A picture worth a 1000 strikeouts.
After a tough road trip and string of day games, the Angels returned to Anaheim and it's cool, breezy, night air looking to bounce back and quell any bad vibes lurking in our heads, while also taking on division rival Oakland. The plane ride home did something good to this team, making them look much more like the 2009 squad as opposed to the 2011-esque team we saw play over the weekend.
Jered Weaver got a little help tonight. The tall drink of water we call Weaver The Younger did his job on the mound, alright, with 6 Ks and 5 hits in 6.2 IP; the kind of outing we've come to expect from our intrepid ace. He also managed to shut out the A's in that time, but it wasn't as if the Athletics weren't trying. This game had at least two sterling plays from "Mighty" Maicer Izturis, who made the most of his being penciled in to play 3B. Add in a base hit and a walk, and you've got the makings of an even more interesting third base dilemma for the skipper Mike Scioscia. The throwback vibe then continued when we saw Torii Hunter make a leaping grab against the right-center wall. Basically, Jered Weaver had a good start, which the defense made look even better(not including Vernon Wells...naturally).
Perhaps the best reminder of a couple seasons ago I got from this game came from a monstrous night at the plate from Kendrys Morales. Bam Bam is back. The Cuban slugger put the first runs on the board with a 3-run shot to center field, and almost added another moonshot to center, but was foiled by an admittedly-nice Coco Crisp grab at the wall. He bounced back, though, in the 8th and added another run to the scoreboard with a lovely double into right field. He looked strong at the plate, undeterred by his recent slump and I can only think this is another trumpet blast of many to come, signaling to the Halo faithful that Kendrys has returned from Infamous Injury Hell, and he's brought the keys to the fiery gates with him.
That was Kendrys' first HR since 2010, a nice footnote to the evening but certainly not the biggest one to be taken from the game. That prize would go to Jered Weaver, who in his start collected his 1000th strikeout of his career. He is the 8th Angel to do so, and with his brother Jeff he is one of six MLB brother combos to each have 1000 strikeouts. Always good to see some new Angels lore being added to the annals of Anaheim. We are proud of you, Jered. You are one bad dude, and I think we're going to see many more Ks from this big man.
Morales and Weaver brought the pain. Izzy brought the D. The team as a whole played very well. The only blemish in my mind is our lead off hitter going 0-5, which is certainly not going to help Erick Aybar get paid in the future. Oh, and the bullpen towards the end was...well...they were the bullpen. But this victory looked good. Weaver looked good. Morales looked like a T-Rex(figuratively speaking...his arms aren't actually that short). This is an example of how the West will be won.
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Panther of the Game:
Jered Weaver (166 votes)
Kendrys Morales (238 votes)
404 total votes