Mike Trout strikes an almost Bob Fosse-like pose as he crosses home plate.
"Oh, such a perfect day. You just keep me hanging on."-Lou Reed
Today the Angels continued to play their role as our crazy, codependent ex-girlfriend/boyfriend. In true 2012(some would even say 2011) fashion, they give us just enough of a pitching gem or monster offensive performance to make us crawl back for more, ignoring the lessons to be learned from the past, and setting us up for the sting of future failure. They are savvy enough to know that one surefire way to make the fans forget about a demoralizing loss the night before, is to dish out some shutout baseball of their own the next day. That is exactly what they did, so we might as well enjoy the Angels while they're being nice to us and buying us flowers. Who knows how long it'll be til they forget our birthdays and only come around when they need to "borrow" money.
Mike Trout is on fire, and today set ablaze the base paths as if he were a time traveling Delorean. The steamrolling 20 year old went 3-4, scored 3 times, had a stolen base and added an RBI on a solo homerun to center field. It was a pure joy watching him tear up the field, using his speed to produce runs like so many people had come to expect from Mike Scioscia teams. Arguably the most glorious part of the game, besides his homerun, was when Trout scored from first off of an Alberto Callaspo double. It was unabashedly fun to watch, and Anaheim PD may be giving him a citation when he exits the locker room for "Exhibition of Speed". It was that fast, and the kid continues to live up to all of our expectations.
Ervin Santana also showed up with his gameface on today, ready to take that embarrassing loss last night and give the A's a taste of their own medicine. It was probably his best start of the season, with Voodoo going 7.2 innings, 9 strikeouts and of course, no runs. At one point, between a one-out double by Cliff Pennington in the first and a Jemile Weeks single in the 6th, he had not allowed a single base runner. Ervin was locked in and just added to the storyline of a solid bounce-back victory. A shout out is also warranted to Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri who came in relief and helped Ervin get out of a jam in the 8th, and then subsequently shut down the Athletics in the 9th. Yes, i'm giving them a shoutout for doing their job.
I'm of two minds as far as what to write about Albert Pujols. The good news: he went 3-4 with 2 RBI. The bad news: his hits were of the extremely weak, almost lucky variety. None of them left the infield, in fact, and were due more to the balls bouncing off of A's leather than anything else. But, we'll take it, right? Depending on how much optimism you have left for the slugger, this may be the type of stat line he needs to start lighting up opposing pitching like Arte is paying him a quarter billion dollars to do. Or....it's just a short break from the horrible-at-worst, mediocre-at-best season he's on pace to have.
So the Angels, after they forgot about our Oakland date last night and ended up just getting drunk with their buddies, showed up on our diamond doorstep today with a bouquet of badass baseball. A Black Magic ritual on the mound summoned a Trout in beast mode, and we have forgiven them, for now, because they seem like they mean it...and hell, the Rangers are losing as I type this. Just sayin'! Maybe they've really changed this time...such a perfect game. They just keep us hanging on.
It's another one of those seasons.
Panther Of The Game
Mike Trout (384 votes)
Ervin Santana (255 votes)
Albert Pujols (47 votes)
686 total votes