For the Angels it has been a brutal start to the 2009 season. Not only has this club had to deal with the tragic passing of Nick Adenhart but to top it off three starting pitchers have been out and Vladimir Guerrerro has been watching from the bench for the past two weeks. Really anything that could have gone wrong has. The Angels bullpen a undeniable strength last season has made an early season habit of blowing games, combine that with three starters in the rotation from AAA and it’s nothing short of divine intervention that the Angels currently sit at 16-14. Somehow remarkably Mike Scioscia’s club sits just a half game out of the AL West lead.
The Angels surge back to the top of the standings has been fueled by an impressive four game winning streak. Wednesday night the now AL-leading Toronto Blue Jays came into Angel Stadium and absolutely demolished the Halos 13-1. But the Angels recovered the next day showing newfound resiliency bred of extremely difficult circumstances. Jered Weaver recorded his first career complete game, limiting the Jays to three hits and one run. The Halos won 6-1, and since then they haven’t looked back. Over the weekend the surprising Kansas City Royals, AL Central leaders, came to town. In game one of the series Howard Kendrick’s two-run inside-the-park home run paced the Angels to a 4-1 win.
Saturday was a premier pitching matchup featuring the Angels ace Joe Saunders against the Royals heralded breakout star Zack Greinke. Throwing his first career shutout Saunders led the Angels to another impressive win, 1-0. On Mother’s Day the Angels looked to push their win streak to a season long four games and also sweep their first three game series of the season. With a three-run seventh inning the Angels came back and took a 4-3 lead into the ninth. To lead off the ninth the Royals Miguel Olivo sent a ball deep to center field that looked like it would be the game tying blast but Torii Hunter had other plans. On the run the Halos reigning Gold Glove winning fielder skied to absolutely rob Olivo.
Take a look.
Unbelievable stuff from Hunter. During this stretch of four wins the Angels have gotten incredible performances, which have kept them in the hunt. If the Halos can hold on now until Lackey, Escobar, and Santana are back in the rotation there maybe many more series sweeps coming their way.
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Written by Nich Hall