Game Rewind: Opening Night Running Diary – Angels 6, Twins 3

Top 1st

  • Great move having King Fish throw out the first pitch.  Calling back for a little magic from the 2002 World Series team and one of the best Angels ever can only bring positive karma.  Very smart move to appease the baseball gods this early in the season.
  • Sorry, Kendry, but I am going to have to go ahead and ask you to change back to #22.  This #8 thing just looks weird and I don’t think I am ever going to get used to it.
  • Ugh, Mathis looks like he is the personal catcher for Weaver now.  I guess I can’t argue though since Twins have lots of speed and Napoli can’t throw out my grandma and she died of emphysema eight years ago.

Bottom 1st

  • A fantastic first leadoff at-bat for Aybar as he draws a 10-pitch walk.  If he can keep that up, the Angel offense is going to be asking, “Figgins who?”
  • Not to speak kindly of the enemy too much, but I dig the Twinkies’ new road threads.  Ditching the pinstripes was an excellent choice.
  • Torii Hunter is looking loose against Twins for a change.  Nice to see it only took two years for him to get over jitters when playing his old team.
  • Not the start to his Angel career that Godzilla was looking for.  I’m not worried though.
  • An RBI for Kendry.  It is almost like he should be batting fourth, and no I’m not going to let this issue go anytime soon.
  • D’oh!  Kendrick tattoed that ball and would’ve broken the game open, but Span shaded him perfectly.

Top 2nd

  • Wood’s first play could have gone better, maybe wouldn’t have gotten the runner on that little dribbler, but he has to at least make a play on the ball.
  • Opa!  We finally got Jason Kubel out!!  It really is going to be a different season for the Halos.
  • Delmon Young demolished that ball.  Too bad, Weaver was looking real sharp, maybe he should keep working on that two-seamer.  He does appear to have taken some “ace” lessons from Lackey before he left as Weaver is stomping around the mound cursing at himself after allowing that dinger.

Bottom 2nd

  • And we have Wood’s first K of many, not a good start to the season for Woody.
  • Holy crap!  Jeff Mathis is still in ALCS mode only better, hitting a homer instead of double to give the Angels back the lead.

Top 3rd

  • Arte Moreno in the booth now, nice to see he lost the beard, smart move.
  • Doing an interview wasn’t a smart move, Moreno isn’t exactly Mr. Personality and Victor Rojas appears to be a pretty awkward interviewer.

Bottom 3rd

  • Ah, a guy with an actualy personality visiting the booth in Tim Salmon.  I feel much better now.

Top 4th

  • OK, a third of the way through first game, not sure I like Rojas, but I don’t hate him.  Too many corny jokes, but that might be Mark Gubicza’s terrible sense of humor rubbing off on him.

Bottom 4th

  • I just had a minor freakout moment, calling up the box score for the game on ESPN and they showed the game as playing on ESPN2 and ESPN3.  I thought the evil empire had expanded again but then realized my browser just truncated ESPN360 down.  Phew!
  • Another strikeout for Wood.  At least he worked the count full this time, so he is making progress at least.

Top 5th

  • Another interview?  I like Rod Carew as much as the next guy but can we focus on the game a little bit?
  • Not going to lie, I missed most of that inning watching the Butler-Duke NCAA Championship game.  Clearly I was punished by the baseball gods as the Twins tied the game while I wasn’t watching, but it was totally worth it, I was dead certainthat half-court shot was going in for Butler, dammit.  Stupid, Duke.

Bottom 5th

  • Abreu pops up for third time in the game, at least advance the runner Bobby if you are going to bat second.  Small ball isn’t dead in Anaheim yet.
  • Oh, right, that is why Matsui is batting fourth, big hits in the clutch.  Somehow I forgot.

Top 6th

  • Weaver is struggling to get through 6th and Sosh should probably get Jepsen but letting Weaver finish the inning and get himself out of the jam was necessary to help Weaver evolve into an ace and he passed the test.  That is why Scioscia is the manager and I am not (and that is the only reason).

Bottom 6th

  • New pitcher, same result for Wood as he strikes out for the third time, this time on just three pitches.  I am going to chalk this up to Opening Night jitters, but just to be safe, Maicer Izturis should probably take some extra reps at third base tomorrow.

Top 7th

  • Interesting that Jespen comes in for the 7th when Sosh could have gone with Rodney and Shields in some combo for the 7th and 8th.  Either Scioscia doesn’t like Rodney or thinks one of the two is still in need of some work before getting the high leverage innings.  Definitely something worth watching the rest of this week.
  • Jepsen looking good versus lefties so far which is great news since that was his Achilles heel last season.
  • I spoke too soon, he just dotted Hudson and now has to face Mauer.  Boy, it would be nice to have a lefty in the pen right about now.
  • Dammit Jepsen, DON’T touch the ball on a slow comebacker!
  • Bullet dodged or should I say not dodged because Morneau hit an absolute bullet right at Kendry Morales to end the bases loaded jam.  Interesting to note that at no point did Sosh get anyone else up in the pen to bail Jepsen out.

Bottom 7th

  • Aybar gets on base for the third time tonight with a perfect chance to steal and declines to do so for the third time tonight.  RUN DAMN YOU!  What is the point in being so fast if you just stand on first base?

Top 8th

  • Frodney gets the call to be the set-up man NOT Shields.  Very interesting.  Definitely makes you wonder what is going on with Shields because I totally expected Sosh to ride him hard and early.
  • I feared for Frodney having a bad year, but starting with six straight balls is a bit extreme, no?  If he and Fuentes are really going to pitch the 8th and 9th all season, this is going to be a loooong season.
  • OK, so he got out of the jam with a double play, but I stand by my previous comments about not liking Frodney already

Bottom 8th

  • Godzilla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Great start for Matsui as he smashes his first Halo home and off a lefty no less.  Is it too early to nominate his contract as best free agent signing of the year?
  • Back-to-back jacks!  K-Mo must be using Matsui as a role model as he steps all over an offering from Mijares.  If Bam Bam can bash lefties like he did that one pitch, the rest of the AL best be on guard
  • At least Wood managed to avoid the golden sombrero.  He better step it up soon otherwise he is going to be spending a lot of time on the bench and I am going to have to waive him from all four of my fantasy baseball teams.

Top 9th

  • Alright, here come Fuentes.  All eyes will be glued to the radar gun for this one to see if he finally got his velocity back.  I’m crossing all of my fingers.
  • 87 mph on the first pitch.  I just peed my pants a little bit.
  • When did Bobby Abreu start running like he was Vladimir Guerrero?  To say he is running gingerly is an insult to little girls everywhere.
  • Fuentes actually pitches a clean inning in a save opportunity for the first time since last May (I might be wrong on that, but you know it is believable).  He didn’t top 89 mph on the gun though, so let’s not get too excited just yet.
Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the founder and Supreme Overlord of and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.