Ernesto Frieri is beginning to have a knack for the dramatic. His bases-loaded ninth inning gem was more scripted than it was allowance and almost overshadowed the superb display on the offensive side (14 hits and 9 runs). With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom half of the ninth, Edwin Encarnacion and all 22 home-runs stepped into the box, poised for a walk-off. Fastball after fastball, the matchup was pure power as each individual came after the other with everything they had. Well, we all know how that ended.
Fortunately for the Halos, Frieri got Encarnacion to ground to Aybar for the 6-4-3 double play to end the game. Heartbreaker avoided. But the biggest play of the game happened to be the one to end it, as Pujols scooped a botched throw from Howie Kendrick to finish the play that would've tied the game up. Instead, the box score bleeds solid performance rather than game breaking.
But not for Dan Haren (6-7) despite getting the win, who seemed to struggle mightily through 6 IP giving up 7 hits, two of which were long balls to raise his ERA to 4.53. The bullpen did their usual fortifying, as Hawkins, Downs, and Frieri came in for relief. And as the offense has shown recently, they're for real now.
Texas, watch out.
Angels 9, Blue Jays 7
- Albert Pujols had his first 4-hit performance in an Angel uniform. His two doubles and two singles sparked a lot of the Angel's comeback tonight.
- The Angels are now 14-1 in their last 15 road games. An awfully stellar statistic especially for a team who was awful on the road to start the season.
- Former Angel Jeff Mathis got the start behind the plate for Toronto, going 4-for-4 and a triple shy of the cycle.
Albert Pujols is the Halo Hero tonight, going 4-for-5 with 2 doubles and 2 singles and 3 runs. But the most important contribution he made tonight was his dig on the final play of the game that prevented the tying run from scoring.
There has to be some boost in WAR for stats like that.
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Boy, what's going on with Haren? He's looking like the poster child for NOT giving long-term contracts to pitchers. And this after years of fairly consistent performance. This is a guy who we need to "advance" to his career norm. Maybe he'll be like (I can't think of his name: Ian Kennedy? Daniel Hudson? Phil Hughes?), who experienced sudden drop off in velocity a few years ago, much to the consternation of fantasy podcasts and all manner of print journalists. Maybe he'll just come back to spring training and be OK with no one ever figuring out what the problem was. Maybe my dog will grow wings and fly.
@jr halo LOL! Yeah, baseball is usually about returning to the mean. Who knew Mathis was capable of a high like this? Since all he showed us was the low I had to figure THAT was his average performance, kind of like Bobby Wilson.
@Rick K.yeah, I am not even referring to his nice night at the plate. But with Arenciba there and a top prospect waiting to get behind the plate for the Jays, Mathis could be expendable. We are getting ate up on the basepaths and ol Chris I. isn't going to be himself this year. I know it won't happen, and its sacrilege on this site, but Mathis would def be a cheap upgrade behind the plate.
@jr halo Oh, dear Lord! I didn't realize you were suggesting the nuclear option! Hell, I'd just call up Hank Conger.