Just think this time last week we had come together to bury the Angels for the 2012 season. What a difference a week and a five game winning streak makes. All of a sudden there is hope when there was none. Excitement has replaced malaise. Uncertainty has given way to confidence and, dare I say, swagger. Maybe this year might be something magical after all.
Angels 5 Mariners 3
– Albert Pujols has returned to the good graces of the Angel faithful. His third homer in three days has allowed us all to see the promise in full swing. The fact that he hit it off Felix Hernandez is doubly sweet since he is a legit AL elite pitcher.
– Jerome Williams continues to be just good enough to get the job done. Solid through six innings with only really one bad frame (the fifth) which wasn’t his fault.
– Speaking of the fifth inning, let’s all agree that Erick Aybar is an elite shortstop who will occasionally make a boneheaded play in the guise of being clever. His attempt to get the lead runner at third with one out cost the Angels a run. Next time Erick, take the sure out.
– Don’t look now but Jordan Walden appears to have figured it out. I could like with the Walden to Downs to Frieri troika closing games down on a consistent basis. And sign me up for the official Ernesto Frieri fanclub…although he needs a cool nickname, his name is hard to spell. Imagine where the Angel season would be without that trade?
We have now entered some sort of twilight zone of unlikely halo heroes. Alberto Callaspo’s pinch hit grand slam gave the Angels the lead and eventually the game. What I liked about Callaspo was that he hit it and then put his head down and ran it out. No big deal, just another day at the office. Role players doing extraordinary things is the hallmark of good teams and the Angels are finally starting to play like they are part of that group.