One win and suddenly all seems right with the world.
Except that Maicer Izturis is still hitting third (and no, I am not letting this go any time soon).
The Angels showed a remarkable amount of grit last, pulling out a win despite trailing early and dealing with an umpire with a very loose interpretation of the strike zone. They didn't quit even though they missed early run-scoring opportunities thanks to stellar Detroit defensive plays (and questionable Angels base running). Nobody would have blamed them had they raised the white flag, but perhaps it is just the media that is ready to call the season a failure, and not the players.
Instead, the Angels looked very focused, working the count against a red hot pitcher with a track record of success against them. The Angels only scratched out three runs against Armando Galarraga, but ran up his pitch count and chased him after five innings, allowing the Halos to take advantage of the Detroit bullpen.
There was even some rare shows of emotion from the Angels. Mike Scioscia followed through on my suggestion of getting ejected to fire the team up (with an assist to a hair trigger from Tim Timmons). Perhaps Scioscia might actually consider showing some actual emotion next time, but it is a start. Even Torii Hunter got in on the act after Gerald Laird went bush league by blocking the plate on the game-winning run even though there wasn't any kind of play at home. Too bad Fuentes hit him in the toe the next inning instead of in, say, I don't know... the temple. Either way, there is still plenty of fight left in the Halos.
It would have been an almost perfect night if not for Gary Matthews' gaffe in the ninth. Just when he does something to make the fans think he isn't a total bust, he goes and drops a flyball.
- Fuentes getting a little luck on his side for once with the failed bunt from Everett followed by the pickoff of Anderson.
- Yet another dinger from Torii Hunter. Dude is locked in. Now if only the Halos could get someone on base for those homers.
- Finally, a solid bullpen performance.
Halo Hero of the Night:
- Nice situational hitting from Izturis. You can't say enough about the way he grounded out with the bases loaded and two outs in the third. Keep it up, Scioscia. True genius.
- Granderson owns Weaver.
- Time to move Kendrick down in the order. He is hitting .196 and wasting run-scoring opportunities. Let him hit 8th for a bit to work out his issues.
- The Rex Hudler excuse machine continues claiming Figgins "ole" of the ball in the 8th was "just how he likes to play 'em" rather than poor form, I can't wait to not read his book.
- Misty May in the booth, WTF? I mean, I was glad to have to not listed to Hud for an inning, but isn't it a little early in the season to be bringing in guests who barely have anything to do with the game.
Private Matthews had the big knock, but Weaver manned up after a rough start to give the Angels seven strong innings, put them in position to win the game and avoid using the Salt Lake portion of the bullpen.