An Angel win over the White Sox in which the unlikeliest of heroes helped to avert disaster.
Los Angeles Angels of AWESOMENESS
- Excuse me while I eat some crow while Brian Fuentes gets to enjoy his redemption. Tito not only worked a clean inning and averted a potential disaster, but he did it against the same part of the order that nearly undid him last night. Coming directly on the heels of Jepsen and Rodney nearly blowing the game, Fuentes somehow emerges from the mess looking like a hero of sorts instead of like a guy who is one false move from losing his job. Now he is probably two or three false moves away.
- Juan Rivera is slowly starting to simmer, his two-run jack was his second in three games and extended his hitting streak to seven games. He should get a move up in the order playing in St. Louis this weekend and I think that might be an arrangement to keep intact when they get back to American League parks since Matsui’s slump doesn’t appear to be on the verge of snapping anytime soon.
- Aybar lives!!!!! Slowly but surely, it looks like Erick is coming around and getting back to his more aggressive approach at the plate. He has now gone 12 games without a walk, but I actually think that is a good thing because he is remember what it is like to want to swing the bat. This was his second multi-hit game in three days and definitely a big night for him to build off of.
- Kendry Morales may not be consistently driving the ball, but at least he still has a knack for driving runs home. Aybar’s three-hit night did not go to waste thanks to K-Mo’s timely hitting that netted him two RBIs and keeps him in the top 10 in RBIs in the AL even though his slugging percentage is down nearly 100 points from last season.
Angels of FAIL
- I have to place at least some of the blame on Scioscia’s bullpen management for Kepsen’s meltdown. Having a reliever not see live game action for over a week is just asking for trouble. Yes, it is still up to Jepsen to do his job, but pitching mechanics are all about repetition and if he isn’t cutting lose for real for such a long stretch, things are bound to get out of whack.
- The third base situation just got very interesting for the Angels. Mike Scioscia benched Wood tonight and suggested that it could last a few games. But with Maicer Izturis supposedly not coming off the DL until sometime next week and Kevin Fransden not looking particularly good tonight (seriously, dude, three errors in three starts? it is almost like you want to go back to the minors), Sosh doesn’t have a whole lot of options otherwise. I guess he can keep giving Fransden a look if he is going to insist on Wood taking some time off to clear his head, but maybe he would be better served to hold off on doing so until Izturis is ready to go again.
- Welcome back, Bobby Wilson. The bad news is you fanned three times. The good news is you didn’t get run over. Thanks for coming out.
Halo Hero of the Game
Ervin has plenty of reason to smile.
Another fine performance from Ervin Santana, giving him three quality starts in his last four turns. Shutting down the White Sox hasn’t exactly been a difficult chore for pitchers this year, but that shouldn’t undermine what he did tonight. Santana was in complete control the whole night and (I think) this is the first start in which he has not allowed an extra-base hit. Don’t look now, by the way, after tonight, the Angels now have three pitchers with ERAs of 3.75 or better. If the Angels are going to save their season, it is going to be on the backs of the starting pitchers, provided the bullpen doesn’t give everyone a heart attack along the way like they nearly did tonight.