Tagged: Starting Pitchers

Big John vs The Rocket

The pitching match-up slated for tomorrow plans to be one of the best of the year.

I know I make that claim (perhaps) a little too frequently, but I really mean it this time.

Firstly the game itself is a marquee event, even if I weren’t an Angels fan I would have to claim that. Yankees versus Angels always produces some of the most fierce competition in the Majors, and it is between some of the games biggest stars (which can be argued whenever the Yankees take the field). And then there is the fact that the Angels are the only team with a winning record against the Yankees during the Torree era, which makes these games about pride as much as anything else.

But as great as the games normally are this is going to be even better as Roger Clemens and John Lackey take the mound. One would probably guess that I would have a large conflict of interest in this game, as the man that I hero worship takes the mound in one of the final starts of his career against my favorite overall pitcher and hometown hero.

I’m predicting a great duel, but here is to hoping. My dad thinks its going to be a blow out, and I think that he is praying Clemens leaves the game with an injury. But honestly think how great it will be for Lackey to defeat the Yankees, and more importantly fellow Texan Roger Clemens just before his first All Star game. If he can do so he will continue to cement what has already been the start of a great career, and stellar season.

Yankees vs Sox

I, like most of the baseball nation, look forward to Yankees vs Sox games.

Since I don’t like either team, I root for the one I dislike least, the Red Sox. And since I’m not a huge home run fan I always look forward to the great pitching matchups these games produce. In my opinion seeing Pettite or Mussina against anyone is always fun. Then there is Beckett (I know, I know not currently with the team), Dice K, and Schilling. So much potential.

So you can imagine my disappointment at Chien-Ming Wang vs Tim Wakefield. You can argue that this is a great pitching matchup… But I would argue that there isn’t the overwhelming Yankee vs Red Sox lure to this.

These starters would be fun, if it wasn’t Yankees vs Red Sox. If the Rockies and the Diamondbacks, for example, had these guys starting I would be intrigued. Yes, I like the Diamondbacks this year, and they have some great starters (Webb and Johnson), but if they had Wakefield going, and the Rockies had Wang going and they were playing I would be legitimately interested.

I understand that the Yankees have had real problems with their pitching staff this year. Every baseball fan understands that. But I am not as sold on Chien-Ming Wang as everyone else is. I don’t think you can measure a guys greatness in 57 games, but he has a 4.54 ERA this season (3.84 career). I don’t think that these numbers imply the greatness that everyone seems to see.

I like watching Wakefield. He is a great knuckleball pitcher. And he just struck out my most disliked player in the majors (Hideki Matsui). Only to give up a home run to A-Rod. But more to the point while he is a lot of fun to watch, I don’t want to see him starting a game against the Yanks.

I’d rather see… Pettite vs Schilling. That is a real pitching matchup. Two greats of our generation. Two greats in two storied franchise’s histories. That lives up to what Yankees vs Red Sox should be. This, not so much. This makes Yankees vs Red Sox, one of the most fun parts of baseball season, into just another game.

I know that I am not a fan of either team. But I can get as passionate about the series as any baseball fan. And I did date a Sox fan for a year and a half, so I have experience with the hatred and loathing of the Yankees. But honestly this is not the pitching matchup that I, or many others, would have hoped for.

Oh well, pitching matchup or not, I’m watching as a fan of the game.

P.S. Has anyone else ever noticed that A-Rod’s lips turn purple at night?

Congratulations Julian Tavarez

You got exactly what you wanted.

As most of you know unless you were, well I don’t really have an excuse for you not to know, Roger Clemens is once again a Yankee.

I’m glad. I think this is good for baseball. In fact, I know that this is good for baseball. I am wonderfully excited to see him pitch. Of course I hope that he goes 0-0 for the whole season with 15 no decisions, and all of those 15 games would end up as losses for Yankee relievers, but I realize this is wishful thinking. Oh it is going to be great.

But what is with Theo Epstein? You are going to only offer The Rocket 18 million dollars prorated? Are you kidding me right now? He is worth so much more than that.

And what is with the logic of not wanting him until the end of June? "Well you are one of the best pitchers in the history of the game, but we don’t really want you right now"? No. If Roger Clemens will pitch for you, you take him, when you can get him, no questions asked. I understand that alot of people don’t think he deserves such special benefits, but when you are that good, and your all time rival is the other team in the race to get that guy, you give him what he wants when he wants it.

Erstad looked solid in the whole series. AJ hit a pinch hit home run to tie the game and ultimately send it into extra innings…

Quinlan could have hit for the cycle today with just a home run. But Scoscia pulled him. I don’t understand this logic either. You had a 3 run lead at the time, Quinlan was on fire. I like Casey Kotchman, but I think that Scoscia could have, and should have, allowed Quinlan to get one more at bat. If Quinlan had hit that homerun the game wouldn’t have gone into extra innings…

Jimmie Johnson is so good right now. Kasey Kahne really needs to step it up. I have been a fan since Kasey came up, and I won’t change my alleigance, but this is getting a little frustrating. He was running really well today, at Richmond (where he got his very first win), and then ran himself into the wall. Weather the storm, right?

