Angels 6, Rangers 5 Game 2 – Rangers 6, Angels 4 Game 3 – Angels 2, Rangers 1 Los Angeles Angels of AWESOMENESSAn Angel series win over the Rangers in which the Angels nearly swept Texas but for Vlad Guerrero, but are still happy to settle for a series win over their rival. Game 1 –
- I am running out of great things to say about Jered Weaver. The Rangers just couldn't touch him on Thursday, and that is exactly what the Halos needed in that game. Kazmir let the team down the night before, but Weaver stepped his game way up to make sure that he gave his boys a shot at winning this crucial series.
- Joel Pineiro may not always have his A-game, and he certainly didn't on Tuesday night, but he still just finds away to keep the Angels in a position to win. Pineiro weaseled his way out of a no-out, bases loaded jam in the fifth inning to preserve the Angel victory and he damn near got out of the inning unscathed. He does this because he doesn't give in to hitters and trusts his stuff. This ability to avoid the big inning is something that some of the other Angel starters could really take note of (and we will get to that shortly).
- For the first time all year, I was glad that the Angels didn't re-sign Darren Oliver as he came out in a failed relief effort on Tuesday. I'd still take the guy back in a heartbeat, but at least he was nicer to his former team than Vladimir Guerrero was.
- It wasn't quite a "get the eff off our field" series win for the Angels, but they will definitely take it. The sweep would have been nice, but at least the Halos have a little bit of scoreboard on the Rangers now and that is important with all the games these teams have left to play against each other the rest of the way.
- OK, everyone. Sit down and grab a hold of something because I am actually going to say something nice about Brian Fuentes. Here goes. Tito was huge in this series as he pulled off to very impressive saves in one-run games and he did so on the heels of the set-up men nearly blowing it first. Not only that, but Brian got the saves in clean innings without causing my blood pressure to rise at all.
- I was overjoyed at the warm welcome Vladimir Guerrero at Angel Stadium. I was less than thrilled at the reception he gave to his old mates though. Vlad clearly was out to prove the Angels wrong for letting him go (newsflash, we already knew that) by clubbing three homers in this series and pretty much single-handedly winning the game for Texas on Wednesday.
- I have had an assful of Scott Kazmir. Seriously, I am just done with him. The Angels staked him to a three-run lead in a big game and he just gagged it away. Kazmir was the anti-Pineiro in his start when he got stuck in a bases loaded mess of his own. Instead of buckling down and trying to minimize the damage, Kazmir figured he would just give up and threw a cookie to Vladimir Guerrero who promptly crushed a grand slam. Just pathetic. It should come as no surprise that he apparently got a good talking to from Scioscia and Butcher after the game. I really can't wait for the Angels to trade for Dan Haren so they can move Kazmir into the pen already.
- I'm starting to get real worried about Fernando Rodney. Don't get me wrong, he has been great this season, but the big concern with him is that he has a bad habit of falling into prolonged slumps and I fear that we are witnessing the start of one of those slumps. Counting tonight, Rodney hasn't worked a clean inning his his last six appearances and he has allowed runs in three of those games. Hopefully he can snap out of it though because the one thing the Angel bullpen can't afford is to have Rodney go in the tank.
- Did Hideki Matsui play in this series? I know the boxscores say he did, but I sure as hell didn't notice him. He certainly didn't do anything to make the Angel fans feel any better about the Vladimir Guerrero debacle, that's for sure. Heck, Matsui was such a non-factor in this series that I was actually seriously hoping Matsui would sit in favor of Robb Quinlan on Thursday. Now that's a scary thought.