It's been a different story this spring, with the Angels' 7-5 win over the
"We want to finish spring strong," outfielder
"We haven't done it in two or three years here. So it's time."
"Some springs we've absolutely had great spring trainings and struggled at the start. Some spring trainings we've been OK and started off good," he said. "So I don't think there's any rhyme or reason."
A better barometer than won-lost records, Scioscia said, is how the team pitched and hit during the spring.
And no team entered Thursday with both a higher batting average and more runs scored than his Angels, who also had the fourth-best spring ERA at 3.47, more than three runs better than last year's mark of 6.56.
"All I know is right now we're pitching much better than we did at any time last spring. And that gives us, hopefully, some confidence as we turn the page on
Scioscia said the Angels spent more time in the batting cage this year, which may have helped his hitters. He credited a more aggressive approach from coach Mike Butcher with turning the pitchers around.
"Our pitching staff, from our starters to our bullpen, are further ahead now than they've been in the last four or five years," Scioscia said. "The starters are where they should be on the pitch count. We haven't had really any setbacks in that regard. And our bullpen has established a little bit of depth with some guys throwing the ball very well."
"It was pretty mellow," Jepsen said. "For the most part, we're the same team. We've got a lot of the same core guys. It just feels like we've been playing together longer.
"It's a better feeling, a better vibe when you walk in the clubhouse. Certain times over the last few years you walk in and you feel like it's an uphill battle every day. Now we've just got to play our game. We know what we can do and we just go out there and play."
"At least we've taken a step forward," Scioscia said.
Both pitchers are expected to start the season on the disabled list.