This edition of Game Rewind goes out to my new favorite player, David Ortiz, or as I like to call him "Big Pop-up."
It was really nice of you, David, to strikeout in the first inning with a runner on first base. It was even nicer for you to fly out after Dustin Pedroia hit a lead-off double in the third. I was downright floored at your generosity in the 4th inning when you stuck out again to end the fourth inning and get Santana out of a bases loaded jam. I mean, that kind of altruism is just so rare these days. I can see why the people of Boston love you so much.
I have to admit though I think you might be a little too giving. That bases loaded whiff was more than enough for us, but for you to strike out looking to end the sixth and strand a runner on second base in a tied game, well it makes me kind of uncomfortable. I just don't think I could ever repay that level of kindness.
You weren't done there though, not by a long shot. First, you flew out to end the 8th inning when Scot Shields was practically begging you to break the game open, then you grounded out to end the threat in the 10th and capped it all off with a check swing groundout with the bases loaded to end the 12th inning. That almost made me feel bad, I mean, I didn't even send you a Christmas card this year.
To think that everyone used to be scared of you. It takes a special kind of man to make that kind of monumental shift in character. Last year, you would have collected at least 5 RBIs if presented with all those same opportunities. Instead, you left 12 men on base. That's more than most teams leave on base in a given night. I don't think the Garret Anderson ever left that many guys on in one game and this is a guy I used to call "The Notorious LOB." So, really, Big Pop-up, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Oh, and I know that you have already done so much for the Angels, so I almost hesitate to ask this, but is there any chance you could extend this kindness to us again in October? That would just be the best. Thanks.
- Even though Ervin Santana wasn't that good, it was an absolute relief to see him back. it just feels better to see the Angels getting healthy again.
- Is there anything Torii Hunter can't do? Three RBIs, a triple, a double, two stolen bases and another game saving catch. If he isn't an All-Star this year, Angel fans should be ashamed of themselves.
- Nice to see Mathis coming up with the big game-winning hit, which only further validates the Napoli at DH strategy (especially if you ignore Mathis' .630 OPS).
- I could have sworn Scioscia was throwing the game away when he brought in Bulger with an inherited runner. The guy just lives to allow inherited runners, prior to last night he had allowed 6 of the 13 inherited runners to score. I can see now why Scioscia actually was trying to have Arredondo pitch three innings.
Halo Hero of the Night:
- Abreu really took full advantage of hitting that triple in the 8th by trying to tag up and score on a pop-up to deep second base. I had really been missing all moronic base running blunders with Vlady on the DL.
- I officially fire Scot Shields from 8th inning duty. He is just a mess right now. I think they need to just start from scratch with him and ease him back into pressure situations, maybe just make him a situational righty for a little while.
- You know your bullpen is in trouble when this sentence is uttered, "oh no, they've pulled Darren Oliver, who are we going to pitch now?"
I can't believe it either. I never thought the day would come, but he deserved it. His strike out of Pedroia was manly and getting that dribbler from Ortiz was huge, even if Big Pop-up is suddenly playing like 78-year old.