Series Preview: Lowly Angels visit the Blue Jays
Coming off the heels of a disappointing and frustrating series against the Cleveland Indians, the Blue Jays will look to bounce back against an Angels squad desperately struggling to stay out of the basement in the AL West.
They Angels have posted a 5-14 record in August, including a 10 game losing streak, so to say that they’re struggling would be an understatement.
This series poses a great opportunity for the Jays to bury the memories of the Indians series. It wasn’t an awful series by any means, as the starting pitching was very good. You’d like to see some better performances from the lineup, but you have to tip your cap to Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber who pitched well.
One-run losses in games one and three stung, but before this series the bullpen had been pitching well. It’s easy to blame the bullpen and Brett Cecil, who has posted less than stellar numbers, but I think it’s safe to chalk it up as a couple of games that got away, as opposed to a potential area of the team that warrants legitimate concern down the stretch.
At the end of the day, despite the losses, it was exciting, meaningful baseball against a fellow good baseball team. The Indians are good, the Jays are good, and it was a matchup that we could potentially see come playoff time. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see the Jays win every ballgame, but you have to relish the fact that this is excellent baseball to watch near the end of the season, exactly what Jays’ fans have wanted for years.
A strong series will not only wipe away the frustration of this past weekend, but it also presents an opportunity to create a larger margin between themselves and their fellow AL East opponents. While the Jays get the lowly Angels, the Red Sox start a four game series against the Rays, who are also mightily struggling, and the Orioles start a four game set against the Nationals.
The Jays will send veterans R.A. Dickey, Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to the mound, while they will see youngster Tyler Skaggs, and veterans Matt Shoemaker and Jered Weaver. I love this series from an offensive standpoint and the pitching matchups could give the offence an opportunity for a big spark.
The Blue Jays’ spot in the AL East standings is completely and utterly in their control down the stretch. They currently sit in first, and in order to stay there, they’ll have to have success against non-playoff competitors like the Angels.
Next: Angels pitching staff responsible for miserable season