It has been an interesting week or so to be an Angels fan. Mike Scioscia’s club appears to be on a bit of a rollercoaster this May. An impressive series win over the Red Sox was followed by a disappointing sweep at the hands of the division leading Texas Rangers last weekend. This past week the Angels appeared to regain some of their swagger after their disappointing showing in Arlington. With starters John Lackey and Ervin Santana back into the rotation the Angels took three of four from the Mariners before their first interleague series against their cross-town rival the Dodgers.
Just like last season the Freeway Series featured the best team in baseball, however this year it was Joe Torre’s Dodgers that held that honor. With Texas continuing to pile on the wins the Angels came into Dodger Stadium with a sense of urgency that I think was evident. With the ballpark rocking every night the Angels did what they had to. On Friday night Chone Figgins late game heroics led the Angels to a 3-1 victory. The Angels were 1-15 with runners in scoring position when in the eighth inning Figgins laced a two-run single, which proved to be the difference. Saturday night the Angels jumped out to a 4-1 lead but could not hold on, falling eventually in the tenth inning. Back to back singles followed by consecutive walks gave the Dodgers the walk-off win.
Sunday afternoon in the rubber game of the first round of this season’s Freeway Series the Angels gave the Dodgers an early 4-0 lead. But Torii Hunter and company were not about to hand this game away. Hunter drove in three RBI’s and once again absolutely robbed another batter at the wall. In the bottom of the fourth trailing 4-2 Hunter ran head first into the centre field wall, absolutely robbing the Matt Kemp of a sure extra base hit.
Here’s a great look of the catch, captured by clearly a Dodgers fan in right field.
The Angels did hang on to win the game despite a bit of a hiccup in the eighth inning, when the Angels loaded the bases, allowing two runs but managing to keep a slim one run lead heading into the ninth. However to lead off the ninth Bobby Abreu tripled and the Angels followed that up with three straight singles to push their lead to 10-6. They gave up a run in the bottom half of the ninth but managed to take two out of three from the Dodgers.
As of today the Angels sit three games behind the Rangers for first in the AL West, but are faced with a tremendous opportunity. They face the reeling Whit Sox this week while Texas hosts the Yankees. In addition Vladimir Guerrero will make his return off the DL tonight.
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Written by Nich Hall