The Angels defeat the Oakland Athletics to get an incredibly important series, which is probably one of the most important series of the season, started on a great note. An offensive pounding of the A's gave way to a lopsided 8-3 Angels victory which brought the Angels a game closer to catching the Wild Card leading A's. A far more efficient C.J Wilson as well as an RBI hungry Chris Ianetta gave the Angels the advantage in today's game and got the momentum for another possible winning streak rolling.
A sweep against the A's, just a week before they come to Anaheim for a crucial 4 game series, would put the Angels in prime position to snatch the Wild Card from the A's.
It's gonna be an uphill battle, but when your team has been consistently playing the way they did today for the past week it gives way to plenty of hope and confidence regarding the future series.
-- What a sweet labor day it was, an 8-3 victory always gives you something to smile about, but with the Angels the fact that they held the A's to 3 runs stands out far more than the 8 runs they scored (which pretty normal for this ballclub). The starting pitching has been the bane of this teams existence, in stark contrast to the incredibly dominate starting pitching of last year, so seeing C.J Wilson limit the opposition to only 2 runs is definitely uplifting to a a club that has seen quite it's share of struggles over the past couple months. Scioscia inexplicably pulled C.J out after the 5th inning to go to the 'pen, but when you realize Wilson has had a string of incredibly stressful and taxing starts coming into this game it makes sense that Wilson would leave early to give him time to rest after the Angels practically sealed the game away early. The starting pitching has been prone to falling victim to negative trends within the starting rotation, so seeing Wilson keep the positivity ball rolling during such an important stretch of games keeps the hopes of gaining serious ground in the Wild Card alive. With Greinke slated to pitch tomorrow it's very important that the Angels are playing on the good side of the building momentum, especially when his tenure has been shaky so far as an Angel.
-- I really don't want to talk about Vernon Wells because he was awesome today and I can't risk somehow damaging the fragile mojo of Wells. He walked twice today, which is sweet since strike zone control has been the brutal tarnishing of his career. He hit a homerun and drove in two runs, which is about the only thing he's been able to do when he makes very rare contact with the ball. That's all I can say about Vernon Wells while staying as neutral as possible. It's not that I don't like him, it's that I don't trust the baseball gods with the way they've allowed Wells career as an Angel to play out. Can't risk screwing anything up now, especially since the Angels cold-streak started after I posted an article talking about how the Angels were set to sweep Texas the day before the brutal extra inning affair in Arlington, which I will neither talk NOR think about!
-- Hey there Chris Ianetta. Yeah I see you there buddy. Nice game you had yourself there today, a homerun with 3 hits and 3 RBI's? That's pretty good stuff there, ever since that ugly DL stint reached it's end there hasn't been many beats missed by Chris Ianetta. Makin' it pretty easy there to get the Angels to pick up that option for 2013 in the offseason with the play you've been giving the Angels. Maybe a little "extra" will convince the Angels to keep you around for another year at the least? Maybe, maybe you could...ya know, help get this team to the post-season? Hell, it wouldn't hurt if you threw an MVP type post-season together. Ya know, get us another ring to bring home to Anaheim. Asking too much? Ok....maybe just a littleeee.
I can't think of anything witty to say about Ianetta, so how about we just enjoy a still of one of the greatest moments of his career.
Can we not jump to "sweep" so often after one win or even before a series begins? It puts "hope" under too much pressure, leading to disillusionment and despair.
Now that Pete has been activated and Albert must be ready to play the field soon, can we please put Mark Trumbo out of his (lack of) hitting misery and give him a break? Or a series of smaller breaks? Or something? This poor guy needs a rest and sliding Trout to left would give him a blow, too. How could Pete be any worse in the batter's box than Mark?