Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels vs. Cleveland Indians
By Matt Van Wormer
After an extremely disappointing weekend, which saw the Indians drop two games to the White Sox (the 3rd being rained out), Cleveland now welcomes the Angels to town with their dynamite pitching staff looking to continue the Tribe’s trend of not scoring any runs. The Indians, on the other hand, will be trying to get back into the Central Division race, one they are quickly falling out of. I know they’re only two games out, but if you’re not scoring runs it might as well be twenty.
Game one pits Dan Haren (10-6, 3.10 ERA) against Fausto Carmona (5-10, 5.63 ERA). Haren has fared well against the Tribe this year, giving up just two runs in 15.2 innings of work. He had a complete game shutout against the Indians back in April and gave up those two runs in a no decision that saw the Angels win 6-5. Carmona has actually pitched pretty well against the Angels. Even though he hasn’t beaten them this year, he has only given up two earned runs in 14.2 innings. He has battled Haren in both meetings this year and just hasn’t had the run support needed to beat this Angels team.
In the second game of the series, leading Cy Young candidate Jered Weaver (13-4, 1.81 ERA) takes the mound, matching up with Josh Tomlin (11-4, 4.12 ERA) who leads the Indians in wins. The Indians actually hit Weaver pretty well back in May, plating four runs in six innings and banging out seven hits in that contest. Tomlin has a slight advantage in this game as he has not faced the Angels this season.
The finale on Wednesday gives us the matchup of Ervin Santana (5-8, 3.69 ERA) and David Huff (1-0, 0.00 ERA) who was supposed to start the game Saturday that got rained out in Cleveland. Santana took a no decision, giving up three runs and six hits in seven innings of work during his only matchup with the Indians this season, but the Angels won that game 4-3. Huff will be making just his second start of the season, hoping to solidify his spot in the rotation down the stretch.
Wins are starting to come at a premium for the Tribe and if they want to have any chance of taking the Central Division by the horns, they have to start now. It has to be a full team effort and any more waiting will see us looking up at two or three teams, instead of looking down like it was earlier this year.