This game was set up to be an outright disaster for the Angels. Tommy Hanson was scratched from the start at the last minute when his forearm tightened up during warm-ups. Howie Kendrick was given the day off. Peter Bourjos' thumb wasn't healed enough for him to play. Worst of all, Josh Hamilton was back batting fifth… against a lefty!
Sure enough Billy Buckner, pitching on zero rest, coughs up back-to-back homers in the first inning. The Angels are boned, right?
Well, apparently not. For whatever reason this team that can't beat the Astros and just got their clocks cleaned at home by the Pirates owns the defending AL champion Detroit Tigers. I don't get it, but I'm not complaining.
I'd even be tempted to say that this was the kind of uplifting win in the face of adversity that could spark the Halos, but I think we've been down that dead end road too many times this season to believe that.
– So, after seeing J.B. Shuck nearly cripple Erick Aybar who was clearly calling him off, can we declare a ban on Shuck playing the field in the future? This is something like five straight games where he has made a huge defensive gaffe.
– While the results weren't great, you have to tip your cap to Billy Buckner for making this start at the last possible minute against a tough lineup after pitching in relief the night before. He may not have done anything to earn a more permanent spot on the roster, but he has to have at least garnered some respect from the coaching staff. If Hanson does end up having to go on the DL, he at least made sure that he'll be considered to replace him. Of course, he might also get DFA'd after the game too because the bullpen is burnt and the Angels will probably need to call up someone just to survive the next few days.
– Dane De La Rosa has been fantastic since being recalled a two weeks. He has been used almost exclusively in a mop-up/long relief role, but he could be working his way into a bigger role, especially with Kohn struggling. Then again, I kind of like the idea of him being a the two inning reliever seeing how Garrett Richards has done so poorly in that role.
– Josh Hamilton got a hit off of a left-handed pitcher. It was just his 12th of the season off of a southpaw and first since June 8th. Hooray for progress, right?
I know Trout had a great game, but De La Rosa very likely saved the game when he came in with two on and no out in the fourth and got out of it. The game could of gone off the rails there, but Dane shut it down.