With last night's win, the Angels move one game closer to the 162-0 game perfect season. Of course, a loss tonight drops them to 81-81, likely good enough for third in the AL West. No pressure, guys!
It's interesting how some small sample sizes seem traumatically ridiculous, but a single night of Brandon Wood at-bats is enough to convince his detractors that he isn't ready to be in the big leagues. He went 0-4 with 3 swinging strikeouts and a popup to third, not really an ideal show of force for the new starting third baseman. Regardless, if Scioscia panics and takes him out of the lineup, he won't ever start hitting the ball, and then the Angels will find themselves suddenly very thin in the infield. The sight of Tony Reagins in a luxury box on a Thinkpad was oddly reassuring.
Jered Weaver was pretty average. His success this year will be determined by home runs. Prevent them, and he's staring a great season in the face. Allow too many, and he'll become weirdly reminiscent of his brother, and the Halosphere will start the march for Reagins' head. Weaver did manage 6 strikeouts in 6 innings while moving the ball around pretty well, but the two-run homer to Young was a bad pitch in a situation where any number of better choices were available.
The bullpen looked pretty poor, with Jepsen loading the bases and escaping by the web of Kendry's glove, the sharp line drive saved from right field in the hands of our Cuban hero. Rodney managed to throw more than twice as many balls and strikes while getting three outs. I would have liked to have seen Shields for the first time in a year, but I suppose I can wait. Fuentes was uncharacteristically solid.
The offense has been discussed elsewhere, but I'd like to make two points:
1.) Erick Aybar looked like a brilliant facsimile of Chone Figgins last night, seeing 24 pitches overall, including 10 in his first at bat before walking to first. He went 2 for 3 otherwise.
2.) Bobby Abreu, despite having a terrible night in the batter's box, made two nice running catches in the outfield to end the game. Mark your schedules with a little happy face - it's not often Abreu will get accolades for his defense.
Baseball makes me appreciate hockey much the way hockey makes me appreciate baseball. It's a pleasant combination of sports, but their intermingling period is much too short. My personal choice for extending said intermingling? A Kings Stanley Cup.
Los Angeles plays the Ducks tonight at 7 Pacific. There are three games remaining after this, plus a minimum of four playoff games.