Thursday, June 14, 2007

Angels 6; Reds 3

There were rumblings yesterday about Vlad slumping, and failing to come through in the clutch as of late (apparently eight or nine days ago against Baltimore does not count as "of late"). Vlad gave notice that he's alive and well, driving in four runs on three hits, two of which went for extra bases, and he was the difference in the Angels bleed staunching victory over the Reds yesterday.

You hate to call any game in mid-June a "must win", but the fact is that at this point of the season, Lackey and Escobar have been the Angels best and most consistent pitchers. If they had lost last night, they were staring down the barrel of a sweep against a really crappy team, so yesterday's game had a little extra importance. Lackey delivered, going six innings and allowing three runs, only one earned, to pick up his 10th win on the season.

Scot Shields has been very sharp lately after a very shaky start to the season, and last night may have been one of his best outings yet. Called on to deliver two innings, Shields responded by retiring the side in order in the seventh before striking out the side (with one hit sandwiched in between) in the eighth. He inherited a one run lead and delivered a three run lead to Frankie, who did his part by retiring the side in order in the ninth, picking up two strikeouts of his own.

Coupled with the Mariners loss, the Angels were able to catch their breath a little bit, and they have a two game lead over the Mariners in the loss column, while the A's sit four games back in the loss column.

Two more hits for Garret Anderson, including an RBI single in the eighth. Orlando Cabrera continues to sizzle, picking up three base hits, and upping his average to .339.

In other news, someone somewhere must have linked to Troy Percival's Baseball-Reference page, because I've already had about five hits from there this morning.

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