Some wins are aggravating. Frankie blowing a Save to Baltimore two weeks ago and we take the game on a walkoff walk ... I was feeling miserable leaving the stadium after that win, so many holes had been exposed in our game to a lousy team.
Thursday night against Minnesota was different – we lost, but it felt great. The team looked fantastic after a terrible road trip and overnight flight. Sure the bats were flat, but there was no surrender or jet lag apparent anywhere else.
First and foremost John Lackey was ridiculously dominant and delivered his best effort at home all season and his 2nd best of the season (2nd only to his near-no hitter in Fenway). His few moments of trouble brought out some gutsy intensity that mere mortals just do not have.
The defense turning DPs when needed was a joy to watch. Teixeira’s bomb in the first was brilliant. Don’t bag on Torii Hunter too hard – he hit a flyball with two on to the deepest part of Left Field that was four inches from being a three-run homerun. G.A. was hitless but when he struck out late in the game, he actually SHOWED EMOTION – he tossed his bat and helmet in ANGER. I have been watching Garret play ball since 1995 and I have never seen that. Other than Speier, the bullpen was nails in living up to holding Lackey’s game.
There were lots of enjoyable little things – Kendry making contact – hard contact, in each AB, Figgins with some solid glove work, Howie bouncing back a little bit. Everything butt S-Rod’s miserable bunt attempt and Speier’s gift run – If this had been the opening game of the ALDS or ALCS I would be bummed we lost it but excited to have just witnessed the greatest extra-inning playoff game in American League history!
We lost to a good team, a team with the same record as Bahstin, a young and hungry and healthy team. We played them tough, we played them smart; the Twinkies may be relieved to have actually gotten one over on us and will now relax and enjoy a little local color, hit the beach maybe, Disneyland, do a tramp-stamp OC hoochie or two, Knotts Berry Farm or what have you.
Angels fans can only hope, as our team showed us they are hanging tough.