Take a good look at the Los Angeles Angels this weekend. If the Yankees are to return to the World Series this season, that’s the team they’ll have to get through.
The Angels were 19-6 in July, averaging 6.4 runs. They have won four straight, outscoring the Red Sox and Yankees 34-15. Now 68-40, they are clearly the best team in baseball and have the best manager in Mike Scioscia.
“I think we pressured these guys all night and that’s what we need to do,” he said tonight. “When you’re playing teams with the offenses we’ve been playing, the Red Sox and the Yankees, you need to keep going. We did a lot of good things on the bases and a lot of good things at the plate.”
Now they get Sidney Ponson tomorrow. Yikes. His last two games against them: 8.1 innings, 15 hits, 11 runs.
A couple of things you may be interested in:
* Jose Molina will continue to catch Mike Mussina.
* Loyal blog reader Shelley Duncan has started playing again down in Tampa as he recovers from his shoulder injury. He’ll be getting in games again soon.
* Phil Hughes was activated off the DL on Tuesday and optioned to Charleston. He’ll pitch again on Saturday.
* I can’t imagine there’s much point in keeping Chris Britton here tomorrow after letting him throw 53 pitches tonight.
* The Alberto Gonzalez move cleared a 40-man roster spot and removed a player who was blocking AA infielder Ramiro Pena. The Yankees like him a lot. If they suddenly need an infielder, it’ll be Cody Ransom. Jhonny Nunez will be assigned to Trenton and tried as a starter. He’s 22.
* Don’t look now, but Kei Igawa has pitched well for Scranton in his recent starts. Figures, just when they took him off the roster. Chad Jennings reports that he has dropped his arm slot and it gives him more velocity and movement.