there is that letdown factor looming. It just seems like the perfect storm for the Angels to let one of these games slip through the fingers. So, mark this one down as a split.
UNOFFICIAL PREDICTION (so don’t hold me to it)
Interim manager Tim Lawless will attempt to make an illegal pitcher substitution as an homage to the recently canned Bo Porter.