The Angels are messing with baseball's narrative. National writers want so badly to get on to the business of celebrating the A's and Orioles (and to be fair they have been quite remarkable), but the Angels simply will not go away. Didn't anyone tell them their shot at the playoffs is over? Why do they insist on just hanging around on the fringes with something akin to a punchers chance? But here they are, 3 1/2 games out with 11 to play. Given what we saw last year, why can't the Angels still make the playoffs? How long before hanging around becomes hanging on to the magic last wild card slot? Not so far fetched when you think about it.
-- Speaking of messing with narratives, Mike Trout re-emerged tonight in the AL MVP race. The past week has been one hyperbolic article after another about Miguel Cabrera's run at the triple crown, but Trout staked his own claim with a virtuoso performance tonight. He showed his power with an opposite field home run and his speed with a ridiculous first to third trip on a clean single. This race too will come right down to the wire.
-- Nice to see Albert Pujols get a clutch hit for a change. I have noticed too many times this year that Albert has been less than stellar when the Angels really needed a hit. Tonight's two run single to give them the lead was the first real clutch thing he has done in over a month.
All other story lines pale in comparison to Ervin Santana's pitching. After he allowed a lead off home run he went on to be scary dominant on his way to 7 innings allowing 2 hits and striking out 11. It was what the Angels needed and it is once again evidence that Ervin could be the best Angel pitcher on the staff when his head is screwed on right. As frustrating as he can be, Santana dealing is a sight to see and tonight was a prime example of his importance to this team now and in the future.
Yeah, great. Santana's past six starts have been pretty good. Now we have to look at the first twenty-two starts which were horrifyingly ugly. Which do you ascribe more weight to? Six, twenty-two; six, twenty-two. Hmmm. He can't even give us the alternating year *good* year anymore. You go ahead and naively vote for hope and change again, I'll vote for reality. It's time for him to go. I'd rather take my chances with Jake Peavy's 3.40 ERA than the railless roller coaster that is Ervin Santana. Let's see how his...stuff...looks at Rangers' Ballpark for sixteen starts next season. That should give the Angels the West next season all by itself.