Oakland Athletics Spoil Los Angeles Angels' Home Opener

By John Engel
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver has left his impression on the organization. Weaver was placed on the 15-day designated list today after fracturing his elbow against the Texas Rangers on Sunday, and Los Angeles’ struggles are continuing to mount.

Dealing with life without their ace will not be an easy task for Los Angeles over the next four weeks. Inconsistent lefty C.J. Wilson is now the No. 1 pitcher in the Angels’ rotation, and his first start in the role came against the Oakland Athletics in Los Angeles’ home opener.

Wilson’s up-and-down performance allowed Oakland to take the first game of the series with a 9-5 victory.

The lefty started the Angels off in a sizable hole, surrendering four earned runs in the opening two innings of play. He finished with six innings of work, four earned runs and seven strikeouts. Wilson ended up finding composure after the second inning, and Los Angeles started battling back. Three runs in the sixth inning positioned the Angels to win the game with a 5-4 lead, but Oakland followed with five more runs in the seventh to finish off the Halos.

Los Angeles’ loss Tuesday illustrates a problem the team has been facing since last season: after Weaver, there is nobody. Wilson struggles with consistency every time he steps on the mound, and he doesn’t possess the skill set of a No. 1 starter. He lacks control and power while dancing around hitters, rather than attacking them.

The Angels’ offensive woes have been well documented thus far in the young season, but look to the rotation for Los Angeles’ biggest issues. Garrett Richards has once again been plucked from the bullpen to assist in the starting rotation for Los Angeles.

It’s obvious there is a lot wrong with the Angels, and much of their problems have carried over from the 2012 season. But with Weaver — who won a career-high 20 games last year — out of the rotation, Los Angeles can expect yet another devastating April to start the season.

John Engel is a Pac-12 basketball writer for Rant Sports and also works for ESPNLA 710 AM radio in Los Angeles. Follow John on Twitter: @engelsportsguy.

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