I don't know why this team seems to feel the need to play more innings than they are required but at least this one they decided to end with a victory. What's even more shocking is that they are in first place! How did that happen? Nevermind, I don't care how they are doing it as long as they keep it up.
Angels 2 Indians 1
My first prediction of the season came true as Tyler Chatwood went not only seven strong, but threw in a lights out eighth just for the heck of it. Also, the bullpen didn't blow it late, even scourge of the staff Fernando Rodney pitched well. Mix in a nice rally in the eleventh and you have a recipe for an Angel win. Even though the Halos spanked the ball around the park to the tune of 14 hits, they couldn't manage to get the big hit early, which is going to be a reoccuring theme for the rest of the season I'm afraid. But they finally put enough up in a row to scratch across a run and send the fans home happy.
-- How about Tyler Chatwood? Chatwood was just short of dominant tonight. He allowed only two hits, did walk five, but beared down and kept the Indians off balance. Chatwood really deserved the win and showed why he is the top pitching prospect in the system. His command is still a bit erratic but as he continues to pile up innings, the strike zone will become his friend more and more. I know the Angels need offense and Chatwood will be a very attractive trade chip, but I don't think you can throw him into any deal at this point.
-- Big tip of the cap to the bullpen. Downs, Walden and Rodney (in that order), got the job done and kept the Angels in the game till the offense figured things out. All three had smooth innings of work. I know, I'm a shocked as you are that Rodney kept it together. I was sure that when he came in it was going to end badly, but apparently we are on the verge of the rapture or something. He gets one more quality outing in him and we should all start praying more often.
--Despite all the hits, Vernon Wells hade a rough night. The 0-for-the-game isn't what worried me. The three strikeouts, including one where Masterson threw the ball somewhere in the vicinity of Newport Beach and Wells flailed at it, seem to signal a bit of a regression. He has struggled at home and that should be of major concern.
-- Okay so what is with all the extra inning games? This is the league leading 8th of the season and I fear that all the extra wear and tear will eventually catch up to the guys. The fact that Anaheim struggles to score on a consistent basis but has really good pitching keeps them in most games but this is bordering on the abusrd. They have played at least one extra inning game every week of the season!
Torii Hunter would have been a good choice since he dropped in the game winning hit. Chatwood certainly warrants mention since he was outstanding on the hill, but have you noticed what Erick Aybar is doing in the box, on the bases and in the field? He went 3-5 and scored the winning run. He stole another base to lead the team with 8. He has made only one error all season and made three highlight reel plays in tonight's game. Aybar has been great and seems to have settled into leadoff allowing Itzuris to drop down in the order. All in all, not a bad night's work.