The game might have taken two hours to start and the weather might have threatened to freeze the Angels out, but the Halos looked red hot today.
Vernon Wells got things started off in the 2nd with a big splash double. Gavin Floyd struggled to keep his pitches in the zone, and AJ Pierzynski displayed an inability to block said pitches. This allowed Wells to score, giving the Angels a lead they would not give up.
Brandon Wood doubled to lead off 3rd-more proof that hell had indeed frozen over today. Howie Kendrick hit his 5th HR "accident" of the year (first non-solo shot) to bring in Wood and make the game 3-0.
Tyler Chatwood looked calmly confident all day: quick delivery, great curveball, good velocity on the fastball, and nice movement on all his pitches. He dominated a previously surging White Sox offense. Chatwood's stat line for the day was 93 pitches, 7.0 IP, 5 H, and 1 ER.
Hank Conger caught Juan Pierre stealing 2nd in the third; meanwhile Jeff Mathis is practicing his throws to center and closed-door meeting etiquette. Ken Rosenthal mentioned during the Fox broadcast that Conger might have finally taken the starting catcher's job from Premium.
The only inning that the Angels truly struggled today was the 5th. The 5th was the first inning the Halos did not put their lead-off man on, and they went down 1-2-3 in the inning. In the bottom of the same inning, Carlos Quentin did not fly out to center, but instead hit a HR to left off of Chatwood's first pitch. Chatwood let a couple other runners on, but he showed the poise of a veteran and got out of the inning with no more damage done.
King Conger, living up to his name, dealt the final blow in the 6th with a 3 run homer to right field making the game 6-1.
Howie Kendrick added a 3rd RBI to his total for the day in the 7th to score Maicer Izturis.
Francisco Rodriguez continued the bullpen's dominance over last couple weeks with a scoreless eighth. However, Rich Thompson ended the bullpen's streak of not allowing a run (27 innings I believe?) giving up a HR to Paul Konerko in the bottom of the 9th.
The Halos displayed newfound power today scoring 5 of their 7 runs off of HRs. Tyler Chatwood looked like a battle tested starter braving the elements. And Hank Conger looked like the catcher of the future with his CERA powers activated.
Mike Scioscia could potentially be turning a corner as well; it's always nice to see the young guys play and succeed. All us armchair GMs think at times we know the personnel better and could put together a better lineup, but Scioscia's mix of veterans (despite their struggles today) and young'ins seems the recipe for success this year.
The Angels 9-5 start is their best since 1995.