His legs ache, his back is a little sore, his muscles are tight and he’s had little sleep in recent nights while comforting his young daughter, who has infections in both ears.
Yes, it was time for Tim Salmon, the Angels’ No. 3 hitter and American League most valuable player candidate, to take a night off. But against the Red Sox, the A.L. East leaders and a potential playoff opponent?
“Yeah, I told [Manager Marcel Lachemann] I was a little concerned about that, but it doesn’t really matter,” said Salmon, who had missed only one other game this season, July 14 at Detroit, because of a stomach virus.
“We’ve got tough teams for the next 20 days. If I take a day off now it might help me down the road. It’s one of those things where if someone needs a break, the team has to pick up the slack.”
Lachemann, who has grown increasingly concerned about wearing his starters out during this stretch in which the Angels play 45 games in 46 days, told Salmon after Sunday’s game that he wanted to give him a day off, and the right fielder could pick the day.
Salmon figured a day of rest after a day game would be almost the equivalent of two days off, so he chose Monday.
Center fielder Jim Edmonds, who entered Monday night’s game with a .315 average, 29 homers, and a major league-leading 95 runs batted in and 101 runs, is on pace to become the first Angel to score 100 runs, knock in 100 runs, hit 40 homers and bat .300 or better in the same season.
The second-year player is on a 144-game pace to hit 40 homers, knock in 128 runs and score 136 runs. His pace, projected over a 162-game season, is 44 homers, 144 RBIs and 153 runs.
Shawn Boskie’s third rehabilitation start for Class-A Lake Elsinore went extremely well. He gave up only one earned run and five hits in six innings Sunday against the Stockton Ports. Mike Bielecki, also on a rehab assignment, pitched a scoreless inning of relief Monday for Lake Elsinore. . . . The Red Sox have used a team record 49 players in 1995, including 25 pitchers. The previous club record was 48 players used in 1952.