The De La Hoya vs Mayweather fight was… alright. I watched it from Papas in Rosarito. This was honestly the plot of Rocky Balboa in an actual fight. The old man vs the new hot shot. Could he do it? Turns out that (just like in the movie) he couldn’t. But it would be a split decision, just like the movie. I really didn’t think that a movie could forsee the future like that. They even had the Max Kellerman part down to a tee.

GO DUCKS!

Torre’s heart rate directly related to pitching staff’s performance

Has anyone else noticed that the man literally looks like death? Honestly.

Now probably isn’t the time to be joking about death. I too am mourning the loss of Josh Hancock. I honestly can’t imagine what I would do if something like this happened to an Angel. It was hard enough when Reggie Wayne’s brother passed during football season, something like this would be devestating to a team, and is obviously hurtful to the entire league.

Angels managed to take 2 out of 3 from the Chi Sox. Erstad did well. I’m happy for him.

I consider any race with the end result of Tony Stewart being in the wall a win.

Lackey takes the mound tomorrow at 510 PT, against the Royals. Gotta love Big John!

Number 41 in your program, Number 1 in my HEART

John Lackey takes the mound today against Edwin Jackson at 705 my time (thats 10 for you on the East Coast). While the Devil Rays did sweep the Yankees I’m curious to see how they can keep up with the Angels. The Yankees (obviously) don’t have the starting pitching that the Angels do. So John Lackey (2-2 this season with a career 2.61 ERA against the D Rays) is set to make his 3rd home start of the season.

This will be the first home start for Lackey that I won’t be at, and trust me I’m feeling guilty. Big John is 2-0 at home, or in other words 2-0 when I am there. However Lackey is 0-2 on the road, or 0-2 when I’m not there. So if he loses tonight, blame me. If you havn’t noticed I’m very superstitious. I have my lucky Angels shoes on right now (something I started back when Spiezio was with the club).

If there is one thing I have realized this season, it is the difficulty of having a starting pitcher as your favorite player. With position players you get to see them on a daily basis, even bench players, I know, DaVanon was my favorite Angel for a long time. Pinch hits, runs, and in the AL, the DH allow you to see guys play more frequently. And relief pitchers get work every few days. However, in this era of baseball, you are lucky to see your favorite starter once a week (unless your an Andy Petitte fan).

It isn’t that I don’t like Jered Weaver, Kelvim Escobar, Bartolo Colon, or Ervin Santana, but I’d rather see Lackey pitch. And I’m not pushing for a Cy Young style rotation where a guy throws every other day. I understand the starters role in today’s world, I’m just realizing that seeing my favorite Angel once ever few days is a lot more difficult than even seeing one sit on the bench.

And yes, I have always been a Lackey fan, but this is my second season as having him as my favorite Angel. Spiezio was my favorite, then he left, then DaVanon and Quinlan, and now Lackey and Quinlan.

In other news, the Angels won yesterday, and actually gave Kelvim Escobar some run support. The game even went into extra innings after a blown save by Frankie. I’m a little shocked honestly, not that Frankie blew a save, but that the guys scored more than 3 times in a game. It is so nice to have Vladdy back in the lineup, but how long can a guy carry an entire team on his shoulders? And Shea Hillenbrand has been getting a few hits, good for him. I still don’t think he was worth the money.

A-Rod said he wants to stay in New York… Right. Until the "fans" start booing him again, which they will. Cold Pizza asked "Yankee Fans" who they liked better, Jeter or A-Rod, and they were all screaming about how much they "love Alex." No, these weren’t Yankee fans. These were people who managed to get tickets to the game. They didn’t know what they were talking about, as I have realized so few people actually do. I’m not claiming to be the most well versed baseball fan in the world, but I know what I’m talking about, I do my research, I do my reading, and the outcome of a game matters to me. These people couldn’t tell you about the 1936 World Series, but they can tell you that Ruth hit 714 home runs, or that the "YANKEES HAVE 26 RINGS." I have met knowledgeable Yankee fans, and I respect them, but I can’t stand people who act as though knowing the Yankees have more championships than anyone else qualifies them as a fan. This goes for any team, for that matter. If you can’t talk to me about "you team" and their starting rotation, then you are not a fan.

You should all listen to Coral and Brady on Baseball today at 4 o’clock my time (6 o’clock Central time, and 7 o’clock Eastern). Call in. Talk to us. We would love to hear from you. I bet you can’t wait to hear about my thoughts on Pete Rose and Torii Hunter. See a comparison? I’ll show you one.

Getting Ready

For Big John Lackey to take the mound.

I’m very interested to see how Nick Swisher crowds the plate today based on their last meeting. We all know that Lackey isn’t afraid to get in a fight, and I think that Napoli is the kind of guy that would help him out.

Here are the vitals on Lackey and Swisher:

Lackey-
6’6"
205 lbs

Swisher-
6’0"
194 lbs

I think that my boy is going to have the edge here.

Hopefully the Angels offense can score a few runs for Lackey. I’m also curious to see how many strike outs he can get today, which I’m sure all fantasy players are banking on.

Lackey 22-1?