I said it last night, the pitching has to hold up if the Angels are going to get back into this race. So far, so good. One night after Jered Weaver shut the A's down, CJ Wilson goes out and throws what might have been his best game as an Angel. Wilson has been so maddeningly inconisistent in his time in Anaheim that many had labeled him a contract bust. But lately it seems CJ has found the strike zone and started pitching the way he did when he was a Ranger. I know it's only two games but they are statment none the less, that maybe the Angels can make this a three team race after all.
-- The offsense didn't do a hell of a lot tonight, but Albert Pujols did collect two more hits. Time will tell if this is the start of a real streak, but he's getting to the ball quicker and starting to go the other way with pitches on the outside. Also, special nod to Alberto Callaspo who went yard tonight and lately has been very strong in the box. Third base has always been a cavernous hole of ineptitude since the departure of Troy Glaus. I'm not saying Alberto is the answer but he has at least started to resemble a competent big league ball player of late.
-- Ernesto Frieri was awesome again tonight. He seems to have gotten the little hiccup in his command out of the way and is striking people out with great frequency. For a bullpen that is always teteering on the edge, a strong closer is a comforting thing to have. Nice work Ernie, now don't let it go to your head.
-- When a pitcher dominates a game it's easy to praise him solely for the performance. But I would be remiss if I didn't mention the work Hank Conger did behind the plate. He and CJ are obviously friends (witness the ongoing twitter bromance between the two) and I imagine that helps in easing a pitcher through the rougher spots of a game. Hank has developed into an effective signal caller and manager of a staff. I just hope he doesn't pull his arm out of his socket when he swings the bat one of these days.
That $75 million is starting to pay off. I wish it hadn't taken this long, but if CJ can pitch this way for the rest of the season, he will be worth it.