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August 29, 2008

Anaheim: Day 2

Which Dustin Nippert will the Angels see tonight in the second of four games at Angel Stadium. (By the way, I think it should be Angels Stadium. I'm also all for calling the Angels the Anaheim Angels. There's no way I'd refer to them as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim -- in print or otherwise -- because it takes up too much space. So does the following, which appeared in the Star-Telegram over the weekend: White Settlement Brewer High School graduate Kelly Shoppach. What's wrong with Brewer High grad Kelly Shoppach? I'm going to make some phone calls.)

Will the Angels get the Nippert they hammered in April during a Rangers blowout or the Nippert who shut them down in July during an Angels blowout that got really close? He'll likely be rusty because he hasn't pitched in almost two weeks, but he should be better suited nerves-wise than he was in his first big-league start this season.

I think the Rangers' sudden love fest with the strike zone (Jamey Wright's effort Thrusday night withstanding) will trickle down to Nippert. Strikes can get hit hard, as Brandon McCarthy found out, but they can also lead to quick outs and keeping the defense active and feeling like a part of the game. And everyone can go home or go to bed earlier, too.

-- Jeff Wilson

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