AL West Week in Review

Apparently, nobody is overly concerned with winning in the AL Worst. The Rangers led the pack with a 5-2 week as the entire division managed a less than lousy 9-19 record. Even the Angels could only muster two wins against the mediocre Tigers and Indians. Here is a recap of a forgettable week.

LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM: 20-16 overall, 2-5 in last seven

Offense
Steve Finley finally had a solid week, going 6-18 at the plate and driving in the runs, but that was about the only good news for the Halos as they continued to struggle at the plate with a team average of only .189. Worse yet, they managed only 11 walks against 33 strikeouts and an OPS of .545, which might be solid numbers for Miguel Olivo, but not for a team hunting for a World Series Title. Chone Figgins (1-18), Darin Erstad (2-20), Orlando Cabrera (3-20) and Vladimir Guerrero (4-20) all are mired in slumps.

Pitching
Angels pitching was a mixed bag with the rotation looking very mediocre beyond Bartolo Colon (4-3, 2.83 ERA). Jared Washburn got lit up against the Tigers, yielding seven earned runs in 2+ innings, and free agent acquisition Paul Byrd continues to look very ordinary as his ERA nears the 5.00 level. The bullpen continues to pitch well, though. Esteban Yan and Francisco Rodriguez both struggled in limited work.


TEXAS RANGERS: 20-17 overall, 5-2 in last seven

Offense
The Rangers continued to swing for the fences last week, bashing 10 home runs and striking out three times as often as they walked. Second baseman Alfonso Soriano led the assault with four home runs, bringing his season total to 10, batting .381 and driving in nine runs. Gary Mathews Jr. also had a solid week, batting .400, as did Hank Blalock (.360 BA). Overall, an it was another solid week from a offense burdened with having to score 6+ runs a ballgame to earn wins. Last week, they did.

Pitching
Kenny Rogers continued his brilliant season with 7.0 innings of shutout ball against the Indians, and the Rangers staff actually turned in a solid week overall with a season low 3.67 ERA. Chris Young and Ryan Drese both posted good starts, giving up only one run between them in 17 innings of work.


OAKLAND ATHLETICS: 14-22 overall, 0-7 in last seven

Offense
The A's record last week finally reflects what the offense has been telling us all year. These guys stink. The A's have no power, no speed and don't feature a single player with a .300 batting average, five home runs or 15 RBI. Currently there is no position player on the A's worth highlighting. Eric Chavez is looking more and more like a great complimentary piece, rather than a premier bat that the A's can build the offense around. Where's Miguel Tejada when you need him? (Answer: Baltimore)

Pitching
How is Rich Harden only 2-2? I don't know if it's possible for a player on a 90 loss team to win a Cy Young award, but this guy will deserve consideration, with another solid performance in a losing effort against the Yankees. Problem is, he went on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with an oblique injury. Dan Haren continued his inconsistent rookie campaign with a strong one-run outing against the Red Sox, and Kirk Saarloos was solid in his outing. The A's bullpen cancelled out the strong starting pitching with a rough week, giving up 15 runs in 19 innings. The A's will likely continue to struggle without being able to hand the ball to Harden every fifth day.


SEATTLE MARINERS: 14-22 overall, 2-5 in last seven

Offense
Is anybody else concerened here? Miguel Olivo went 0-fer for the second week in a row and is now batting a whopping .127. Without any other options, the Mariners turned to Wiki Gonzalez, who made a solid first impression by going 3-4 with a double in his Mariner debut. Sunday, he went on the disabled list after straining his hamstring while running to first base on Saturday. Ichiro Suzuki was back to his old self, batting .400 after a couple of off weeks, and Adrian Beltre finally gave us a glimpse of his talent by hitting .333 and hammering his third home run. Richie Sexson has his home run total up to 11 on the season and though his average is on the low side, he is drawing a ton of walks to lessen the impact. Now if the M's could only start swinging the bat with runners on base they could start to turn things around.

Pitching
Is the Aaron Sele experiment over with yet? Jorge Campillo has nothing to gain toiling in Tacoma and Aaron Sele has clearly lost the ability to be effective for any length of time, so at what point is enough, enough? Are we saying the same thing about Moyer? At what point do you cut loose a legend in town? Not yet, since an able replacement is knowhere to be found. The M's need him to rebound, and fast. (Sorry Felix fans, now is not the time.) With none of the M's starters pitching particularily well, the answers are tough to find, and the biggest question mark heading into the season is rearing its ugly head. M's fans can only hope a couple of pitchers can figure it out soon or this season is going to last forever. When Joel Pineiro was sent down to Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday for 10 days, that wasn't exactly a good start to those wishes, but if all goes well the young right-hander will get his mechanics straightened out and come back an improved pitcher.

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