Redemption, thy name is interleague play.
Count me among the growing segment of baseball fans who has seen enough of interleague play, but I guess it does have its good points. Specifically, interleague has always been very kind to the Halos.
This final game of this particular interleague series was all about giving the Angels a shot at redemption on multiple fronts. Redemption from having choked away last night's game. Redemption for Tyler Chatwood's last rough start. Redemption for several struggling position players. Check, check and check.
As much as I was waiting for the three-run Angel lead to disappear in the late innings, it never really came to pass. A big part of that was Tyler Chatwood showing composure beyond his years to overcome early trouble and buckle down to keep Atlanta in check deep into the game. That permitted the Angels to avoid using some of the more unsavory relievers in their pen and rely only on Downs and Walden.
The Halos even showed some uncharacteristic offensive pluck by scoring some insurance runs in the latter innings, led by the heretofore struggling veteran duo of Bobby Abreu.
- Big ups to Chatwood. After getting smacked around by the A's, I thought he was on the fast track to losing his rotation spot, but he definitely turned the tide today. The way he kept himself from getting rattled during that bases loaded jam in the third after allowing a run the inning before showed just how mature the kid is. He may not always have the best stuff or command, but Chatwood is always going to go out there and compete. Even if you think back to him getting pounded by Oakland, he never really seemed shaken.
- Oh please, please, please let this be Hunter finally getting his season going. Because of his beloved status (and Vernon Wells being so much worse), Torii has largely avoided getting blamed for dragging down the middle of the lineup. As one of the few legit power threats in the lineup, Torii simply must become a consistent run-producer.
- Kudos to Bobby Abreu for moving up to #32 all-time on the career doubles list. That may seem like an arbitrary milestone, but he is passing Lou Gehrig and almost all of the names on the list above him are genuine legends.
- How did Peter Bourjos become such an offensive sinkhole so fast? I think we all knew he wasn't going to continue to perform as well with the bat as he did to start the season, but he has fallen into an epic slump now and is showing no real sign of emerging from it anytime soon.
Easily one of Chatwood's most encouraging starts, especially all the strikeouts, something that he has been lacking in most of his appearances even though his arsenal suggests he should be far more capable of generating whiffs. This is definitely something he can build on.