It finally looks like the team is starting to come back together again huh? With tonight's win the Angels pick up half a game in the Wild Card standings on a few teams as well as within the division. Zack Greinke finally looked like an ace 4 starts into his Angels career, and besides giving up an "f-you" homerun off the bat of Michael Brantley immediately after a non-malicious HBP and a shaky 7th inning Greinke was able to pull in his first win as an Angel.
The offense let the pitching know they were there to back them up, and the pitching let the offense know they weren't there to screw around anymore.
Pretty good night for the team if I should say, and a much needed win for the fans.
#mce_temp_url#Angels 9 Indians 6
- Today was the first day Greinke showed the Angels he is coming around to his old self, and it couldn't have come at a better time too. The Angels just need one more pitcher to step it up like they should be to bolster the rotation, Greinke's getting his game under control so I have no doubts about him. Greinke showed up from the very first inning with his 5 pitch first, he let the offense know he meant business and the offense let him know they were there to back him up with their 4 run 1st inning. Greinke was cruising before he ran into trouble in the 4th giving up a 2-run bomb after a HBP with 2 outs and immediately after Erick Aybar hits a leadoff homerun and Pujols crushes a 3-run homer to put the game away for Greinke. That show of confidence will go a long way for this ball club, especially with the season speeding towards the finish line.
- The only thing I don't like about Angel wins is that they're so much harder to write than losses, mostly because there is usually a massive amount of information to relay. Like with the offense tonight for instance, so many hitters on the team had noteworthy games. Pujols hit a clutch 3-run bomb that put the game away for the Angels, Aybar hit a solo shot that injected some extra confidence in the club while RBI's were seen off the bat's of Ianetta Hunter and Trumbo as well. Trumbo's been looking real bad lately, almost as if he's slowly reverting back to his 2011 form, he's taking less pitches at swinging at balls far out of the zone much like he did last year which was made evident with his 3 K's tonight. The Angels offense is good enough that they can live without Trumbo's bat for a while but he's going to need to get it together fast if he wants to get this team to another level of baseball. The kind of level that can carry a team all the way to the World Series.
- The bullpen didn't exactly crap out on the mound tonight, but they definitely didn't do much to instill extra confidence in them. I'm not really talking about Frieri because he's always been good aside from the little skid he hit the last week, I'm really talking about the guys that need to be setting up Frieri. Hawkins couldn't get through his inning without allowing a ball to leave the park, which was enough for Scioscia to yank him out of the game even though the Angels had a healthy lead at that point. I liked the message Scioscia sent withthat hook because the guys need to learn that there is absolutely zero room for error, even when the team is cake-walking through a game. If the starting pitching can continue to go at least 7 innings deep of relatively low-pressure baseball the bullpen will come together. As will the rest of the team.
Yay I finally get to throw Greinke up here! Took him long enough, but we're finally here so I can't complain. Even if we do have a rotation full of incredibly under performing superstars we have to remember that they are, in fact, still star pitchers. Today's game shown that they can, and will, come around to what they're used to doing. Once they all, or at least another one of them, come back to their old ways this team will be a terror to deal with.
Especially when they're sitting comfortably on top of the Wild Card. Soon my friends.....soon.....
Yeah, except for all the hiccups chronicled above it was a wonderful evening. Oh, and the fact that it's a ONE GAME WINNING STREAK. I guess we have to take our joy where we can find it, even if it means employing most of our selective memory super-power to block out the past several weeks of misery and, again, all the problems listed above. And the fact that the whole cycle of torture could begin again tonight with a Santana start. Along with a continued lack of production at third base. And that, even in wins and supposed "steps forward", the evening's starting pitcher's ERA keeps rising.
Yes, things are going along swimmingly.