ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 20: Ervin Santana #54 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches against the New York Yankees during the sixth inning in Game Four of the ALCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Angel Stadium on October 20, 2009 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ervin Santana
The fortunes of the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels have both changed drastically over the last week.
The Rangers went from a 7-game lead last week, to now being just two games up on the Angels as the Halos haven't lost since Mark Trumbo's walk-off bomb against Mike Adams last week in Anaheim.
So Scioscia has flipped up his starting rotation in preparation for possibly taking over first place in the AL West with a sweep of the Rangers this weekend in Arlington.
Dan Haren (13-6, 2.98 ERA) will take the mound tonight in a scheduled start against Derek Holland, who is actually pretty darn good against the Angels this year.
Saturday is when things get tricky. Scioscia will send Ervin Santana (9-9, 3.17 ERA) to the mound on three days' rest. That's the same Ervin Santana that has a no-hitter this year. And it's the same Ervin Santana who has a career 7.37 ERA in Rangers Ballpark. He'll face C.J. Wilson.
On Sunday, Jered Weaver (15-6, 2.03 ERA) will take the mound on three days' rest to face Colby Lewis. In his career, Weaver is 2-5 at Rangers Ballpark.
It's true, the Angels can do some serious damage in the AL West race this weekend, so on the surface, it might make sense to send two aces out on three days' rest.
But Mike, it's August 26. Not Sept. 26. In fact, on Sept. 26, the Rangers will head to Anaheim for the first of three games to close the regular season in what looks like it could be a series that decides the AL West.
Three days' rest in August, in Texas, in 100-plus degree heat, isn't a good idea, and hopefully it's an idea that backfires on Scioscia.