Mike Scioscia had a chance to play for the victory tonight, as opposed to playing for extra innings like he did last week against Texas, and the result was an Angels victory. The team picks up a game on both Texas and Oakland, and the stubborn skipper might be finally realizing what a benefit it can be to pinch run for Kendrys Morales in important scenarios. The lineup was "gutted", sure, but it didn't matter because the Halos are already on their way to either The Goat Hill Tavern or their wives loving embrace, and the halo is lit!
Of course, that would all be moot if it weren't for Mike Trout, who had 5 RBIs to bring the Angels back from the brink, and to keep Ervin Santana in the starting rotation for at least another week. Voodoo started off the game by having arguably his best two innings of the season, going 1-2-3 in each, only to have a typically frustrating 2012 Ervin Santana side in the top of the 3rd. He gave up 2 home runs and the Mariners and Felix Hernandez had a seemingly insurmountable 5-0 lead(Felix Hernandez, going into tonight, was 52-3 in games in which he was up by at least four runs). But then Kid Fish struck back, first with a 3 run Jimmy Jack and then a seldom-seen 2 RBI sac fly. New ballgame, and Santana used his extra lease on life bestowed upon him by the 21 year old savior to go back to pitching as if he were actually good again. He's a hard one to figure out sometimes, but it is August, and Voodoo seems figure out ways to thrive in the Dog Days.
With solid appearances by Hisanori Takahashi, followed by Kevin Jepsen and capped off by a beautiful Ernesto Frieri 9th inning freeze out, the Angels had mojo on their side for the first time in what seemed like forever. The fire was rising. Kendrys started off the inning with a double, and Mike Scioscia showed that even he can learn from horrible mistakes, and he did what we were all screaming from the couch for him to do: he pinch ran Peter Bourjos. Callaspo and Erick Aybar would get on, loading the bases, and although Maicer Izturis was given the opportunity to be a hero, it was a wild pitch that would score Peter Bourjos and save the Angels season. Again.
It wasn't won pretty, but looking down the 5-0 barrel of Felix Hernandez's gun seemed like the end for another disappointing outing, until Mike Trout did some crazy, Steven Seagal-style move and turned that gun on the Mariners for them to pull the triggers on themselves. Ground was gained in the standings tonight, and the Mike Trout legend continued to grow, and it's on to tomorrows elation/heartbreak.