The rain was looming over Chicago for most of the day, but the Angels faithful were keeping tabs on the storm system via weather reports, hoping for it to pass, or at least hold off long enough to get some baseball in. When the game started, it seemed like that thought may come to be a reality, with the players only having to worry about the biting cold temperature, and not the wetness. However, by the 6th inning, the deluge came and the ump was calling for the tarps to be rolled out(and then rolled back in...and then rolled back out), but luckily for the Angels, they had made enough hay while the sun was still shining, so to speak.
Jered Weaver gave another solid performance, pitching in 7.0 innings while striking out 4 and giving up only two earned run. Of course, he was subjected to not only an odd Maicer Izturis infield pop fly error, and then subsequently gave up a homer to Adam Dunn to bring ChiSox within one run, but you kind of have to think that the rain delay played some part in that. Regardless, you have to be happy as a fan that he already has his fourth victory of the very young season.
Before I forget, in speaking of that first Chicago run, in which Gordon Beckham singled home A.J. Pierzynski: what the hell was up with Vernon Well's throw to the plate? Now, granted, the play would've been close and most likely Pierzynski was going to be safe, but still Vernon Wells' throw was a good 6 or 7 feet over Hank Conger's head, so it seemed. Maybe it was something to do with the left side of the field today, as at least 3 or 4 other throws, from both the Angels and the White Sox, went errant when coming from that side of the diamond. Nonetheless, Wells' throw was unique in that it was probably the worst throw I've ever seen from such an expensive outfielder.
The rain may have caused a delay, cooling down arms and legs of players as well as driving fans to run for cover, but the rain could not cool down Maicer Izturis. Mighty Maicer was sterling, going 3 for 5 with 2 RBI's to compliment the 2 for 4, 1 RBI performance by Mark Trumbo, as well as the offensive AND defensive contributions by Hank Conger. I am loving this sort of game for two reasons: getting great production from the leadoff spot and getting great production from the young guys at the bottom of the lineup(because Maicer was the reason for half of the Angels' runs before the rain delay, I'm going to overlook his strikeout with bases loaded in the 8th). And let's not forget Alberto Callaspo's performance tonight, as it was damn good itself. Callaspo went 3-4 and scored a run in the victory, and continued to make us feel silly about all those off-season arguments about who's going to be our 3B. Let's hope Callaspo, and the rest of the bottom of the order, continue to contribute at such a pleasantly surprising pace this season.
And in the 9th, Jordan Walden was brought in to close out the game, and we got yet another glimpse of the future of the bullpen in closing situations, as he went 1-2-3. Walden's confidence, which I can only imagine was already high due to velocity of his pitches, is only growing at this point. American League, beware.
All in all, the game(which is the 3rd straight Angels win) seemed to keep on pace with the attitude the team wrought from their first homestand of the season. The bullpen is settled, the young guys, while sporadic, are producing. The Angels played hard and smart and won this first game of the series, which will be nice to have in their collective back pockets once the rest of this road trip gets underway.