There are many messages to take away from tonight's "showdown". First, any doubt that the Rangers were the more talented team have been put to rest. Second, the notion that Mike Scioscia had embraced his youth movement was woefully premature. Third, Dan Haren may not be an "ace" after all. Fourth, and most important, the Angels playoff hopes took a bigger hit tonight than many will care to admit.
-- You kind of got the sense that when the Angels didn't score in the first after getting two guys on, it might be their night. Howie Kendrick showed an uncharacteristic amount of emotion on a strikeout (shades of the tension getting to him), then a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play ended the threat. Not the start they needed.
-- The Halos left a small village on the basepaths. There's an old expression; don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Well, while the Angels were trying to kill their opponent with small cuts, the Rangers brought out the double barrel shogun and blasted their way to victory.
-- Someone will eventually have to explain to me why, in a spacious ballpark like Arlington, you would opt to sit Mike Trout instead of play him in left. I counted three balls that Trout would have speared for outs that Wells didn't get. Two of those led to runs early.
-- Okay so if you are going to go the veteran route, why not give Russell Branyan more at bats at DH? Isn't he at least an equal option to Bobby Abreu or Vernon Wells at this point?
-- So much for the Jerome Williams is a diamond in the rough argument. Or maybe he just a raging case of the "Angels bullpen sucks yips" which is only curable by returning to the starting rotation?
-- It's amazing how quickly Mike Napoli went from a likeable guy getting unfairly benched by the evil manager to a total tool for our most hated rivals. I get that he feels slighted because Scioscia dumped him but does he have to look so damn happy about beating the Halos?
That's right Danny Boy. You think about what your craptacular start tonight did the Angels playoff hopes. Nice timing on the whole "giving up your first grand slam as an Angel" thing. The four man rotation thing only works if every pitcher throws well, and you my friend, did not get us off on the right foot.