Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 4/16/12
NEW YORK Through the first nine games of the season, the Angelsknow where their strength lies. They just don't know when it's going to showup. Pitching is what's going to win games, but it has been unreliable andinconsistent. Now, the Angels trudge home with a losing record, in last placein the American League West. They keep waiting and hoping that their starters will turn a corner and shutdown an opponent. But so far, only left-hander C.J. Wilson has been dependable.He's 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA; the other starters are 1-4 with a 6.52 ERA. They sent their next two starting pitchers, Jered Weaver and Dan Haren, homeearly to get some rest rather than wait out Sunday night's 11-5 loss to the NewYork Yankees that ended after 11:30 p.m. in the East. Good idea. Maybe a return to Angel Stadium is just what the Angels need. The next sevendays, they play the Oakland A's four times and the Baltimore Orioles threetimes, and those two clubs combined to lose 181 games last season. If the Angels can't feast on them, well, something is seriously wrong. But manager Mike Scioscia is confident his starting rotation will come around,and based on past performance, he's probably right. It's just that it's overduefor something good to happen. "These guys know they're good, and they WILL come around," Sciosciasaid. "It's an area that we have so much confidence in that it gives youpeace of mind, and you know things will turn." No. 5 starter Jerome Williams, who failed to get out of the third inningSunday, insisted he wasn't caught up in the emotion of making his first startof the season or pitching in Yankee Stadium or the pregame ceremonies overJackie Robinson Day. He just fell behind in counts, and that's when everythingfell apart. "That got the ball rolling," he said. The Angels trailed 8-1 after four, rallied to within 8-5 in the seventh, thenlet the game get out of hand again. The bottom of their batting order MarkTrumbo, Maicer Izturis and Chris Iannetta was a collective 6 for 10 with fourRBI and two walks. Trumbo homered in the second inning, Iannetta in the fifth. But the Angels were also 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position after going1 for 8 Saturday. Torii Hunter struck out three times and Albert Pujols twice,although he contributed an RBI single in the seventh. "We've been driving the ball," Scioscia said. "On the offensiveend, you're seeing some guys coming around. Some guys who are important to ushaven't hit stride yet, but there's so much talent on our team that, like anygood team, it depends on your pitching setting the tone." And the pitching isn't there. It will come through, as Scioscia said, but noone knows when. In the meantime, the Angels are 3-6, having lost two of three games to each oftheir first three opponents: the Kansas City Royals at home and the MinnesotaTwins and Yankees on the road. "No one is ever happy when you start off slowly," Scioscia said."No one is saying it's no big deal. You're out there trying to win everyballgame. But you also need to understand the need for some guys to get intotheir game. "Some guys are going to hit their stride coming out of spring training andhit the ground running, and some guys are going to have to work into someinnings or at-bats. There's no crystal ball as to what's going to happen. Wehave a deep team, a good team, especially starting pitching. That will turn,and it'll turn in our favor."
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