Hideki Matsui in a slump

The Japanese media have made up the majority of the press core at Angels games this season and for the majority of the season, Hideki Matsui has failed to give them something positive to write about. The 36-year-old designated hitter is hitting .243 with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs this season and once again sat out Friday night as he struggles to break out of his current slump.

Matsui is hitting just .135 (5 for 37, with all five hits being singles) with no home runs and two RBIs in his last 11 games.

“He’s not playing today, but he could be in there at some point this weekend,” Scioscia said. “If we need him to come off the bench or need him at some point this weekend, he’ll play. One thing you got with a left-handed hitter is when you’re struggling sometimes it’s good to face a left-handed pitcher because it really gets you simple and lets you track the ball a little longer and at times it gets guys back in sync.”

Scioscia can only hope Toronto’s left-handed pitchers will help Matsui break out of his slump as he watches Vladimir Guerrero, the player Matsui was signed to replace, hit .296 with 21 home runs and 86 RBIs for the Texas Rangers, who are 7 1/2 games in front of the Angels in the AL West.

“He’s had some streaks in his game before. Right now we’re seeing him at the bottom of a streak and hopefully he can pick it up,” he said. “As far as his health and bat speed, there’s not much different than last year and last year’s numbers are something we would be happy with if he could repeat them but he’s not where we had hoped he would be.”