An Angel win over the Indians in which all the Halos needed was a Hunter and a bunter.
Los Angeles Angels of AWESOMENESS
- Terry Smith and Jose Mota get a big assist for this win. I was driving home listening to the game and they started talking about how he had only hit one home run literally right before he hit the big game-tying homer. This wasn’t one of those intentional attempts at a reverse jinx like Rex Hudler always used to try and pull either, they were legitimately talking about his struggles and ended up earning him the karma he needed from the Baseball Gods to snap out of his power funk.
- The big story of the game, of course, was the walk-off bunt. That is some real old school Scioscia ball right there. Of course with Sosh getting ejected I wonder who really made the call to go for the bunt. I highly doubt Howie did it on his own, he is just too much of a free swinger. I can see Roenicke making the decision, but I have a hunch that Scioscia might somehow have been communicating with the bench from the locker room (maybe a fake pair of sunglasses and mustache like Bobby Valentine).
- Not that I am complaining, but I could disagree more with the Indians electing to intentionally walk Juan Rivera to get to Howie Kendrick in the ninth inning. I guess it is good to have a force at second as well, but Kendrick has so many other ways of reaching base that Rivera. Most obviously, Kendrick has the speed to beat out an infield single or, I don’t know, maybe a bunt, and Rivera definitely does not. Both hitters have been cold, but Rivera has been much colder all year. The Indians are a sabermetric-centric team, so I am sure they had a good reason for the move, but I can’t figure out for the life of me what it would be.
- Ervin Santana wasn’t spectacular tonight, but it was definitely an encouraging performance. He had a few labored innings, but he also definitely had the Indians on the defensive and racked up a bunch of Ks as a result. The most encouraging aspects though were that he clearly trusted his breaking stuff, which looked sharp, and was using it heavily and, most importantly, his velocity was on the uptick. Very few of his fastballs dipped below 91 mph and he was hitting 93 on the gun as late as the seventh inning. He still isn’t hitting 95 or 96 like he used to, but at least he maintained his speed throughout the start which he hasn’t really done much this year.
Los Angeles Angels of FAIL
- Well, I don’t think that Mike Napoli has to worry about Ryan Budde stealing his job. Two strikeouts and two stolen bases allowed (though he did catch one) is not exactly going to make Sosh rethink his catching choices, no matter how much Napoli’s defensive struggles bother Scioscia.
- Umpire Rob Drake really needs to have his performance evaluated. First he makes the horrific call that Hideki Matsui went around on that pitch in the second when he clearly was just trying to avoid being hit by the pitch. Then I am pretty sure he was just so embarrassed by how bad his call was that he tossed Scioscia from the game for pointing it out. Drake didn’t even give Sosh a chance to make it out of the dugout. Next time he should just eject himself.
Halo Hero of the Game
Big Game Hunter is back on the hunt!
Hunter was pretty much the entire Angel offense tonight with his humongous three-run jack to tie the game and then his lead-off double in the ninth. Heck, the Halos only got six hits all night and Torii had three of them. What else can you possibly ask for from the guy?