Since we lost the schedule for this, I decided to do it.
In this case we really need a 'KTE' since we hardly ever play these guys so we need to know something about them. Problem is, I can't even figure out where they play! Their name - at various times - has implied that they play in Los Angeles, in Anaheim, or just in California ... sometimes one or more of them at once!! And, marketing attempts aside, LA & Anaheim aren't really even all that close to each other -- so I'm just going to call them 'Angels in America'.
Where: Shea Stadium for 3 games to finish up the longest home-stand of the year
When: Friday 7:10 EDT, Saturday 7:10, Sunday 1:10
So let's meet the Angels:
Since becoming surprise winners of the 2002 World Series, the Angels crashed and burned in '03, then bounced back nicely last year before getting steam-rolled in 3 games in round 1 by the eventual champs from Boston.
This season they've split their last 10 but remained in 1st place (thanks to the Rangers getting their butts kicked in Philly) in the AL West at 34-25, coming off taking 2 of 3 in Atlanta (something we certainly find tough to do).
What they're doing well right now is pitching: 4th in the AL in team ERA, 6th in OPS, 1st in K/9, 5th in WHi. A decent, though not real deep, starting staff (we'll get their best 3) is backed by a real deep bullpen. Felix Rodriguez (11 saves, 0.95 WHiP, 2.37 ERA) closes, but Scott Shields (1.08, 2.75) & Brandan Donnely (1.02, 3.49) can also match w/anyone.
Friday: Bartolo Colon (R) 7-3, 1.18 WHiP, 3.10 ERA -- vs Kaz Ishii
Colon's last 2 starts have been somewhat rough, plus he's still fat.
Two of our AL ex-Pats: Beltran (.343/.425/.743 - 4 HRs, 35 ABs) & M'kiewicz (.333/.371/.515 - 1 HR, 33 ABs) have hit him well; while Cameron (.087/.160/.087 - 8 Ks, 23 ABs) has not.
Saturday: Jarrod Washburn (L) 3-3, 1.50, 3.86 -- vs Kris Benson
Again the ex-ALers are the only ones w/significant samples: Beltran (.333/.364/.619 - 2 HRs, 21 ABs); Cameron (.226/.342/.355 - 1 HR, 31 ABs) & M'kiewicz (.400/.438/.467 - 15 ABs)
Sunday: John Lackey (R ) 5-2, 1.46, 3.93 -- vs Pedro Martinez
Lackey is just in his 3rd season, so only Cameron (2-for-14, 1 HR) and M'kiewicz (5-for-14) have any track record.
What they don't do well is hit (sound familiar?):
9th in AL in runs scored, 12th in OBP, 11th in Slugging, 12th in HRs
Part of that is due to Big Bad Vlad being out but, as luck would have it, he's scheduled to return tonight. But even with him they're not all that potent.
1st - Darrin Erstad: A decent CFer who - when he isn't knocking catchers into next week - really doesn't hit as much as you'd like from your 1st baseman (2 HRs)
2B: Either Adam Kennedy who's been in and out of the lineup since being the 2002 post-season hitting star, or super-sub Chone (pronounced Shawn/Sean) Figgins. Figgins is an excellent runner who with a glove is ... er, an excellent runner.
SS: Orlando Cabrera: An Ex-'Po who got far too much credit for Boston's WS run last year. He fields well but has lower OBP numbers (.295) than our SS.
3B: Rookie Dallas McPherson started slowly but is coming around (16 of his 36 hits so far are for extra-bases).
OF: As mentioned, Vlad Guerrero should be back from his (non-throwing) should boo-boo. Garrett Anderson doesn't walk as much as he should but hits over .300 w/decent power, and Steve Finley still has a bit of speed & pop to compensate for his low avg (.223) and the fact that he's 57 years old.
C: They have several catchers all named Molina (Benji & Jose). Since they're virtually indistinguishable from each other and (in a foot race) from both former Met Jason Phillips and current one Ramon Castro, I'll spare you any details, except to say that they're both good defensively. Apparently that characteristic is in the genes since the MFY's will be facing baby brother Yadier at the same time.
Ex-Factor: A couple of early-'90s brief Mets;
Paul Byrd - who we likely won't see, plus OF/PR sub (if you blinked you missed him) Curtis Pride - most notable for being MLB's only deaf current player.