Angels Can’t Stop Rangers’ Bats, Blow Second in a Row; New AL West Talent

Not since the days of the the late Art Fowler and the original Arson Squad in the early years of the original major league LA Angels (that’s pre-Anaheim, guys), has Angel pitching fueled such fires of opposition run production. In the last two games against Texas, their previously slumping offense collected 35 hits and scored 26 runs (yea, a 13.00 ERA, for the month of August, so far) against human beings standing on the Arlington Stadium mound, wearing Angels’ uniforms, and pretending to be major league pitchers.

The good news (really?) is that while the Angels have fallen back into third place, they remain, as of now, still, the possessors of one of the wild card spots.

Besides the unholy barrage of Rangers hits unmercifully shellacking guys named Carpenter, Williams, Takahashi, and, oh yea, one C.J. Wilson, formerly in the employ of the Texas organization, the game also was noteworthy for the major league debut of the Ranger’s answer to Mike Trout, their number one prospect since Mark Teixeira (or is it since Hank Blalock?), one Mike Olt, a third baseman by trade who figures to get some part-time play at first, and, maybe in the outfield. At 24, he’s no phenom like Trout, and he certainly is no base stealer, and while he does play several positions, he is far from the

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defensive star that Trout is. But, he’s got great power, a good eye, generally makes contact, and figures to hit a lot of home runs over the next decade. He even got a base hit in his first at bat.

Just what the AL West needs – another hitter in Texas. What was that score again? Oh, yea, 15 to 9.

Oakland, as if they needed more pitching, also announced the recall of their best young talent – wait for it – another starter, one Dan Straily. The Oakland people think highly of him, and he’s leading professional baseball in strikeouts this season, but his numbers, and his fastball, are not THAT impressive. He has 175 Ks this season, but he has pitched 138 innings, a total only 15 or so major league pitchers have hit so far. Straily’s fastball tops out at 92, and his mundane repertoire features only that, a slider, and a changeup. Despite all those strikeouts, he was only 8-6 in 22 Texas League and PCL starts this year. He’s scheduled to start against the Blue Jays tonight.

So Oakland gets more pitching, and Texas gets more hitting. What else is new.

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