We have officially reached the panic section of the Angels' season. The team started the night 10 games under .500 and closer to last place than the wid card race. Things are pretty bleak around Anaheim. So tonight's first game of a 10 game homestand felt more like a referendum on the future than a ballgame. Could the Angels actually salvage something of this season? Would they be able to give us a reason to care about baseball when the dog days hit? Maybe it's a bit hyperbolic to say each game is the single most important one of the 2013 campaign but here we are. Tonight the Halos had to grind a game out and, lo and behold, they came out on top. Is it a momentary respite from the misery this season has been or the start of the great comeback we are all hoping for? Only time will tell.
-- One positive sign for the Angels is that it appears Albert Pujols is finally waking up. Consecutive three hit games and hitting safely in 8 of the past 9 seems to indicate that Pujols is ruonding into at least some passing shape. I know he's hurt but he has enough God given talent to at least hit .280. Just don't ask him to score from second any time soon.
-- Howie Kendrick is still raking. Last week I argued he should be at least considered for an All Star spot, but looking aruond the AL, I'm hard pressed to find someone hitting better than him right now, Unfortunately, there are Yankee and Red Sox players at that postion that have name recognition so the best Howie can hope for is to be left off when he is one of the final five votes.
-- The pitchers played with dynamite all night and managed to get out alive. CJ Wilson somehow went 7 innings and only gave up two runs. Kevin Jepsen wiggled out of some self made trouble in the 8th before Ernesto closed the door. Now, this wasn't the vaunted Yankee line-up of old (seriously, who the hell were some of those dudes? Neal, Adams, Briegnec? Did the Yanks finally run out of money?
Chris Iannetta gets the hero tonight not only for his work in guiding CJ through a rollercoaster of a start, but for his two hits. How crazy were his two hits? One of them he got trying to get out of the way of a pitch. For a guy who doesn't get many, hits mean big things. Tonight, he was the difference on both ends.