Happy Birthday to you, Howie Kendrick. On his 25th birthd..."/> Happy Birthday to you, Howie Kendrick. On his 25th birthd..."/>

Post-Game Report: Angels vs. A’s (7/12/08)


Happy Birthday to you, Howie Kendrick.

On his 25th birthday, Kendrick went 2-4 with an RBI as the Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 4-1. Ervin Santana pitched another gem tonight; he scattered 5 hits and 10 strikeouts over 7 strong innings. The first time All-Star look calm, cool and in command en route to his 11th victory of the season.

The Halos’ offense looked somewhat awake tonight, as the were able to muster 9 hits against starting pitcher Dana Eveland and the rest of the A’s bullpen. Tonight’s lineup was somewhat of a surprise though, as Casey Kotchman and Garret Anderson were both sitting against a left-handed pitcher. I can understand Anderson’s absence, but Kotchman has been absolutely raking lefties this year. Casey has a .342 batting average average and a .392 OBP against southpaws in 2008. Robb Quinlan and Gary Matthews Jr. received the starts in place of Kotchman and Anderson, and they went a combined 1-7 with 2 K’s and 5 LOB.

Francisco Rodriguez came in for the ninth inning and continued his amazing first-half performance as he earned his 37th save of the season. K-Rod holds the new record for most saves before the All-Star Break.

Top 3 Angels Performers:

1) Ervin Santana pitched beautifully tonight. Santana pitched 7 shutout innings and struck out 10 A’s hitters on the way to his 11th victory of the season. Given Santana’s dominant performce tonight, as well as over the season, we may see him pitch an inning or two in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

2) Howie Kendrick was the only Angel to record two hits in tonight’s game. Kendrick went 2-4 with an RBI. His batting average now stands at an impressive .326 on the season.

3) Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez pitched a great ninth inning to earn his 37th save of the season. K-Rod gave up one hit and struck out one batter in the inning. Look for Rodriguez to continue his dominance in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, as Frankie owns a career 1.07 ERA against the National League, and the NL has only hit .137 against him.

Jeff Weaver of the Game: Tonight’s Jeff Weaver goes to left-fielder Gary Matthews Jr. In case we needed any more evidence that Matthews needs to ride the pine, Gary went 0-4 with two strikeouts tonight. He also left 3 Angel runners on base.

Play of the Game: Oddly enough, the play of the game also goes to GMJ. With two out and one on in the bottom of the first, Emil Brown hit a deep line drive to left field. Matthews ran back, leaped up and made the catch to save a possible run and end the inning.

What to look for next game: Tomorrow marks the last game before the All-Star Break. Dustin Moseley is being called up from AAA Salt Lake, and is scheduled to start against A’s ace Justin Duchscherer. If Moseley doesn’t last long, Jered Weaver is available to pitch in relief. Joe Saunders’ wife, Shanel, gave birth to the couple’s first child on Saturday, so Joe was given the time off to spend with his family.I hate to say it, but be on blowout alert… Moseley has been getting shelled all year (in AAA and in the MLB) and he’ll be pitching on 3 days’ rest.

Next game: Sunday, 1:05 PM (KCOP TV)

Writer’s note: Our thoughts and prayers are with Chone Figgins and his family. Figgins was placed on the bereavement list on Saturday so he could be with his family in Florida. Chone’s father, Charles, suffered a stroke Friday night and is in the hospital. Figgins is expected to return to the team on July 18th.

(Photo credit: Yahoo! Sports)