Where has this Jerome Williams guy been all season? At the risk of reading too much into one game, the Angels might have found themselves a diamond in the rough.
OK, OK, I know the Orioles stink and there lineup today was hardly the best they had to offer, but it is hard to deny just how sharp Williams looked. He was a strike-throwing machine, getting 72 strikes on 107 pitches, didn't walk anyone and fanned six batters. Of the six hits he allowed, only two went for extra bases. He even showed some intestinal fortitude (and luck) by working his way out a zero out, bases loaded jam. You really couldn't ask for much more from a guy who hadn't won a MLB game since 2005.
Whether Jerome was just riding the emotion and adrenaline of the day against a bad tea or if he really has managed to recapture his long, lost potential, the Angels definitely have a guy they need to evaluate in a hurry to see if this is the kind of performance he can continue, or at least approximate, on a regular basis. With two open rotation spots next year and both Chatwood and Richards hardly being locks to take those spots, Williams now has the inside track with the six-week audition he just earned himself.
- The Angels finally found an offense that works. No, not having Peter Bourjos in the top of the lineup, that is definitely helping, but today the best offense was hitting the ball to Blake Davis. That kid had a real rough day.
- I hate to get people too excited, but I think we might finally get close to getting rid of Jeff Mathis. Hank Conger was supposed to catch today, but that plan was scrapped after Conger had to catch 12 innings last night. That normally would've been all Scioscia needed to give Mathis the start, but he opted for Wilson instead. This isn't concrete evidence that he has finally lost faith in Mathis, but it is awfully close.
- The Angels are now 11-5 in games when Mike Trout plays. I'm just saying.
- With this sweep and the Rangers dropping two out of three to the ChiSox, the Angels are now four games back. Keep hope alive!
By far the most feelgood Halo Hero of the season.
I was impressed with the things Walton did on the mound. He really did give a pretty good example of why he was drafted so high by the Giants. His fastball had good life and he's tall enough to give a difficult batting plane to the hitters (sometimes, he drops down a lot so some of those pitches come in on a Chatwood plane), both small points that Chatwood is having difficulty with. After all this time you'd think Walton might have worked on some secondary pitches but all the stuff he threw up there all had some form of vertical or horizontal movement which may work out for him if he can manage to keep his girlish figure, apparently a problem for him in the past.
Fun and a little weird to see the Angels, again, in the first third of Quick Pitch this morning, which may be attributed to the news of Weaver's extension. Now their problem is that they will face the selfsame White Sox who drubbed the Rangers (and the inconsistent Derek Holland who easily held the Angels in check last week) so convincingly yesterday. Maybe their bats will afraid of curveball.