Saturday, May 09, 2009

.500!! Angels 4; Royals 1

Matt Palmer made his second straight excellent start, and picked up his second straight win. He lasted 5.1 innings, allowed one run on two hits, walked three, and struck out five en route to his third victory. He lowered his ERA to 3.06. Darren Oliver relieved Palmer in the sixth and pitched an inning and two thirds. He allowed two hits, and matched those with two strikeouts. Jose Arredondo and Brian Fuentes pitched perfect eighth and ninth innings respectively, as the Angels finally clawed their way back to .500.

The Angels offense pounded out ten hits*, including two each from Maicer Izturis, Juan Rivera, Mike Napoli, and Howie Kendrick*. Jeff Mathis singled home Mike Napoli in the second inning, and Napoli singled home Torii Hunter in the third. In the sixth inning, with Juan Rivera on second base, Howie Kendrick hit a high fly ball down the left field line. Jose Guillen reached the ball in plenty of time to make the catch, but much to the delight of Angel fans, he misplayed the ball. The ball rolled into the right field corner. Juan Rivera scored easily, and Howie Kendrick raced around the bases for an inside the park home run*.

*Note that these numbers may change. The Kendrick fly ball was ruled an inside the park homer, but I expect that ruling to change. The ball glanced off Guillen’s glove, and should be scored an error.

Thoughts on the game:

  • Darren Oliver should be congratulated for recording his 1,000th career strikeout in the seventh inning.
  • The bullpen is starting to come together, though right now it appears Oliver will be filling the role we expected Scot Shields to play. Emphasis on “right now” as that could change. But Arredondo and Fuentes are pitching very well.
  • Tomorrow’s matchup should be excellent. Joe Saunders brings his four wins and 3.29 ERA against Zach Grienke and his otherworldly 0.40 ERA.

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