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« The First Link | Main | The Artist »

May 29, 2005

The Backbone

Enough already about the lack of hitting and the poor on-base percentage of the Angels. And with the reigning league MVP on the disabled list, the local newspapers have turned to writing glowing articles about Scot Shields, even if Angel fans have been well aware of Shields's stellar work for the past 3 seasons. I guess that's what happens when you pitch in Anaheim.

Which is why it's high time to salute the real backbone of the current Los Angeles Red team, the starting pitchers.

Over the past 14 contests, the Angels starters have pitched seven or more innings in nine of those games, and in three of the five games in which they did not complete at least seven frames, the starters went at least six innings. The two exceptions during this stretch were Ervin Santana's first major league start in Cleveland, in which he lasted only four innings, and Kelvim Escobar's five-inning outing in yesterday's blowout of the Kansas City Royals, which was his first start coming off the DL.

The fine work by the starting pitchers-- Bartolo Colon, Jarrod Washburn, John Lackey, Paul Byrd, and Escobar-- will have to continue while the bullpen is minus Francisco Rodriguez. And even if the Angel bats heat up soon, the month of June will bring quality opponents in the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins, Texas Rangers and the Dodgers (as well as the Mets and Nationals), so all of those innings that the starters have been chewing up of late are bound to pay dividends for a bullpen that figures to see some work over the upcoming five weeks. Without a doubt, the starters have been the difference between being in first place and suffering the same fate that has befallen the Oakland A's minus Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder.

Posted by Andrew Torres at 1:31 AM


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