There's an old saying, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. For the Angels, any hope of contention for the AL West title or a wild card begins with nights like tongiht. The A's are one of the best teams in baseball (I know I threw up a little just typing that phrase) and the schedule gods have given the Angels a shot by orchestrating several series between the two teams down the stretch. But the Angels have to do their part. They have to win a bunch of these games to even have a prayer. At least for one night, the Halos are on the right path.
-- My, what a day or two off does for Albert Pujols. Dude looked great at the plate tonight. Two hits including a home run signal that maybe the reports of his demise where a bit premature. Of course he could got hitless the rest of the series. But if Albert does get hot, then look out.
-- The other half of that equation is Josh Hamilton. He also collected two hits and seems to be settling in to at least something of a groove. Of course, just as his offense gets moving, his defense seems to have fallen off a cliff. Maybe I'm selfish but I expect both high level offense and defesne from the guy. But I tend to shoot for the stars.
-- BREAKING: Mike Trout is still really good. Just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page. For visual proof see the homer he blasted to left center.
-- Don't look now but Erick Aybar is having a really good year. With the exception of 1 month, Aybar is hitting over .300 and snuck a homer out over the short wall in right. If he can deliver consistently in the nine hole, it allows the line-up to function much more effectviely.
-- If I'm the manager right now, my go to bullpen is Downs, De La Rosa and Frieri. This is not the time to start screwing around and seeing what Kevin Jepsen can give you. Those three relievers and no one else.
Jered Weaver delivered in every way possible. He dominated the A's for 6 2/3 of scoreless ball and basically told Mike Scioscia to sit down after the 6th, indicating any thoughts we might have had that he is still not 100% should be put to rest. Pitching is the whole key to any success and Jered has to lead that charge. Fortunately, Weaver owns the A's so there would seem to be some hope yet.