Ernesto Frieri is beginning to have a knack for the dramatic. His bases-loaded ninth inning gem was more scripted than it was allowance and almost overshadowed the superb display on the offensive side (14 hits and 9 runs). With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom half of the ninth, Edwin Encarnacion and all 22 home-runs stepped into the box, poised for a walk-off. Fastball after fastball, the matchup was pure power as each individual came after the other with everything they had. Well, we all know how that ended.
Fortunately for the Halos, Frieri got Encarnacion to ground to Aybar for the 6-4-3 double play to end the game. Heartbreaker avoided. But the biggest play of the game happened to be the one to end it, as Pujols scooped a botched throw from Howie Kendrick to finish the play that would’ve tied the game up. Instead, the box score bleeds solid performance rather than game breaking.
But not for Dan Haren (6-7) despite getting the win, who seemed to struggle mightily through 6 IP giving up 7 hits, two of which were long balls to raise his ERA to 4.53. The bullpen did their usual fortifying, as Hawkins, Downs, and Frieri came in for relief. And as the offense has shown recently, they’re for real now.
Texas, watch out.
- Albert Pujols had his first 4-hit performance in an Angel uniform. His two doubles and two singles sparked a lot of the Angel’s comeback tonight.
- The Angels are now 14-1 in their last 15 road games. An awfully stellar statistic especially for a team who was awful on the road to start the season.
- Former Angel Jeff Mathis got the start behind the plate for Toronto, going 4-for-4 and a triple shy of the cycle.
Albert Pujols is the Halo Hero tonight, going 4-for-5 with 2 doubles and 2 singles and 3 runs. But the most important contribution he made tonight was his dig on the final play of the game that prevented the tying run from scoring.
There has to be some boost in WAR for stats like that.