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LAst Night's Action: Angels Rebound in Seattle

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LA Angels defeat Seattle Mariners 8-0. Mariners’ All-Star shortstop Jack Wilson had problems in the field this week, so Don Wakamatsu decided to go with Josh Wilson at short. The Angels pounced on the Mariners in the first innings. With the bases loaded, Kendry Morales hit a bases-clearing double to left field and advanced to third on a throwing error by Josh Wilson. Oops. Morales came home on a Juan Rivera sacrifice fly to spot starter Jered Weaver four runs. Mariners’ starter Felix Hernandez wasn’t kingly getting knocked out of the fourth inning after giving up homers to Rivera, Howie Kendrick and catcher Ryan Budde to give the Angels the 8-0 lead. Weaver would pitch a no-hitter into the seventh inning when Ken Griffey, Jr. singled to right with two outs. Weaver would go 7 1/3 innings giving up two hits and three walks while striking out seven. Scot Shields pitched the remainder of the game yielding only a walk in the ninth inning.

LA Dodgers defeat Colorado Rockies 6-5. Read my recap of the game. Both Southern California baseball teams won tonight. When’s the last time that happened?

NOTABLE NOTES

  • Despite making all the sense in the world, it never looked like this day would ever come. But Raider fans you can all breathe in a sigh of relief. JaMarcus Russell has been cut from the Raiders. Arguably the biggest bust ever in the history of the NFL for a first overall pick, Russell showed he was more dedicated to eating than football which was one of the factors that led to Lane Kiffin’s firing in 2008. Russell made 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions for 4,083 yards and 15 lost fumbles with a quarterback rating of 65.2 while compiling a 7-18 record and made in excess of $36 million and is due $3 million more. As Sam Farmer of the LA Times noted, Russell made $5.6 million per victory and earned more than $100,000 per completion.
    Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks got a quote from an NFL scout that was particularly indicting:

    When I asked a league source what Russell struggled with the most in Oakland, what part of his game, the answer was devastating: "Everything. Every aspect of the position,'' the source said. "If you had a checklist of everything you want your quarterback to do, he chose not to do it. He chose not to study, not to work out, not to be communicative with teammates, not to exhibit leadership, not to get himself into shape. And he struggled with accuracy, with reading defenses, with audibling. They almost had to run a sub-NFL-level offense with him at quarterback. It was that limiting. "It obviously sucked up a lot of energy from the coaching staff and the management just to get him ready to play every week. Theoretically, you draft a first-round quarterback to help your team. But the Raiders just cut a first-round quarterback to help their team. It's the ultimate addition by subtraction, and you're going to notice a difference in Oakland. [Thursday] might have been a tough day for the rest of the AFC West, because the Raiders just got better.''

    With all the doom and gloom about Russell, let’s revisit that April day in 2007 when everything was all roses:

  • Imagine for a minute that you are a Cleveland sportscaster and had to deal with LeBron’s elbow, the Indians and the Browns. Then if you are Bruce Drennan, you would do exactly this: So much for the Midwest hospitality.

  • History was made Friday night in Philadelphia. At the age of 47, Phillies starter Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher to shutout a team - a two-hitter in the 7-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves. The only two hits he gave up were two singles to Troy Glaus in the second inning and the eighth inning. He walked no one and struck out five while making 105 pitches. He surpassed by almost a full year the knuckleballer Phil Niekro who tossed a complete game four-hit shutout with the Yankees against the Toronto Blue Jays on October 6, 1985 in Toronto.
  • While New York Jets and former USC quarterback Mark Sanchez smiled that New York smile of his at Dodger Stadium, the news was not so good for his former Trojan teammate and current Houston Texan Brian Cushing. Coming off of a defensive rookie of the year campaign last season, Cushing was suspended four games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. He was alerted of his positive test in February but learned Friday that his appeal was rejected. Cushing will still be allowed to participate in training camp this summer but will have to sit out the Texans’ first four games against the Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

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LA Lakers at Utah Jazz. Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Lakers lead 2-0. 5:00 pm ABC, AM 710 KSPN.

Colorado Rockies at LA Dodgers. Jhoulys Chacin (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Charlie Haeger (0-3, 6.56 ERA). 7:10 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.

LA Angels at Seattle Mariners. Joe Saunders (1-5, 7.04 ERA) vs. Doug Fister (2-1, 1.29 ERA). 6:10 pm FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.

LA Galaxy at Seattle Sounders FC. 1:00 pm FSWest, Telefutura (en español), AM 1150 KTLK, AM 1330 KWKW (en español).

Houston Dynamo at Chivas USA. 7:30 pm KDOC 56, KWHY 22 (en español), W Radio AM 690 (en español).