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Angels dealing with hot Yanks

Angels dealing with hot Yanks

first_img It’s the way it’s supposed to be in New York, where nothing short of winning the World Series will do. “When you play for the Yankees, when you work for the Yankees, getting to the World Series is one necessary item that needs to take place,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “Winning the World Series is one above that.” The Angels also go in playing well, having won 14 of 16 to finish the regular season with 95 wins, matching the Yankees. The Angels got home-field advantage because they won the season series. While any team would prefer to go into the playoffs on a roll, history shows it isn’t that important. The Angels struggled in the final week of the season in 2002, then got hot in the playoffs and won it all. Last season the Angels finished strong, then got swept by the Red Sox. “In the playoffs you never know, it doesn’t matter how many times you played a team or if you won the season series,” said Angels shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who won a World Series ring with the Red Sox last season. “The playoffs are different. You don’t even know how your teammates will react.” What the Angels are counting on is for their pitching staff to react the same way it did during the regular season. All five of their starters have a record of .500 or better, and they have the probable Cy Young Award winner in Colon. They have one of the best bullpens in the majors, anchored by closer Francisco Rodriguez, who had 45 saves. “I can’t say enough about the pitching,” Erstad said. “They never complained about the offense, they kept getting people out. There’s no way we’d be here without them.” Jarrod Washburn (8-8) was the only pitcher not to win in double figures, but his ERA of 3.20 ranked fourth in the league. Starting pitching has been the Yankees’ biggest problem, but they’ve got huge late-season contributions from Aaron Small (10-0) and Shawn Chacon (7-3). And of course, there’s longtime Angels nemesis Randy Johnson. “If there’s one thing they’ve had issues with, it’s their starting pitching,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “But they’ve gotten great contribution from guys to get into this position. And any time you have Randy Johnson in there, he’s a great pitcher that has postseason experience and is a big-game pitcher.” The Angels’ only real problem area this season has been their offense, but the bats have come alive in September/October, when the Angels averaged 4.9 runs per game. When the Angels scored at least four runs in a game this season, they went 73-24. Most importantly, the bats in the lineup that surround Guerrero have hit well in recent weeks, something the Angels desperately need because the Yankees are expected to pitch around Guerrero. “I’m going to treat (the playoffs) like I did the last couple weeks of the season,” Guerrero said through an interpreter. “I’m going to be even more patient because the guys behind me ended up responding. I’m not going to try to carry the team.” One key bat in the lower half of the lineup will be Juan Rivera, who finished the regular season on a hot streak. Rivera started each of the Angels’ final 17 games, hitting .333 with four homers and 14 RBIs in that stretch. ANGELS NOTES: Kevin Gregg made the Angels roster as the 10th pitcher over left-hander Jason Christiansen. … Following Colon tonight and John Lackey in Game 2 on Wednesday, the Angels will go with Paul Byrd in Game 3 Friday in New York and, if necessary, Jarrod Washburn in Game 4. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 The Angels’ secret? Pretend it’s not the Yankees in the other dugout. “We never talk about it,” Angels first baseman Darin Erstad said. “We just go out and play just like it’s any other day, any other team. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. When we play them, we don’t change our game.” The Yankees are hot, having gone 20-10 in September/October to pass the Boston Red Sox and win the AL East. They have the possible MVP in Alex Rodriguez, who hit 48 homers and drove in 130 runs. Jason Giambi (32) and Gary Sheffield (34) also hit more than 30 homers. Hideki Matsui (116) and Sheffield (123) also drove in more than 100 runs. Only Vladimir Guerrero exceeded 30 and 100 for the Angels. Facing the Yankees lineup poses a considerable challenge for the Angels pitchers, starting with Bartolo Colon, their Game 1 starter against Yankees starter Mike Mussina. “I think all of them are dangerous,” Colon said through an interpreter. “One thing that comes to mind, to me, they are all cleanup hitters. That’s the way I see the Yankee lineup.” “(Reaching the postseason) qualifies us to go on and finish the job we set out to do,” Angels general manager Bill Stoneman said. “That’s really what it is. It takes a long time, a lot of aches and pains, ups and downs to get to the point we’re at. It’s an eight-team race. But we’re not to the point we want to be.” The Angels beat the Yankees in six of 10 meetings this season, and in the Joe Torre era (starting in 1996), the Angels are the only team with a winning record vs. the Yankees (49-48). The Angels also beat the Yankees in the two clubs’ only postseason meeting in 2002. center_img When the Angels clinched a wild-card berth for the 2002 playoffs, they partied like it was 1986. And in fact, the last time the Angels had reached the playoffs was 1986. But when the Angels take the field at Angel Stadium tonight to face the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, simply being there is not enough. Between 1986 and 2002, the Angels had a 15-season playoff drought. With their playoff appearance this season, the Angels have reached the postseason in three of four seasons, giving the club the tag it had been striving for: perennial contender. last_img read more

Carlos Tevez’s future at Shanghai Shenhua unsure after poor debut Chinese Super League season

Carlos Tevez’s future at Shanghai Shenhua unsure after poor debut Chinese Super League season

first_imgShanghai Shenhua remain undecided over the future of Carlos Tevez after the Argentine’s disappointing debut season at the Chinese Super League club.Tevez joined Shenhua in a blaze of publicity in January from Boca Juniors amid reports he was earning a salary in the region of $825,000 per week.The former Manchester United and Juventus striker endured a difficult year in China, however, with rumours circulating he would return to Argentina before the completion of his two-year deal with Shanghai.Tevez played just 16 times in the league and scored only four goals in a campaign interrupted by a lingering calf injury, for which he returned to Buenos Aires for treatment for 10 days in August.”It’s a pretty sensitive issue, we can’t really answer that question at the moment,” Shenhua team manager Mao Yijun told Reuters when asked about Tevez’s future.”It’s safe to say that Tevez’s performances didn’t really reach our expectations. It’s fair to say that. He has had some injuries with his calf and he didn’t have a (pre-season) preparation period with us.”However, in training and in the matches he did try his best and his attitude was very professional. But he didn’t reach his top athletic performance because of his condition.”We are still discussing his future with the club.”Tevez was signed by Shenhua with their Asian Champions League campaign in mind, only for the club to exit the competition at the playoff stage in the 33-year-old’s first competitive game.Shenhua, who had finished fourth in the Chinese Super League in 2016, then endured a rollercoaster league season, eventually finishing 11th with head coach Gus Poyet quitting in September.advertisementUnder caretaker coach Wu Jingui, however, the club went on to defeat Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese FA Cup final to book their place in the group phase of the Asian Champions League for next season. Wu has now been given the job on a permanent basis.Tevez, however, took no part in the Chinese FA Cup win, returning to Argentina a day before the second leg after being told he had been left out of the matchday squad.”It’s been a tough season for us with a lot of unexpected incidents happening and we didn’t really do well in the league,” said Mao.”The results were not what we wanted. But in the later stage of the season we had to try to focus on winning the Chinese FA Cup.”Eventually we won it, so that gave us the perfect ending to the season and we’re all happy. It’s been a difficult process but a perfect ending.”last_img read more