I had a sneaking suspicion that Bart would not be able to go tonight. I mean, how many guys say "I won't be ready Sunday, but I should be fine on Monday"? And for whatever reason, be it back, shoulder, whatever, he gave all he could, but couldn't get out of the second inning. In stepped the kid. As I said over at the Rev's site, this is what legends are made of. And while his performance wasn't quite legendary, it was damn close. Five and a third, three runs on five hits. He escaped big trouble in the fifth, getting two pop ups, followed by a strike out and a friendly call from Joe West. Mea Culpa, I expected every close call to go against the Angels tonight, and I was partially wrong (the strike zone for the kid in the early innings was ridiculously small).
The bullpen, much maligned in August and last night, got the job done tonight. Kelvim was excellent, and Frankie got the big ground balls when he needed them. The pitching, the most important ingredient all year, gave this team no fewer than four more games.
One of the strenghts of the Mike Scioscia Angels has been their baserunning. It didn't show up in the stolen base numbers in this series, but it showed up tonight. Cabrera made a great read on a Vlad single, and later scored from third on a sac fly. Vlad got a great read, and won a huge gamble, going from first to third on a Bengie single, and later scored after getting a tremendous jump on a weak grounder by Erstad.
There's not much else I can say. It was a great game. I was nervous as hell all day, but this is why we all plug in. It's why we all watch. Why we all pick teams to root for instead of being detached observes (except for maybe Repoz). Keep coming back, because for the next week or so, you'll be reading one of the most unpopular people in Chicago. I can't wait to go to work tomorrow.
*update*: Welcome Sploid readers. Thanks for the link, fat.
*update 2*: Welcome South Side Sox readers. I count many friends among your ranks.