Angels 9, Baltimore 6
One of the few games I've watched recently, this game illustrated the newest tendencies of the Angels: mediocre starting pitching, powerful offense, and solid relief. One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong...
Yes, the Angels have a powerful offense. They've hit more homers (35) than any other team in the majors through their last 23 games, a stretch during which they've gone 17-6, also the best record in baseball during that span. Of course, the Angels got their seventh and eighth runs today on based loaded walks.
Joe Saunders, on the other hand, is decidedly cold. For this season and the previous two, his tRA's have been 5.41 ('07), 4.67 ('08), and 5.42 ('09), and despite his gleaming 3.41 ERA last season, his talent level clearly doesn't suggest a sub-4.00 ERA pitcher. K/9's of 5.7 don't translate into dominance.
So, he's been due for regression for a while, and he's choosing the right time for it, as the Angels offense has been producing plenty of runs. Despite falling into a 4-0 hole today, then giving up another pair (1 unearned), he managed to escape the L thanks to Torii "MVP" Hunter and Vlad "Bat Speed" Guerrero. Vlad hit a game-tying homer in the fifth after missing two hanging breaking balls in earlier at bats. He's getting there...who knows if he'll make it.
By the way...Torii Hunter. I've maintained that Torii was a good signing if only for his contributions to team morale, but he has been the clear AL MVP thus far this season.
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