It wasn't another no-hitter, but Ervin Santana still seemed to have plenty of that same magic left in his arm as he cruised to a complete game shutout of the visiting Twins.
I don't know how much longer Ervin can keep this up, but I'm glad to watch and find out. He was lights out once again tonight, just as he has been, really since late June. Granted, Santana has hardly faced a murderer's row of lineups over that stretch, but that shouldn't detract too much from what he's done.
With tonight's complete game, Santana has now gone nine straight starts allowing three runs or less and gone at least seven inning in seven of those nine starts. That is some Weaver-esque stuff right there. And his brilliance tonight comes at a perfect time since it shows the Rangers that the Angels aren't going away even though they did nothing at the trade deadline.
Really, who needs bullpen help when your starters finish what they started? Keep it up, Ervin.
- I'm glad to see the coaching staff shook up the lineup and put Abreu back in the two-hole where he belongs, but that is only rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic if they are going to insist on having Hunter and Wells batting in the middle of the order. Wells had a good night, but he continues to be pretty lousy this year and is coming off a horrendous month of July. I will say though that moving Trumbo up to sixth was at least a step in the right direction, so the shake-up wasn't completely for naught.
- OK, not an Angel game-related thought, but in case you missed it, the Rangers lost tonight because the crown jewel of their revamped bullpen that supposedly is going to guarantee them a division crown, Mike Adams, allowed a homer to lose the game. Yep, "guaranteed."
- So, I was watching the game on my computer, but I had the sound off (no offense Victor and Gubi) and they kept showing some young kids dressed up like tigers and a banana. Can someone please explain to me what that was all about? I'm assuming the presence of tigers had something to do with the events from Sunday, but the banana puzzles me. Or did it just mean nothing other than college guys and beer equals strange outfit choices?
- Maybe I'm just letting my imagination run away with me, but Erick Aybar just seems so calm and smooth chasing down pop-ups into the shallow outfield that I am wondering if the Angels wouldn't have been better off having him play left field instead of Howie Kendrick all those times. He's faster than Howie and has a better arm and just seem like he has a better feel for tracking down flies. I guess it is a moot point though since there hopefully won't be much of either player logging inning in left the rest of the way.
I'll take three ace starters over two awesome middle relievers any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Aybar played some CF earlier in his career. But the upside of having Aybar at SS and Izzy at 2B outweighs the defensive upside (in my mind) of having Izzy at SS and Kendrick at 2B. I like the outside of the box thinking though.
@ScottyAllenLAAI The corollary is that the only other choice is to use the back-up outfielder, Bobby Abreu. Howie's looking pretty good out there in that scenario, isn't he?