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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday, March 27, 2014 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2014

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday, March 27, 2014 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2014   A good shot of two stars: Albert Pujols (left) and Adrian Gonzalez (right)

 

A TALE OF THE TAPE AS BASEBALL’S SECOND HALF COMMENCES

 

LOS ANGELES DODGERS 

51-39, first place in the National League West, four and a half games ahead of the San Francisco Giants

Top Pitchers…

Zack Greinke: 8-2, 1.39 ERA (leads MLB), 106 strikeouts, currently on a 35-inning scoreless inning streak

Clayton Kershaw: 6-6, 2.85 ERA, 160 strikeouts (leads MLB)

Top Hitters…

Adrian Gonzalez: .283 average, 18 home runs, 55 RBI (leads team)

Justin Turner: .308 average (leads team), 11 home runs, 39 RBI

 

LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM

48-40, first place in the American League West, half a game ahead of the Houston Astros

Top Pitchers…

Hector Santiago: 6-4, 2.33 ERA

Houston Street: 3-2, 2.27 ERA, 24 saves

Top Hitters…

Mike Trout: .312 average (leads team), 26 home runs (tied for league lead), 55 RBI, 68 runs scored (leads MLB)

Albert Pujols: ..255 average, 26 home runs (tied for league lead), 56 RBI

Mike-Trout-640x486

The now two-time All-Star Game Most Valuable Player showing his spoils from the July 14th contest in Cincinnati – and the 2015 Angels MVP (IMO) to date

 

Bill Shaikin, the baseball beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, hit the nail right on the head in his column today when he mentioned what L.A.’s two major league baseball teams needed for the last two and a half months of the season if they are to make a long run in October.

And possibly face each other in a Freeway World Series.

Let’s just get right to it, starting with what Orange County’s Angels desperately need:

Another hitter to add to Trout and Pujols who can play left field.

Sure, it’s quite exciting that Mike Scioscia’s red-clad Halos have ridden a hot streak to the top of the A.L. West standings, but when you consider the fact that two of their front line starters aren’t even hitting .200 – catcher Chris Ianetta (.191) and left fielder Matt Joyce (.190)…

You know it’s only a matter of time, very little time, before Trout and Pujols are pitched around and avoided like the plague.

Who wants to be hurt by a guy who in the vast majority of fans and pundits’ opinions is the best player in baseball, who just claimed his second consecutive All-Game MVP award to boot?

Or a guy who, as sure as I’m writing this, is more or less a lock for a first ballot induction to the Hall of Fame.

It’s pretty cut-and-dry; the Angels need a hitter. Period.

As for those blue-clad guys who play in Chavez Ravine north of downtown L.A., their need is likewise quite clear and just as desperate:

Starting pitching.

To put it bluntly, outside of Greinke and Kershaw – who although his strikeout numbers are still up there is not the same dominating MVP and CY Young Award-winning self he was in 2014 as his giving up two runs in the All-Star Game and taking the loss is an illustration of the hurler’s new-found vulnerability – the Dodgers don’t have much in their rotation.

Jun 7, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA;  Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) in the second inning of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jun 7, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) in the second inning of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports  The starter for the National League in this season’s All-Star Game – and the 2015 Dodgers MVP (IMO) to date 

 

Let’s face it, Mike Bolsinger’s and Carlos Frias’s earned run averages since the beginning of june, both over 4.50, are not going to cut it if Don Mattingly’s team is to finally get past the division and league championship series (read: the St. Louis Cardinals) and meet World Series expectations.

They don’t even have to be big names like the Cincinnati Reds’ Johnny Cueto or the Philadelphia Phillies’ Cole Hamels, just people who are healthy, can eat up innings, and not give up too many runs; an ERA between 3.00 and 3.50 would do just fine.

In fact, it wouldn’t be a good idea for Dodger GM Farhan Zaidi to go after any stars who are toiling for teams going nowhere, because such teams will ask for Corey Seager and the other very highly touted prospects who are tearing it up in L.A’s minor league system right now and are expected to be at Dodger Stadium as soon as this September if not next year.

In other words, why should the Dodgers sacrifice their future for one or two big names who will be free agents and likely bail in three months?

The key for Zaidi is to get help in the rotation without giving up their prospects.

The trade deadline, where players can switch teams without having to clear waivers, is on July 31, two weeks from tomorrow as of this writing.

It safe to say – should go without saying, really – that these next two weeks will be very important ones for both of these MLB teams that call the Los Angeles area home.

That is, if they are serious about achieving playoff glory.

Which I’m sure they are.

 

 

 

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday, March 27, 2014 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2014

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday, March 27, 2014 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2014  Yasiel Puig (left) and Mike Trout (right) posing with a fan before a game 

 

 

 

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