What a great game. Too bad I was at work for the whole thing, but I snuck peaks here and there.........and there.......and here, and there, and here again. Santana is making me look very foolish for keeping him on the Guzzlers this year, and he's making me look foolish for not accepting the recent trade offer which could have landed me Clement and Carlos Silva. He is making me look smart for not starting him this week, though (we won't get into how Beckett and Dave Williams are making me look stupid this week).
I'll reiterate what I said last night. Kennedy has got to be the gold glove winner at second base. Is anyone else even close? Bengie continues to hit, Vlad continues to be Vlad, and GA.......what can you say about GA? The guy is awesome. For some kid watching the Angels, he's gotta be the Brian Downing of this team. Quiet, goes about his business, and gets the job done. Some great defense in the 9th made what could have been a rough inning a 1-2-3 routine frame.
Lots of things going on today. The Angels were screwed on the play at third where Morneau came off the bag. I missed it and only saw the replay, but Morneau was clearly out, and that cost the Angels two runs. Santana falling apart used to be a rare sight, but as his fantasy owners can tell you, it's becoming more and more common. He refuses to throw his killer change up with men on base. Paul Byrd reverted to his early season form, where he follows up any offense he gets by giving it right back, as he did after the Angels score three runs in the fifth to tie the game. Not to be outdone, Santana responded by giving up singles to Figgins and Vlad before Anderson smoked one to right field, almost the same place where Kennedy hit his home run off of Santana in the 2002 ALCS. Rivera followed with a solo shot of Jesse Crain that supplied the winning margin.
As if that wasn't enough, Anderson made a very good throw, and was helped by a nice play by Jose Molina, to cut down the tying run at the plate in the top of the 8th on the rare 7-2 double play. Turnabout is fair play. The Angels lost game one of this series when Kennedy was thrown out from center trying to score from second on an Erstad frozen rope of a single.
This is a nice win for the Angels. You can't really ever 'expect' to beat Santana, even in a rough stretch like he's currently going through. They start the trip with a series win and have a struggling Seattle coming in for four straight before the break. Win three of those, and the Angels could find themselves with a very healthy lead at the break.
Speaking of healthy, is anybody else dreading the return of Finley and Cabrera? Someone should tell them that the stadium moved, or give them a "revised" schedule with all games starting at 10:00. Let's roll with Maicer at short and Figgins in center. Who's with me?