Ahh, all is finally right with the world again. The Angels are back on the win column and Joe Saunders is back in quality starter form. On the verge of a four-game losing streak and having their starting pitching be declared a natural disaster, the Angels got exactly what they needed: a hard fought win and a strong showing from Joe Saunders.
Though Saunders was hardly lights out, he performed better than the Angels could have hoped having just come off the disabled list. Saunders was only able to go five innings, but he fanned six batters, one off his season-high, in the process and consistently hit 93 and 94 mph on the radar gun, something he struggled to do before his DL stint. Command was an issue though for Saunders who threw just 51 strikes in 89 pitches, but he was still more aggressive than he has been all season long, allowing just two walks and four hits. Really the only blemish Saunders had in his line was they he allowed a home run to Adam Everett, a guy that makes David Eckstein look Ryan Howard. One start certainly doesn’t alleviate all the concern around Saunders’ ability to be a productive member of the team going forward, but everyone in Angel Nation should be sleeping a lot easier tonight.
- At one point should Gerald Laird have just given up trying to throw runners out. With five steals off Detroit today, the Angels really just should have been awarded an extra base any time somebody got on base.
- Let’s give it up for the Angel bullpen! Wow, four relievers used and not a single run given up in a close game. Good work all around guys. I remember a day when I wouldn’t have been impressed at all by that, but this year, it is a truly commendable feat. End of back-handed compliment.
- Remember when the Angels used to be able to hit with runners in scoring position? Yeah, those were good times. 3-for-13 was all the Angel bats could muster tonight and that just ain’t pretty.
- The Angels officially MUST send the runner every time they have a guy on first with Vladimir Guerrero up. Counting today’s stats, Vladi now has rolled into 14 double plays in just 260 at-bats. That is just bonkers.
- Torii Hunter
With as on fire as Big Game Hunter has been since coming off the DL, this honor is long overdue. His two-run shot gave the Angels a very much needed early lead for a change. I’m even willing to forgive his getting picked off third base in the fifth inning. Good work, Torii!