I couldn't think of a better way for the Angels to open up such a decisive homestand then with a bases loaded single in the 10th. Not only have the Angels been bad with RISP, they've been horrible in extra innings. It's nice to see them shove those problems aside, at least for one game, especially after yesterday afternoons fiasco. The Angels were long overdue for an extra innings game, so it had to come sooner or later. At least this one resulted in a win.
Angels 4 Nationals 3
I find it kinda funny, funny in a Joe Pesci in Goodfellas way, that Jordan Walden ended up serving up the game changing blast in the 9th, especially since I was fairly certain it would be Santana who would blow it. Now that Walden is back to the old Fraudney-itis spiel it's time for me to start tooting the Downs horn. He's the most consistent and best reliever on the team, and has plenty of experience to go around for the team. A trusty vet in the closer role is exactly what the Angels need if they want to give Walden proper guidance towards becoming a successful closer.
- On that note, is it just me that think Walden should step down for a while? If you want to go by the numbers, then Scott Downs is definitely your man. If you want to go by name, Scott Downs is still your man. Scott Downs is a prime example of how not to implode under pressure and get yourself out of jams, which he displayed earlier tonight. Jordan Walden did a good job in his apperance, aside from the game tying home run he gave up in the 9th. It was just one bad pitch that he made tonight, but that pitch changed the whole complexity of the game. Even then, he has still been displaying trouble controlling his pitches, especially his fastball. His changeup and his slider are very good pitches, yet he opts to throw his fastball time and time again. I think it might be Butchers time to have Walden explore his secondary pitches a bit more, and by a bit I mean the vast majority of the time. Walden has an excellent fastball, we've all seen it, but if he's never able to control the pitch he'll never live up to the potential we've all been hoping for.
- Scioscia taking Trumbo out of today's game was a head scratcher to say the least, especially given the fact that he took him out for Torii Hunter. Early today there was an article saying Hunter wasn't feeling 100% and his return wouldn't be for a few more days, yet here is playing tonight. In the end it didn't hurt the Angels chance at winning so I don't mind the move, that's probably just me saying that because I'm riding high on the walk-off win though.
- Santana rose above my expectations of mediocrity and pitched a great game. He still had trouble keeping the ball in the park, yet he limited the damaging by keeping both blasts solo shots and only giving up two of them. It's a good thing he was able to go deep in the game seeing as how this one was cruelly fated for extra innings. Could have been Wilson's breath of fresh air behind the plate guiding him through the game? I would like to say so, since his game was so good the Nat's were terrified of him, Wilson instilled fear into the opposing pitchers, which is something this team has been desperately needing. Who in their right minds would intentionally walk someone to load the bases for Maicer Izturis?! He's Mr.Clutchity Clutch (at least in my house) for chrissakes! If that doesn't convince Scioscia to give Wilson more starts then I don't know if anything short of being the first player to hit for the home run cycle will change his mind.
Who else but Mighty Maicer? He help put the team back on their feet after a debilitating loss to they-who-shall-no-longer-be-named yesterday. He broke that extra innings and bases loaded chains that have been holding this back all season, now it's just a matter of how long it takes for the rest of his teammates to follow in his footsteps. It's a huge plus that's been able to stay healthy for as long as he has all season, on top of his big rebound from last season. Izzy is a Halo Hero every game in my book.
I got home from "work" at 7:13 and thought I'd get a look at the Angels' ups in the first before starting LOTR. Two on, no out. Nice, but FAIL! So in the fourth, about when Frodo was getting stabbed by the Witch King, I see on my iPad that there's two on, no outs again. After the second out I'm screaming at the poor device, "SWEEP THE LEG!" Good thing they got something out of that situation! It was an added bonus that the smokin' hot Arwen rescued Frodo with one of the best lines ever in a movie, "If you want him, come and claim him!"
I fully agree with Ryan about having Scott Downs mentoring Walden. When Brian Harvey was coming up he got a couple of seasons of work behind Donnie Moore and Greg Minton. Not bad tutelage and he obviously learned something since he went his ENTIRE ANGELS CAREER without a blown save. After a little lull we had a young Troy Percival working a full season and part of another behind Lee Smith for a terrific example of how to fill the position. And then Frankie got more than two seasons behind Percival to learn (and later forget) how to be a closer. It's a little tough to completely blame Walden since who did he have to emulate with Downs on the DL? FRAUDNEY!! Jeez, talk about a poor father figure! Coming in as setup man for the thoroughly professional Downs will be a good experience for him and, we'd all hope, help set him on the correct path to closerdom.