Vlad the Angel - Jeff Gross
Counting Down to Opening Day, We Are Counting Down The 100 Walkoff Homers in Angels History. The 89th Walkoff homerun in club history was another afternoon delight from Big Daddy Vladdy - and on National TV!
Opening Day (April 1, 2013) is 89 days away. We are counting down the 100 Walk Off Home Runs in Angels franchise history. Today we look at #89...
June 18, 2005 - A nationally-televised Saturday afternoon interleague contest between the Florida Marlins and the Angels featured an impressive pitching matchup with Dontrelle Willis facing John Lackey, two pitchers who had won their teams rings in the recent past both managed to avoid letting their opponent score thru the first five innings.
The 2005 Angels were one bat away from a ring. They had world class pitching and defense but allergies to isolated power plagued the club. The ridiculous defining moment of the season - the Doug Eddings Game - was a 1-1 tie when the Angels got jobbed. They won the first game of the series 3-2. A poet once sang "Beauty walks the razor's edge someday I'll make it mine" but the 2005 margins cut too close, too many times for the Angels to make that trophy theirs- an anemic offense letting down a solid rotation and one of the great Angels bullpens ever.
In the sixth inning of a scoreless tie, John Lackey gave up back to back hits to Luis Castillo and a pre-alky Miguel Cabrera. Carlos Delgado singled in Castillo but Lackey got out of trouble. 1-0 Marlins. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Vladimir Guerrero led off with a solo homerun off of reliever Jim Mecir, relieving Willis pretty darn terribly.
In the bottom of the ninth the Angels mounted a big threat. The Marlins had reliever Valerie De Los Santos intentionally walk Chine Figgins to load the bases. Darin Erstad then grounded into a double play - epitomizing the 2005 Angels as it sent the game into extra innings. Frankie had a 1-2-3 ninth and a 1-2-3 tenth and the Marlins brought in Todd Jones to face a lead-off Vladimir Guerrero. Vlad hit a full count fastball over the wall and the Angels had their 89th walk of home run victory in club history.