By Pete Zarustica/Garden Grove Journal/with wire service reports
Long-time Angels fans can remember when the pitching complaint of the team was “Tanana and Ryan and two days of crying.”
A lot has changed since the Seventies, when the Halos could count on strong starts by Frank Tanana and Nolan Ryan — for one thing, pitching rotations are in fives, not fours — but so far in 2011 it looks like the Angels will again be relying heavily on two tentpole pitchers: Jered Weaver and Dan Haren.
On Monday Weaver pitched another gem, getting a complete game in the Halo’s 5-0 win over Oakland. He’s the first pitcher in major league baseball to get his sixth win. Howie Kendrick had two hits and drove in two runs.
“It’s nice to have the accolades,” said Weaver, “but I just want to keep my team in the game, which I did tonight.”
On Tuesday the Halos beat the A’s again, this time without of of their two top aces.
Tyler Chatwood was good enough to get the win as the Angels defeated Oakland 8-3. Alexi Amarista drove in three runs with a double and a sacrifice fly. Howie Kendrick had three hits and scored three times.
Torii Hunter also had three hits for the Angels, who totalled 17 for the night.
The win put the Angels within a half-game of the lead in the American League West.
The results of Wednesday’s game came too late for our deadline.
After sweeping into first place in the American League West by taking of three from the Texas Rangers, the Halos hit a brick wall when the Boston Red Sox came to town last Thursday. The Bosox beat up on the Halos, winning all four contests. The last two games (Saturday and Sunday) were the worst as Boston blanked the Angels 5-0 and 7-0.
To add insult to injury, the winning pitch Sunday was John Lackey, the long-time Halo hurler who went to the Red Sox after the 2009 season. “I’ve won a few games in this stadium for sure,” said Lackey. “This is a great place to pitch.”
Not so happy was Angel manager Mike Scioscia.
“We’ve squeaked out about as many wins as you could expect from having so many issues on the offensive side right now,” he said. “Do we need more offense? Yes.
“Are we lucky to be where we are? No, I don’t think it’s luck,” he continued.” I mean it’s not luck when you have guys like Jered Weaver and Dan Haren pitching as well as they are.”
Indeed, through the weekend’s games those two had a combined record of 9-1. The other regular Halo starter, Ervin Santana, was 0-3.
After a travel day today (Thursday), the Angels travel to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Rays for three, Friday through Sunday. After that, the Halos are in Boston for four games (Monday through Thursday).