Admit it, you stopped watching around the 6th inning. Sure, you kept your phone on just to check in from time to time, but surely there was something better on TV than watching the Angles mail another one in. Still questions remained. Would they get totally blown out? would there be any sort of comeback thwarted by a poorly timed double play?
Then all of sudden the phone starting lighting up. First one on in the 9th. Then another. Trout gets hit by a pitch and the bases are loaded. You stop watching that old movie on HBO and tune in to see Albert. No way they can come back. That's not how this team is built this year. But both Pujols and Hamilton deliver and then Howie gets a gift error and what do you know, the game is tied and we head to extras.
From there the misery sets in. A botched bunt and a picked off runner dooms the Angels in the 10th. But a quick top of the 11th and Trout is up again. Trout strikes and you sink in chair. Brad Hawpe can't possible do anything here right? But Hawpe singles and up comes Josh Hamilton. Hamilton had a walk off a few night ago. He's had his quota for the year. Yes, he's been swinging better but no way he can come through...and there it goes. A walk off two run homer and the Angels steal a victory.
Maybe I believe after all...
-- Mike Trout is an All Star and he played like it tonight. He is truly the only bright spot we have on this team. I fear that if they don't improve he will bolt when he gets the chance to play for a winner. Until then, I will enjoy watching him hit the crap out of the ball. (except when grounds into double plays with a chance to get his team back into the game, but I choose to ignore that)
-- Then there is Albert Pujols. Albert looks absolutely terrible right now. I think he needs one of those patented Mike Scioscia days off to get right. Maybe the All Star break will help him. I know he's hurt but even hurt, he shouldn't be lunging at every pitch even remotely close to the strike zone. Even on the hit in the ninth, he was bailing out. One hit does not forgive where he is at right now.
-- I sincerely hope Jerry Dipoto is looking at this bullpen and grimacing every time they come out and pitch. Granted, it's not the pen he envisioned but the lack of organizational depth is one of the key reasons the Angels are where they are. Now the pen did all right tonight, but there is no way a team can win consistently with the collection of arms.
-- Having said all that, Ernesto Frieri was flat out awesome. What started out as an inning of work to shake off the rust, became a key point in the game. He went two innings, struck out five including striking out the side in the 10th. That is what we need from our closer.
-- Jerome Williams start will be lost in the euphoria of the win, but he was awful again tonight. Maybe the whole starting Jerome thing wasn't such a good idea after all.
Josh Hamilton is happening people. This is what we thought we were getting all along. He has an 11 game hit streak and he hit the game winning bomb in extras. Yes, he seems to have developed a fielding issue. But if he keeps hitting, all will be forgiven. Got get 'em kid!!