Torii Hunter’s face, this is the outfield wall. Outfield wall, this is Torii Hunter’s face, I believe you have met before.
An excellent Halo victory very nearly came at the expense of their star center fielder who crashed into the outfield wall trying to chase down a Bengie Molina double. If only someone had informed Torii that he could have played it off the hop and probably still thrown out the glacial Molina at first. This now marks the second NL West stadium that bares Hunter’s facial impression on the center field fence (note to the Arizona Diamonbacks head groundskeeper: install additional padding in center by the end of the week before Torii has a chance to complete the whole set).
Though Hunter did have to leave the game, he set a fantastic example for a clubhouse in need of leadership. At the time of Hunter’s collision, the team was riding a cushy 8-0 lead, making such a physical sacrifice completely unnecessary and simultaneously totally inspiring. This team hasn’t seen that kind of selfless play since Darin Erstad was doing his best crash test dummy impression. Displaying that kind of hustle and passion is exactly what the young Angels need to see so that they can learn from it and what the veterans need to witness so they can be reminded of what it takes to win in the majors.
Kudos to you, Torii. Now go ice your ribs (which are fortunately just bruised).
- Yes, he grounded into a rally-thwarting double play that induced post-traumatic stress flashbacks of Howie Kendrick. Yes, he struck out. But he also banged one out of the park. Ladies and gentlemen, Sean Rodriguez!!! I don’t care about the other three at-bats; that power is exactly what the Angels need, especially as long as Vlad Guerrero keeps playing like Wilton Guerrero. I now look forward to seeing S-Rod get another start two weeks from now.
- Two base hits to the opposite field? In the same game? For Mike Napoli? Could it possibly be true? Can I ask more rhetorical questions? Anytime Napoli is going oppo, it is a very good thing. With the funk he has been mired in for the last month, this is great news even if it came on a night when everyone was smacking Barry Zito around the park.
- Feel the power! Rivera, S-Rod, Aybar and even Abreu all went deep and continued the Halos’ recent power surge. A guy could get use to this (though we all know that I would only be setting myself up for disappointment).
- For the first time since the starting weeks of the season the Angels have a positive run differential. This is really just a number, but all the stat-heads out there will tell you run-differentials correlate strongly with a team’s final record, getting the differential back into the positive is just a first step on the Angels getting into position to win the division once again.
- WTF, Bobby Abreu? That’s three errors now in the last your last two games. You’re an outfielder for crying out loud. You shouldn’t even have three errors in two months. I almost almost starting to pine for Vlad Guerrero’s days of bumbling in right field.
- A hearty congratulations goes out to the Bullpen of Doom, with a special shout out to Kevin Jepsen, for very nearly turning a cake walk of a win into a soul-crushing loss.
- John Lackey
Big John is back, striking out ten and even registering his first career hit and RBI (and you have no idea how important that was to him). Plus, I nailed my prediction of his final line right on the head, which earns him extra credit.