It was becoming quite nauseating. National baseball writer after national baseball writer had written puff piece after puff piece about how Albert Pujols missed his old team. The gist of the story lines ran a little like "Albert Pujols is bitter towards the Cardinals. But Albert Pujols also loves his old teammates, so it's all nice and rosy." Toss in the token angry Cardinals fan in the comments sections, and you've got a bag of hurt all around surrounding this story. But eventually, a game was played.
And, Albert Pujols was not the headliner. In fact, he struck out twice and drew a walk. That's about it. The story was a resurgent ace doing his thing and the young core sticking it to one of the best teams in the National League. The Angels piled on a 5-run inning in the bottom of the second inning, and said ace Jered Weaver made it stand up, dominating the Redbirds to the tune of seven innings and five strikeouts.
Now on a seven-game winning streak, the Angels might very well be proving to finally be turning things around. Their record is now 40-43, and with a couple more series wins, might be at .500 come the All-Star Break, and in position to possibly contend in the second half.
Hope springs eternal, and a game like this certainly can't hurt, but to add to the optimism that is starting to arise in Anaheim.
-- Josh Hamilton had another opposite-field hit. Is it safe to say he's fixed? When Hambone is going right, he's hitting a ton of shots the other way… eh, let's not jinx it.
-- Is it possible that the Angels bullpen might very well make it through the Ryan Madson and Sean Burnett injuries? Scott Downs and Dane De La Rosa shut the Cardinals down, but Kevin Jepsen nearly imploded out there on the mound, giving up three hits in no innings. Yeah, too soon to call.
Halo Hero of the Game
Albert PU-… just kidding.
This guy deserves it. Welcome back, Dreamweaver.