Jered Weaver at a hundred-plus pitches with a one-run lead after six (on the three days rest about which incompetent ESPN hornblower Bobby Valentine reminded viewers about a hundred and ten times). Manager Mike Scioscia gambles and leaves him in. A ball hits the chalk, then hits the ball boy's stool. Mathis watches a bunt not roll foul. You can guess the rest. But you will have to do jumping jacks in a 110 degree sauna for thirty minutes to get the full effect.
After play two weeks ago the Angels were 4 games out of first place. Tonight they are 3 games behind the Rangers. They have gotten as close as two games behind and as far back as 7 games out of first in that two-week span.
This has been a two week baseball binge; a crawl through broken glass packed with hope, intensity, rage and joy. In that time frame the Angels are 7-5. They have gained one game while the fans have each lost a year of our lives in nail-biting anxiety alone.
Jeff Mathis had an incredibly poor game behind the plate and was of no use to a gassed but gutty Weaver. There was no demonstrable positives to his defensive game and his RBI single on an infield-in assumption of a squeeze play with a man on 3B does not mitigate the albatrossian nature of his ruining a perfectly good pennant contender.
But the pressure is on them to repeat. Let's sit back and watch Ron Washington's overconfident cookie crumble; after flopping on the national stage tonight (almost as badly as the ESPN announcing crew), Anaheim has got nothing to lose and lots of rookies to play.
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