The Dodgers and Angels begin a four game series tomorrow night, with the Angels riding high on their eight-game win streak, and the Dodgers, still, 48 games into the season, without a major league manager to lead them.
With the Dodgers, it has even gotten to the point that they are unable to win a game started by Clayton Kershaw, losing today to St. Louis, 5-3. Going in to today’s game, the team had won six of ten Kershaw starts this season, while managing only 14 wins in 37 games NOT started by Kershaw.
Outside of him, the Dodgers feature solid play from Mark Ellis, A.J. Ellis, and Nick Punto (when he gets to play), and Adrian Gonzalez is having a great, all-star caliber start. The rest of the team, following the lead of their empty uniform “manager”, is an underachieving, embarrassing, multi-million dollar mess. Not to make light of tragedy, it make take a FEMA team to clean up the Dodgers’ Stadium carnage when the Angels leave after Thursday’s series finale.
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|The Angels come in on all cylinders, and are LEAD by Mike Scioscia, a real manager, in the dugout, and by Mike Trout, on the field. After a slow start, Trout is having an awesome May, hitting .352 for the month, with eight home runs, 20 RBI, and eight stolen bases in ten attempts, all numbers that equal or better his mind-blowing start as a rookie last year. However, it has been the pitching turn around that has meant as much as anything to the team’s resurgence. Jason Vargas has won his last three starts, Jerome Williams three of his last four, and C.J. Wilson his last (after a couple of tough loses) and those three have|
combined over those ten games to compile an overall 2.89 ERA. Throw in the great shutout innings in Billy Buckner’s one start (for which he was astoundingly rewarded with his release) and Wednesday’s anticipated return from the DL of Jered Weaver, and for the first time this season the Angels’ starting staff looks solid.
The four games figure to see Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu start for the Dodgers, with Wilson, Vargas, Joe Blanton and Weaver for the Angels. Greinke may be able to stop the Angels assault, and even the Dodgers could beat up on Blanton, so at some point during the series, that Angels’s winning streak could miss a beat that even the empty uniform may be unable to prevent.