Angels return to a more stable schedule
A disrupted routine equals a disrupted team. It’s a theory, but Angels Manager Mike Scioscia isn’t buying it.
“The schedule is demanding for everyone in baseball … West Coast travel is tough,” Scioscia said. “It’s nothing, not an issue. You’re playing a game every day. The start times are going to vary.”
Yet, on Monday, as the Angels opened a homestand during which five of the six games will be played at night, there was an appreciation for the more stable schedule among players.
The Angels started 1-2 at home, then trekked to Minnesota for a day game followed by an off day followed by a night game and then a day game. Then they headed for New York, where two day games at Yankee Stadium were followed by a Sunday night game, which was followed by a cross-country red-eye flight home.
“It’s a huge thing; we’re big into routines,” Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos said. “Day games, changing time zones … it disrupts the player and upsets your patterns.
“We’ve got to go out and prove we can win like we’re expected to, and it’ll be nice to get into [this] schedule.”
Third start the charm?
Scioscia doesn’t seem concerned about the Angels’ slow start. “I’m going to bet every team went through a 3-6 stretch at some point in their  schedule,” he said.
The leading cause has been starting pitching, and Scioscia remains confident in his staff.
“There’s no doubt we’ll get more than three quality starts out of nine [the rest of the way],” he said.
Dan Haren will try for his first quality start Tuesday, in his third outing of the season. After a great spring, Haren is 0-1 with a 6.97 earned-run average.
Left-hander Scott Downs, who was on crutches after suffering a bruised right ankle in a first base collision Thursday, was on his feet and ready to pitch Monday.
His availability should help steady a bullpen that entered Monday with a 0-2 record and bloated 5.33 ERA.
“We’ve got a good bullpen,” Downs said. “Guys are still figuring out their roles, when they’ll be used and all that fun stuff.”
Downs predicted that the bullpen will follow suit once the starting rotation shifts into expected form. “Things will fall into place,” he said, among set-up men who include veterans LaTroy Hawkins, Jason Isringhausen and hard-throwing Kevin Jepsen.
John Doskow, a University of La Verne graduate, spent 19 years broadcasting minor league games in places such as Adelanto, with the Class-A High Desert Mavericks of the California League.
And he’s finally enjoying his own first big league promotion. With Ken Korach, Oakland’s radio play-by-play broadcaster, sidelined after knee-replacement surgery, Doskow was summoned from triple-A Sacramento to call games alongside Vince Cotroneo through May 8.
“Ken’s a legend, loved by the fans, but I’m happy to be up here and to be able to help out,” Doskow said. “It’s a dream come true.”
Reliever Hisanori Takahashi experienced some discomfort in his left (pitching) arm a day after giving up three runs to the Yankees. … Maicer Izturis started at third base Monday instead of Mark Trumbo. Scioscia said he was rewarding Izturis, who had three hits Sunday, and “for some defensive presence.”