That wasn’t exactly the kind of win the Halos were hoping for, but they’ll take it.
They did pretty much everything humanly possible to throw the game away, but still managed to sneak out of Ontario with an unlikely series win. But even in victory the Angels reminded us why nobody should go and get their hopes up for this team. What could have been an easy victory got turned into a nail-biter thanks to some managing miscues and the bullpen springing yet another leak.
- By far John Lackey’s best performance of the season, although topping his two-pitch outing against Texas is very hard to top. He would have probably had a shutout if not for Adam Lind who quite simply owned Big John. It is definitely nice to see one of the previously injured starters is feeling good.
- Two homers in three games for Mike Napoli. He still struck out twice, but his power always comes in clusters, so Scioscia better stop being stupid and alternating Nap with Mathis like he has been doing for the last two weeks.
- Howie Kendrick got a real confidence boost tonight. Granted he struck out once and only reached on a bunt single, but he did score the game-winning run. I really want to quit Howie but I just can’t. I mean I was actually excited when he grounded out in the fourth but managed to stay out of the double play.
- Scioscia is clearly just plain terrified of turning to the bullpen until absolutely necessary. John Lackey loaded the basis in the seventh with nobody out but was left out there to extricate himself from the jam despite having a high pitch count. The Sosh of old would have yanked Lackey for Shields or Arredondo in heartbeat, but the fraidy cat Scioscia opted to stick with Lackey. The move looked like mild genius when Big John weasled out of the jam, but Sosh is going against some long odds and if he keeps doing it he is going to get burned.
- On the other hand, it is hard to blame the skipper for being fearful of the bullpen. Darren Oliver (aka the only guy who has pitched well all season) couldn’t get anyone out. Hell, he had to be bailed out by Justin Speier. JUSTIN SPEIER! One game Speier is a virtual pariah and now he is the savior? This is insane.
- What gives with Abreu sitting out? Wasn’t the whole idea that he and Vlad can rotate through the DH spot to keep them both fresh? Methinks the refusal to put Vlad in the outfield secretly indicates that he still isn’t 100% healthy.
Halo Hero of the Game:
- Chone Figgins
Look at that little sparkplug go! Figgy set the tone for the Angels in the first by working his way on base and coming around to score. Putting a run on the board immediately for the Angels after a strong offensive showing the night before was exactly what the Angels’ confidence needed. He even came up with a nice two-out RBI later in the game. With so many other Halo hitters floundering, Chone is almost single-handedly keeping the team afloat.