Friday, April 10, 2015

Santiago, Angels welcome Royals for ALDS rematch

The Angels' first home game of 2015 will feature the same opponent as their last home game of 2014, and perhaps some bad memories.
On the other side will be the Royals team that swept the Angels in last year's American League Division Series, putting a bitter end to a season that saw them win a Major League-leading 98 games. Angels lefty Hector Santiago will match up against Royals lefty Jason Vargas.
The Royals beat the Angels on back-to-back, 11th-inning walk-off homers in Games 1 and 2 of the ALDS from Southern California, then took an early lead in Game 3 from Kansas City and moved on, leaving the Angels in the dust.
"Kansas City has a good team; they play the game the right way," Angels shortstop Erick Aybar said. "I think it's going to be a good series."
What to watch for:
• Fly-ball pitchers typically thrive at Angel Stadium, and Vargas certainly qualifies. The 32-year-old is 9-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 129 career innings there, which doesn't include the six innings of two-run ball he threw in Game 1 of the ALDS. He's also 5-4 with a 3.02 career ERA against the Angels.
• Santiago's Angels career got off to a rough start, as he went 0-6 with a 5.19 ERA in his first six starts and was optioned to Triple-A a couple weeks later. Upon coming back, though, he closed out the season with a 3.30 ERA in 90 innings.
• Mike Trout is one home run away from 100 in his career. When he hits it, he'll likely become the youngest player ever to reach the 100-homer, 100-steal threshold. The current record holder is Alex Rodriguez, who got there at 23 years, 309 days in 1999. Trout, with 102 career steals, turned 23 last August.

No comments: