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Angels vs. Yankees -- Series Preview

By: Joel DiTata

4/30/2009


Usually a good way to measure the Yankees success is how they play against the top of the AL East, specifically the Red Sox. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are the other major league team that always seems to give the Yankees a headache. Although the Angels aren't out to a great start due to a lot of injuries and some inconsistency, heres a little preview of the Angels (9-11) vs. the Yankees (11-10) series.

Thursday, April 30, 7:05 PM.

Anthony Ortega (0-1, 7.20 ERA) @ A.J. Burnett (2-0, 5.47 ERA)

You're not the only one wondering who Mr. Ortega is. He throws in the low 90's and solid breaking balls. The Venezuelan gave up 4 ER in 5 IP in a loss vs the Mariners in his previous start. A.J. Burnett on the other hand was without a doubt the Yankees best pitcher before his run in with Jason Varitek's grand slam in Fenway last weekend. Hopefully Burnett can give the Yankees a quality start and should be getting a lot of run support from the Yankees hitters against the little known Ortega.

Friday, May 1, 7:05 PM.

Jered Weaver (2-1, 2.45 ERA) @ Andy Pettitte (2-1, 2.96 ERA)

Weaver has easily been the Angels best pitcher so far into the young season. His last time out he shut down the Mariners for seven scoreless innings. Andy Pettitte thus far to the season has been like--well-- Andy Pettitte. Never the talk of the staff but when he's on the mound you know this guy is giving 110% in each and every pitch. This game looks like it will be more of a pitcher's duel compared to Thursday but Weaver had a 9.00 ERA against the Yankees last season and Pettitte had a 7.94 ERA vs The Angels.

Saturday, May 2, 1:05 PM.

Matt Palmer (1-0, 6.00 ERA) @ CC Sabathia (1-2, 4.73 ERA)

Well, if you didn't know who Ortega was you're not going to know Palmer either as well you probably shouldn't. Sabathia only had three bad pitches in his last start, that surrendered four runs, and that was too much for the Yankees to overcome. This match-up to me seems almost comical. There is no write-up for this, just read the two names over and over.

Sunday, May 3, 1:05 PM.

Joe Saunders (3-1, 3.41 ERA) @ Phil Hughes (1-0, 0.00)

Joe Saunders has come to be one of the elite pitchers on this staff even when Lackey and Santana are both healthy. His last time out vs. Baltimore he wasn't too convincing but still wasn't too awful, surrendering four runs and ten hits. Phil Hughes' first start was the reason why he has been praised for the past few years. His fastball hitting 96, his curve ball was knee-buckling, and his new re-defined cutter had left-handed hitters jammed. If he has more starts even remotely close to his last one, and Wang finds himself back to normal, I think we know where Joba will be heading -- but that's a topic for another day.



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