This is it. This is what its come down to. In this incredible emotional rollercoaster of a season it's come down to the final full week of the season. Win or lose, it's going to happen now. Good to see that the Angels decided to kick off this decisive week in such a dominating fashion.
20 K's by the pitching staff, 13 of thos K's coming from Greinke in the first 5 innings. Good to see the biggest problem areas for the Angels working as well as it did tonight.
Now if only the Rangers would just keep beating the A's for once.
-- I guess tonight Greinke really laid the smackdown on all those people who claimed that "he can't handle the big city pressure". Tonight was by far the most important start of his Angels career, or should I say....HIS ENTIRE CAREER!!! Well...maybe not that important, but Greinke needed to keep the ball rolling to ensure the Angels can fight for a playoff spot. He didn't just show up and get the Angels a win, he completely dominated the Mariners. 13 K's in 5 innings, a career high for him, as well a 4 strikeout inning led the Angels to a victory that has kept them 2 game behind the Athletics in the Wild Card. The whole starting staff is completely capable of dominating at this kind of level, more starts like this could mean a playoff spot for the Angels. Sounds like a dream.
-- The offense wasn't all that explosive tonight but they still managed to pull in 5 runs, 3 of them off homeruns by Hunter and Aybar, which proved to be all they needed after a dominant start by Greinke. When the Angels win games it's because they win early and pound the confidence out of the opposing team. Tonight the Angels did just that, scoring 2 runs in the 1st inning which put them ahead and gave the Angels an early lead on the Mariners they would hold the whole game. The power combo of Trout-Hunter at the top of the lineup did the majority of the damage tonight, like always. I don't want to get carried away, but that's the kind of 1-2 that could do some serious damage in a playoff atmosphere.
-- Even though Greinke was completely dominant tonight the bullpen was still forced to come in early and hold a tight lead for 4 innings. Aside from the terribly ugly apperance for Scott Downs in which he gave up 3 runs in 2/3rds of an inning the bullpen held the game together pretty good. Richards, Jepsen, and Frieri all had 2+ K's which contributed to Greinke's 13 K's to give the Angels 20 K's on the day; a franchise record for a 9 inning game.
Dammit Greinke looks so awesome in an Angels getup. I'll be sad if I get to swoon over him for only one more week. With the this team is playing in addition to the A's remaining schedule I just might get to swoon over Greinke for a little longer. Who knows, maybe if the Angels do good enough in the playoffs we might get to see him in an Angels uni for a bit longer.