The beginning of the latest east coast swing began with a nice start for the offense and a decent outing from Ervin Santana. I gotta think the Angels are viewing the Tampa part of the trip as a way to get things moving in anticipation of their rematch with the Red Sox. Tonight's game should serve as a template for how to play Angel ball in 2011; good starting pitching, timely hitting throughout the line-up, great outfield defense and the bullpen coming on a closing things down with a lead. Seems so simple when you put it down on paper...
Angels 8 Rays 5
-- I said we needed a great outing from Santana and with the exception of one inning, highlighted by Erick Aybar's inability to catch a pop up, he delivered. Santana painted the corners all night and keep the Rays hitters off balance enough to get his first victory of the season. If this Santana can make regular appearances for the rest of the season, the rest of the pitching pieces fall into line.
-- Gotta love the 17 hits the Angels put up, especially the 12 off David Price. We are used to Howie getting hits, and Alberto Callaspo continues to resemble the .300 hitter he was in KC last year, but the real pleasant surpise was "What About Bob" Abreu collecting three knocks and scoring 2 runs as the two hole hitter. Also, Torii Hunter seems to be back to normal with 2 hits..
-- If Jeff Mathis catches one more freakin inning the rest of the season I may just commit some sort of ritual suicide. 0 for 5 with 2 strikeouts and 3 left on base. He is now hitting .180. He can't throw runners out and no one is going to convince me he has some great advantage over Hammerin Hank Conger in calling a game. Seriously, is there some sort of 12 step intevention we can collectively get going to overcome Scioscia's addiction to Mathis? I am just about at my wits end!!!
-- How about the bullpen? Okay so all three let runners on and Rodney gave up a lazer beam of a homer but they got the job done. They were handed a lead and they kept it intact. Downs, Rodney and Walden were effective enough to seal the victory and that is all I want from my bully.
That's right boys and girls...it's a TRUMBOMB!! The time off the last couple of days seem to righted the good ship Trumbo as he balsted a two run homer and drove in four runs. His power is essential to offset the singles and doubles being flung out in front of him. With Morales seemingly getting worse by the day, Trumbo has to be a viable option if the Angels entertain any hope of staying in the race. So his stroke in teh batter's box tonight was a welcome sight to see.