The Rangers dreaded 12 game winning streak has finally come to end, in spectacular fashion at that. Now that the Rangers have begun to lose their momentum now is the the perfect time for the Angels to get hot again and overtake the lead. Aside from when the Rangers go on their ridiculous tears every other month or so they play pretty average baseball, the only reason they are able to create big leads is because of a spectacular month or two in a full season. If the Angels can catch them on their way back down to earth that would set us up nicely for a strong post-season run.
Angels 9 Rangers 8
My Wizardy powers were working in nearly full capacity today, much like I had expected. Derek Holland did give up more than 5 runs before he was able to make it through the 6th (7 total) and the Rangers as a team were tagged for more than 8 runs. The offense did catch a sudden, and quite frankly unexpected spark that exploded under them in the 6th inning today, exactly like the extreme overdrive high gear I predicted them to kick it into. Now Dan Haren may have pitched far from a CG shutout, but I think we can overlook that fact tonight. I obviously wasn't in full control of my Wizard powers today, but the prediction that mattered most came through, so you are very welcome guys.
- Howie Kendrick had the biggest offensive game today out of all of our hitters, and that is saying a lot. 3 hits in 5 trips, including two appearances with the bases loaded in the 6th and two clutch hits to accompany them. While the whole team was responsible for the 6th inning rally, you have to hand it to Kendrick for holding the rally together through that inning, given the fact that the Angels have been horrible with bases loaded and 2 out RBI situations, which Kendrick faced at the end of the rally. Responding to the kind of pressure the way Kendrick did shows us exactly why he was an All Star this year.
- Do the fabled "Dan Haren Can't Pitch After The All Star Break" rumors actually speak the truth? I know he's had only two starts since the break, but neither have been quality starts, far from that. 7 runs in 4 innings is the exact opposite of what I, and i'm sure many other Angel fans, was expecting Haren to do. Two games are really a small sample size, but if he doesn't start stringing together quality starts that rumor just might get the better of me.
- What a stand up job by the bullpen today, especially Scott Downs (aka the Savior of the Blowpen). Takahashi was still very Takahashi like in his appearance with 2 walks and 1 run given up, although his mediocrity was well overshadowed by Walden and Downs. With tonight's performance, among many others by Downs, he's pretty much sealed himself as the set up man for Walden once Rodney returns. Speaking of Walden, his control still hasn't gotten any better, yet his strikeout rate is still very good.
How he's gotten so good in just one season is beyond me, but apparently all that hype we've been spoon fed all these years might actually be true. If he keeps progressing like this then maybe those batting titles we were promised might just come true. Big maybe though, seeing as how that promise was made by Reagins.