Angels / Mariners
Los Angeles Angels have kick started the 2008 MLB season in first place for the American League West Division with a 12–7 record. One of their top rivals in the AL West are the Seattle Mariners, lead by the Hitman, Ichiro Suzuki (Oakley athlete).
Ichiro has been playing in the MLB since 2001, and in that first year he won the AL batting title, Rookie of the Year and MVP awards. Additionally in the past seven MLB seasons Suzuki has won seven Gold Gloves, two batting titles, set the record for most hits in one season with 262 hits in 2004 and most recently won the 2007 All Star Game MVP Award in San Francisco.
The Angels are stacked this year with young talent and veterans alike, such as Gary Matthews Jr. (Oakley athlete). Gary is a second-generation MLB player; Gary Matthews Sr. was one of the top outfielders in the 70s & 80s for the Giants, Braves, Phillies and Cubs. Matthews Jr. holds down the centerfield for one of the best outfield trios in all of Major League Baseball with All-Star Torii Hunter tracking down liners in leftfield and 2004 MVP Vladimir Guerrero’s canon of an arm gunning down runners from rightfield. The Angels look primed to return to the playoffs.
On Saturday evening under cloudy skies the Angels young hard throwing phenom, Ervin Santana threw 8 1/3 of one run ball with a deadly 96 MPH fastball and 78 MPH breaking ball. Santana has been filling in the big shoes of Kelvim Escobar (Oakley Rx Athlete), 2007 18 game winner’s spot in the Angels’ rotation. In the well pitched game the Mariners were unable to muster anymore than a two out solo homer by Adrian Beltre in the 7th inning, giving the Angels their 12th victory of the season.
Los Angeles finishes their series with the Mariners today and then hit the road for an east coast series with the defending World Series Champions, Boston Red Sox.