Oh I was mad. 30 games in to the season, and I was fuming. Are the Angels scared of the Boston Red Sox. They lost 4 straight home games to the Sox, and had lost their first 2 in Bean town. Scared was the only word that came to mind. It reminded me being in high school and being nervous around girls. Things that would normally be easy, became unbelievably hard. The Angels pounded out 13 hits in game 1, but were still outscored by 4 runs. The Red Sox even toyed with Angels ace, Jered Weaver. Weaver, on his death bed the day prior, mustered up the strength to throw 118 pitches. 13 of those pitches went to Dustin Pedroia in the 6th inning. The Former MVP would eventually single, giving the Red Sox a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Don’t let that score fool ya, the Angels led 2-1 in the 6th inning, and had numerous opportunities to increase their lead, but couldn’t get the key hit.
Facing Jon Lester is never easy, but it’s even tougher when your highest paid player, Vernon Wells says,”That guy is nasty, I want no part of that guy”. He meant it, striking out twice against Lester.
Is that what Hisanori Takahashi is saying about the Sox? Through 2 games, Takahashi has an ERA of 40.0. Maybe it’s time to rethink pitching him against the Sox. I thought he was a left handed specialist? Left handed hitter David Ortiz found him real special, knocking one over the boards.
The Angels did solve Jonathan Papelbon, at least for one night, scoring a couple runs off the Sox closer in the 9th. Don’t get too excited, most closers don’t pitch to well in a non-save situation.
Through two games, the Sox had beat up the 2 Angel aces, scoring 16 runs while pounding out 24 hits. Boston only led for 9 of the 18 innings, but they do what the Angels can’t do. And that’s score runs late, and keep the other team down. The Angels tighten up when they get a lead in Fenway, while the Red Sox know they are going to come back, no matter how big of lead the Halos might have.
Then something happened. The earth shifted. Life as we know it changed. Ervin Santana and Josh Beckett were engaged in a pitchers duel, allowing a combined 1 hit in just over 8 innings of work. Then it happened, the rains came. Not wanting to cancel this game, the umpires made the players wait 2 hours and 35 minutes before resuming play.
When play resumed, the sun shined on the Angels. How? Because Boston brought in Dan Wheeler. Wheeler, who obviously didn’t get the memo about Vernon Wells, served up his 2nd, 2-run shot to Wells in 3 days. Wells, who is not playing well, gave the Halos a 2-0 lead. After the Sox scored to cut the lead in half, the Angels actually scored another run.
Scared took over. Jordan Walden throwing 100 mph, shockingly threw a change up to Jacoby Ellsbury, who stroked a game tying single to right. I was beside myself. Cussing Walden, Scioscia, and even Mathis (For no reason, he just makes me mad).
game is now tied at 3, the Halos certain to lose.
Once again, the sun shined on the Angels. Bottom 12th, Wells, still playing stellar defense, fielded Kevin Youkilis’ ball perfectly off the monster, got the ball to Aybar, who threw a strike to Conger, who tagged out Marco Scutaro at the plate. There are certain plays in a season that propel a team to great heights. That play may be the first one. If Scutaro scores, the Sox are jubilant, the Angels are defeated, more mentally than anything else.
Bobby Abreu, the one veteran the Angels can ill afford to lose, won it with a 2 run single in the 13th. It was the Wells/Aybar/Conger play that won it for the Halos, Abreu just made sure it was a W.
Game 4, no contest. The Angels, propelled by the great victory the day before, came out rejuvenated. John Lackey, not so much. Lackey, the former Angel who pitched a shutout in Anaheim a week ago, was hammered. Big John gave up 10 hits and 8 runs, in 4 innings, as he suffered his first loss against his ex-mates.
Told ya, that one play, could very well, move the Angels in to another gear.
I have told you that I am a firm supporter of Trevor Bell. the Orange County kid is going to be an above average major league pitcher. He has been successful everywhere in his life, it’s not a stretch to think that once he gets an extended chance with the Halos, he’ll succeed again. His 4 innings on Wednesday highlighted the talent he has.
I won’t be negative, so I won’t tell you that Wells is still hitting only .186. Joe Pineiro is amazing!! 2 starts, 12.2 IP, 1 run. WOW!
The Angels now head home to face the Indians. I think there might be a letdown, but i hope not.
About the Author
Written by Bill Mahoney
O'kay I'll talk about myself a little. I've been working in the television/radio industry for over 21 years. I started at 2 so I am just a tad over 21 (That is a joke). My career has taken me around and and even out of the United States. Right now I call Vegas home, but I just never know where life will take me next. Until 2002 my irrational love for the California/Anaheim/LAA had taken me down some very dark roads, but with Arte Moreno in charge I finally saw the a light at the end of the road. I really love most every sports and having as much fun as possible.