I love a walk-off win as much as the next guy, but I don't know how much more of these crazy late-inning Angel victories I can handle (though I suppose it is better than the alternative).
The Angels have certainly had a flair for the dramatic of late, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. It is great that they seem to keep coming out on top in these wild games, especially since it seems to have finally unearthed that trademark Scioscia-style "timely hitting" that has been missing in action practically all season long. In fact, they seem to be developing an uncanny knack for the late-game heroics to such a degree that I am starting to get delusions (and I do mean delusions, for now) of the 2002 team dancing through my head.
That being said, it would be great if the Angels could also hold a lead late in the game. Many of these recent comeback victories could have been avoided if the Angels had a reliable bullpen. Be it the relievers coughing up the lead or, like tonight, the starters gagging it away because they are being asked to go too deep into games, that is a nasty habit that they simply must break if they want to pull off the improbable and chase down the Rangers.
With a now 3.5 game margin to overcome, I do believe the Angels have not yet crossed over into "too little, too late" territory for a trade. They are awfully close, but not quite there yet. It would be a crying shame if they end up losing the division by a game when it seem inevitable that the Rodney/Cassevah combo are bound to cost the Angels at least that many games before this season is said and done.
Is it too much to hope that the Angels pull something off? Is it a coincidence that I ask that rhetorical question on the same night that it was reported that the Padres have placed Heath Bell on waivers, meaning a claiming team, like the Angels, could trade for him? Methinks not.
- Kind of hard to imagine the Angels letting Ervin Santana pitch on short rest this weekend now. 115 pitches isn't a ridiculous amount, but it sure seemed like Ervin had to work pretty hard most of the night. The real shame of it is that Ervin probably never would've pitched the eighth inning if Scott Downs had been healthy. That would've saved Ervin 13 pitches, making it much more palatable for him to comeback on three days of rest to face Texas
- Some people were getting on Howie Kendrick for possibly running through a stop sign to get thrown out at the plate (hard to tell, I didn't see any good replays with Ebel in them). I have no problem with it though. Running on Juan Pierre and the wet noodle he calls his arm is never, ever a bad idea.
- When did Peter Bourjos get so good? Honestly, didn't we all feel highly confident when he came up in the ninth that he would get the job done. This is the same kid who had a .531 OPS in May and had some wondering if he would ever hit enough to be a viable MLB regular. Now he is quickly becoming indispensable to the Angel offense.
- 3.5 games back! Keep hope alive!!!
Another great Speed Petey moment. My man-crush is starting to reach unhealthy levels.