Oakland Athletics (55-71) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (75-50)

Starters: OAK – Trevor Cahill (6-12, 4.86 ERA)  LAA – Ervin Santana (7-6, 6.13 ERA)

Game Info: 7:25 PM PT TV-Fox Sports West, Radio-KLAA 830 AM, KFWB, KWKW 1330 AM

As much as this season has been dedicated to the memory of Nick Adenhart, tonight’s game has a special meaning since it is the make-up game for the early season game that was canceled the day after Nick Adenhart’s life was taken by a drunk driver.

Nick Adenhart patch

Already this week the Angels have been faced with one Adenhart reminder via his birthday on Monday, but this game is special.  This is the game where Nick should have been hanging out in the dugout with his buddies, basking in the afterglow of a strong start to his rookie season.  But instead of laughing and joking or daydreaming about what lies in store for the rest of his career, he is lying in a grave while his family, friends and teammates continue to mourn his loss.

For at least one night the Angels owe it to Nick to dedicate their performance solely to his memory.  Forget about the AL West race or even the curiously scheduled Angel Hall of Fame induction ceremony preceding the game.  Just turn off the out-of-town scoreboard, kill the blaring pop music between innings and don’t even think about showing a blooper reel during the seventh inning stretch.  Tonight is Nick Adenhart’s night, the Angels should take a long, hard look at that uniform hanging on the dugout wall and win this one for him.

THREE Questions:

  • Can Ervin Santana get that ERA under 6.00 finally?  At 6.13, Santana is oh-so-close to getting his ERA out of the astronomically high zone where it has been since his third start of the season.
  • Will the Angels start a new winning streak?  Yesterday the Angels snapped their mini-skid, but that won’t count for much if they don’t keep on the winning path tonight against the cellar-dwelling Athletics.
  • Are Brian Downing’s arms still as huge as they were back in his playing days?  I might actually have to check out the inductions just to see because that always fascinated me when I was a kid.

TWO Predictions:

  • I predict a double-digit win.  After getting fired up before yesterday’s game by a Torii Hunter speech, the Angels gutted out a win over the Tigers.  Now they can combine that fire with the Adenhart-related emotions that are no doubt running high and really get themselves locked in.
  • In a fitting tribute to Adenhart who shutout the A’s for six innings in his one start this year, Ervin Santana will toss a complete game shutout tonight.  This is no emotional prediction either, lest we forget that Santana nearly shutout Oakland the one time he faced them earlier in the season and generally owns the Athletics with a career 10-1 record and 1.35 ERA against them.

ONE Wish:

  • I wish that the Angels remember to honor Nick Adenhart tonight.  Not to keep harping on it, but it really rubs me the wrong way that the Angels are doing Hall of Fame inductions tonight.  They could have done it at any other time but chose this game for some inexplicable reason.  Even the Angel generated game preview on the Angels’ website makes no mention that his game is originally postponed because of the tragedy.  I just hope that they, at a minimum, hold a moment of silence before the first pitch.  I know that everyone wants to move on from this, but don’t just pretend like it never happened.

ZERO Tolerance for… more lousy hitting with runners in scoring position.  The pitching for the Angels has been rough lately, but the real reason they have been slumping is because their bats just haven’t been coming through in RISP situations.  They need to fix that ASAP.

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).