Shotgun Reaction: After 3 Innings of Rangers vs. Angels on Sunday Night Baseball

Brett HudsonContributor IIIMay 13, 2012

Who would've thought that Neftali Feliz would be winning the pitching battle with Jered Weaver as the opposing pitcher?
Who would've thought that Neftali Feliz would be winning the pitching battle with Jered Weaver as the opposing pitcher?Abelimages/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Texas Rangers are currently facing off on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN...and Albert Pujols is not the biggest story. That's a little unexpected. But then again, so are Josh Hamilton's numbers.

Back to tonight's meeting, the first three innings are in the books and here's what I think about it so far.

Neftali Feliz vs. the Angels

The Angels may be slumping recently, but they still have a phenomenal lineup, top to bottom. The fact that the Halos have gotten three hits and two runs off of Feliz is not surprising to me.

It is doubly not surprising because Feliz is a reliever who is transitioning into a starter. Feliz does have a great fastball, but his secondary pitches (slider, curveball, changeup and the occasional two-seam fastball) aren't nearly as good as his compatriots', thus making Feliz the easiest starter to hit in the rotation.

That being said, I think Feliz has a ton of potential as a starting pitcher if he can effectively work on his secondary pitches in the next year or two. However, this game is being played tonight; Feliz just isn't prepared to shut down a lineup like the Angels.

Jered Weaver vs. the Rangers

This is the matchup that's surprising to me. Weaver is without a doubt one of the best starters in the American League and maybe in Major League Baseball. Let's not forget he tossed a no-hitter earlier in the season.

I can't get over the fact that the Rangers have put seven hits and six runs on Weaver in just three innings. And none of them have come from Josh Hamilton. Nothing has come from Hamilton, as he's struck out twice in both of his at-bats. Ian Kinsler started this game off with a double, and the Rangers just kept piling it on.

Weaver even loaded the bases at one point in the bottom of the third. This is incredibly atypical of the right-hander as he's normally the type of pitcher that shows up for the big games like this one.

It's tough to tell if this is Weaver having a bad night or if the Rangers are just this good. I'll come back later in the game with my conclusion.