To say Kole Calhoun was struggling would be an understatement.
When the Los Angeles Angels right fielder was placed on the disabled list June 2 with a strained right oblique Christopher Tanev Jersey , he was in a 12-for-122 slump (.098), dropping his season average to .145.
Every day is a new day, Calhoun told the Orange County Register last week. Youve still got to go out and perform. Im not thinking about it much honestly. I just want to go out and have a good game. Just going out and trying to help the team win.
He did that Wednesday, going 3 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs as the Angels snapped the host Seattle Mariners eight-game winning streak with a 7-4 victory. The teams wrap up their three-game series Thursday night at Safeco Field.
Calhoun has hit two home runs in his past three games after hitting just three in his previous 62. Since returning from the DL on June 18, hes batting .306 (15-for-49) with three doubles, four home runs, seven RBIs and 10 runs scored.
Thats helped Calhoun raise his batting average to .180.
He even returned to the leadoff spot in the batting order last week in Baltimore, a spot he held in previous seasons.
Kole has made some adjustments and hopefully it will pay off, Angels manager Mike Scioscia told The Register.
Scioscia said one key for Calhoun is hes been more selective at the plate as of late.
Hes had a good eye in previous years, Scioscia said. Its been a part of his game, but its been elusive this year.
The Angels will send rookie right-hander Jaime Barria (5-4, 3.40 ERA) to the mound Thursday in place of left-hander Tyler Skaggs, who was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a right adductor strain. Barria suffered a 6-3 loss on June 12 at Seattle, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits in five innings.
The Mariners are scheduled to start left-hander Marco Gonzales (8-5 Youth Sam Hubbard Jersey , 3.77 ERA). Gonzales is 0-0 with a 4.66 ERA in four career starts against the Angels, including two earlier this season.
Gonzales is coming off his first career complete game in a 4-1 victory against Kansas City. Gonzales lost the shutout bid on Mike Moustakas two-strike, two-out single in the ninth inning.
Its a culmination of a lot of hard work this year and having the right guys behind me, Gonzales said after his last start. Those guys played incredible defense behind me and when your team gives you a lead in the first half of the game, you inch closer to eyeing the end. From the first inning I just had the mentality that this is my game and Im going to go as deep as I can.
Gonzales has been a big part of Seattles success this season after earning the No. 5 spot in the rotation this spring.
Hes matured, theres no question, Mariners manager Scott Servais said of Gonzales. It always works better when guys earn it. He has a lot of confidence right now because everything thats happened this year, hes earned. From coming into spring training, winning a spot in our rotation, he continues to build throughout the season.
Jason Witten sat in a room with his new teammates going over video of his latest performance.
It wasn't much different than what he did for 15 seasons as a tight end with the Dallas Cowboys. But instead of being one of the faces of perhaps the NFL's most high-profile franchise, Witten holds one of the most prominent television jobs in the sport: lead analyst for ESPN's "Monday Night Football."
Witten is approaching his new role in similar fashion as he did his old one, when his comprehensive film work made him the second-most productive tight end in NFL history.
"That's where you really learn and grow, the ability to go back and see it," Witten said. "Sometimes it's good and you're like we need to build on that. Sometimes it's not so good and you're like DJ Chark Color Rush Jersey , man, I'm so disappointed that was a bad rep.
"No different than a route that you run and that's not what you're looking for. What gives me confidence is diving into that process and doing it with guys who I enjoy being around and they have the same mindset."
Witten is part of a brand new announcing team for ESPN after Jon Gruden left the analyst chair for a second stint as Oakland Raiders head coach. Witten joins play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore, who switched jobs with Sean McDonough, who went back to college games; on-field analyst Booger McFarland; and the only returning member of the team in sideline reporter Lisa Salters. The group makes the regular-season debut Sept. 10 when Gruden's Raiders host the Los Angeles Rams.
This team was put together following an exhaustive search that featured auditions with about 13 analysts. The tests were thorough, featuring dinners at Tessitore's house to see what kind of off-screen rapport could be built, as well as practice games in a studio.
Tessitore and producer Jay Rothman were in agreement that the team of Tessitore, Witten and McFarland was the best. Then began the process of making that belief come true.
The offseason has been spent doing rehearsal games in studios and at stadiums; holding film sessions; having countless discussions and text message exchanges; sharing dinners and drinks; and broadcasting two preseason games.
All in an effort to build the chemistry that will make for a smooth telecast each week.
Tessitore said he's already spent more time with this team before the start of this season than he did in an entire season with his college crews.
"In all my years of broadcasting, I only know one way to be on a crew, and that's you're now my brothers and my family. That's the only way I know it to be," Tessitore said.
"That means that you're at my house for dinner, we're hanging out together and we're working out together, drinking wine together, traveling together, texting each other Customized Detroit Lions Jerseys , communicating and we know each other's families inside and out, and we're serving each other. That just gets extended to the broadcast when the red light turns on. That's critically important to me."
This new group of announcers is being thrust onto one of the biggest stages in broadcasting. "Monday Night Football" has featured some of the industry's titans over the years: announcers Howard Cosell, Al Michaels and John Madden; Super Bowl-winning coaches and quarterbacks Gruden and Joe Theismann; and Hall of Famers Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf and Dan Fouts.
This crew starts with far fewer accomplishments. Tessitore has had several roles at ESPN for 16 years, doing boxing, horse racing and college football and basketball. This is by far his highest-profile job.
McFarland started at the SEC Network in 2014 and has done only a handful of games in his career. Witten is a television rookie following in the footsteps of his former Cowboys teammate Tony Romo, who went from the field to the broadcast booth to great acclaim last year as CBS' lead analyst.
"He did an incredible job," Witten said. "As a friend, I'm proud of him. It's not easy for him to have that success. Although I recognize I'll always be compared to that and that's what's going to happen, I really don't try to compete from that standpoint."
The new crew will also have a bit of a new approach with McFarland, a former NFL defensive tackle, serving as an on-field analyst from a mobile crane that will be positioned about 10 feet off the ground at the line of scrimmage.
McFarland will have a desk with monitors showing replays, stats and a live look into the broadcast booth, where Tessitore and Witten will have a camera on McFarland to make it a seamless team.
"I kept using the words extension of the booth Jason Spezza Jersey ," Rothman said. "How can we give Booger the resources that Jason has up top to truly be an extension of the booth, and how can we make that work and not worry about the orchestration and stepping on each other?"
Rothman came up with the idea while shaving in May and immediately presented it to his technical staff. Four months later, McFarland did his first game from the "Booger Mobile."
He said this setup allows him to contribute as a full-fledged third man in the booth rather than a sideline analyst needing permission to get on the broadcast, and gives him a better appreciation of what's happening on the field.
"It's an entirely different feel," he said. "You can see the play, but there's a difference between seeing it and feeling it. Feeling a guy's speed and power is just a different deal. It's actually been pretty cool. Once you understand the mechanics of it, it's worked pretty well."
With so many new parts, the crew understands this will be a work in progress, but the members are excited to see how it all develops.
"There's still a learning process for all of us," Rothman said. "We'll be a lot different in Week 8, a lot different in Week 15 and a lot different in Year 2. All for the good. But it's been fun."