Well, would you look at that. Zack Greinke dominating another AL contender. Not too shabby for a supposed trade deadline bust, if I don't say so myself.
Why Greinke pitching well is a surprise to anyone is beyond me. He's had some rough spots so far with the Angels, but thus far those spots have mostly been one or two inning blips. Perhaps there was something to Ron Roenicke's theory that Zack, a meticulous slave to routine, just needed a brief adjustment period to get acclimated to the new team and maybe even his new catcher. Whatever he did, he needs to keep doing it, because this series represents the start of the most critical stretch of the Angels' season considering that they can now gain control of their post-season fortunes by beating up on the team's in front of them in the WIld Card standings.
So far, so good.
– Probably the most important thing that Greinke did tonight was allow a homer to Miguel Cabrera. The Angels were perilously close to putting an end to my Angels TV boycott, but that longball saved the day. Now the Halos are 4-0 since I announced the boycott. Boycott 4 EVA!!!!
– A clutch RBI double from Howie Kendrick who very quietly has been beating the crap out of the ball in the month of August to the tune of a .922 OPS.
– Get ready for Garrett Richards to be a big, big part of the Angel bullpen the rest of the way. Scioscia surprised many by bringing Richards in to get the final two outs of a one-run game. He didn't exactly have a lot of other choices since Frieri and Jepsen had pitched three days in a row. Leaving Downs in for the save wasn't much of an option since he had been shaky since coming off the DL and also might have been stretched too far since this was his third appearance in four days. Rather than selecting one of his trusty, old (and I do mean old) veteran relievers, he gave the ball to the kid. I've noticed Scioscia doing this a lot lately, putting a young guy into a big situation to test hit mettle. This was an enormous test and Garrett passed with flying colors by smoking the two batters he faced to earn his first career save. The Angels might have themselves a new big time weapon in the bullpen, one that can go multiple innings as well, giving him poor man's Aroldis Chapman potential. I like it. I like it a lot.
A dominant start and he went deep into the game, what more can we ask for?
Photo courtesy of Daylife.com