It's always nice to beat those guys.
Lackey was excellent through seven innings, throwing his curveball for strikes in the zone and out of the zone. He finished with 9 strikeouts to one walk. I think it's safe to say that he's putting it together this year. This is the guy we expected to have in the rotation after game 7 of the 2002 World Series. He's 6-2, his ERA is down to 3.50, and he's really been racking up the strikeouts lately. I'm getting the feeling now that we have two pitchers with whom we should win, two with whom we have a good shot to win, and then the fifth spot rotating between Escobar (solid when healthy) and Santan (feast or famine).
I'm with Sean. The pitching has really been unbelievable and unexpected this season. On the nights when the offense shows up, these guys look like world beaters.
Weaver bested Lackey for the first four+ innings, not allowing a hit. He didn't allow his first 'hit', and I use that term loosely, until Jeff (not Jerry, Vin) Davanon knocked one back up the middle under the glove of a very serious Jeff Kent, who wasn't quite serious enough about selling out to save the run. That plated D-Mac, who'd hit one to the moon that eventually fell to earth and went through Cesar Izturis' glove. Heads up baserunning got him into scoring position. A couple of hits later, and the lead was 2-0. The Angels would add single runs in the sixth and seventh, before D-Mac put it out of reach with a three run bomb to dead center. Shields and Donnelly pitched solid 8th and 9th innings respectively to close it out.
Texas dropped another one in Houston. That makes five straight, coming on the heels of five straight wins. The Angels have now picked up four games in five nights, and have increased their lead to 5.5 games. Suddenly, they've got a really nice cushion. Not that I expect sweeps, but if they hold their lead before heading down to Kelo v. New London Stadium for four against the Rangers, they've put them into position where a sweep at the hands of the Rangers would still find them in first place, and a sweep in the other direction could push their lead to double digits. Not a bad situation to be in.
Nice surprise getting Vin Scully on FSN tonight via the Extra Innings package. No offense, Steve, in case you stop by again. Looks like it should be more of the same tonight. And with the girl out of town this weekend (for those of you who believe in her existence), I'll be back in front of the TV tomorrow night, recovering from a round at Cog Hill #2 played in 95 degree heat.