A game like this is why I hate that I care about the Angels so much.
What started out as a nice, comfortable cruise to a victory that was building my hopes of a miracle surge into the post-season with every inning, wound up turning into one of the most heart-wrenching Angel loss of the season, which is saying a lot considering the events of the last few weeks.
It almost feels like the Angels have been trying to finish off a checklist of unexpected ways to choke. Scott Downs' home shutout streak? Go ahead and mark that one off. Walden blowing his first save in over a month? Big check right there. Wasting surprising contributions from maligned veterans Bobby Abreu and Joel Pineiro? Double check. A critical error in the late innings? Oh, never mind, that one has already been checked off, a couple of times actually. Well, one more won't hurt.
I just hate it all so much. But you know what I hate the most? That the Angels still aren't out of the race yet. Granted, they have almost impossible odds against them making the post-season, but they still aren't officially eliminated. At this point, I'm done trying to drink the Kool-Aid and keep hope alive though. I just want it to be over.
Seriously, I want the Red Sox to win their game tomorrow so that the Halos will be officially out of the playoff race before their game even starts because I just can't endure another night of the stress that I put upon myself by talking myself into believing they might be able to do the impossible. Just make it stop.
- Well, it was nice to see Joel Pineiro go out on a high note of sorts. He's been a loyal soldier for the Angels even when things weren't going well for him and this start might've just saved him a million or so dollars when he hit free agency. I don't expect him to be back with the Angels though, so farewell, Joel.
- I know this was Jordan Walden's tenth blown save of the season, but I think the vitriol leveled against him is a little out of whack, probably because we are all so emotional due to the circumstances. The kid is a very good reliever and will be for several years. I have no problem with the Angels bringing him back as closer, but I do hope he is able to figure out some sort of regimen to stick to during the season so that his mechanics don't get out of whack, because when they do (like tonight) the results are disastrous. My bigger concern now though is whether or not Waldo's confidence might be forever damaged as a result of this epic meltdown.
- It blows my mind that the Angels have been such a great fielding team this year, yet all of their recent tough losses have involved a back-breaking error (maybe not all, but it would be too depressing for me to go back through the game logs of the losses to prove my point). When Walden threw that ball away on what should have been a game-ending double play, I just knew that this game was only going to end with me crying on my keyboard.
Welcome to a winter of speculation about whether or not Walden is really cut out for being a closer.