(Rev Halofan reporting) - This was supposed to be the game that Vladimir Guerrero made his triumphant return to the club. Before the game I saw Kelvim Escobar in Centerfield jogging with Jose Arredondo and saw Reggie Willits take a few bunt swings in batting practice before hopping on a plane to Salt Lake City to make room for Vladdy in Anaheim.
The Memorial Day festivities were respectful to those who have served our country and a serviceman in his dress uniform threw out the first pitch to Mike Scioscia. After a weekend series against the Dodgers that saw us take 2 of 3, the news was only better ... Texas had lost to the Yankees in Arlington by a score of 11 - 1.
The first pitch of the game was a strike looking by Ervin Santana to Scott Podsednik. The future looked bright ahead. Lackey is back. Ervin is back and now Vlad was in the lineup. While the bullpen is in trouble, we have identified most of what ails it. While the bats would be better with Wood in the lineup, the defense and run production is as good as when the Angels won most of their division titles.
Ah yes we had the season in the bag and the walk-up sales tonight appeared to be near 12,000.
But then Podsednik got a hit. Then Alexei Ramirez got a hit. Then Jermaine Dye got a hit. Then Jim Thome got a hit. Paul Konerko flew out - hey 1/3 of an inning pitched Ervin, good going. Then Carlos Quentin got a double (to Centerfield). All was not lost, though, as Angel-killer Quentin hurt himself and was removed form the game. The damage was stopped as Ervin got a great defensive play by Erick Aybar to stop the bleeding and struck out Josh Fields to end the inning. 3 runs, 23 pitches.
In the bottom of the 1st the Angels came right back and scored three runs. Woo-HOO!
Wow, we ARE good, it IS true, this is OUR year.
In the top if the 2nd the White Sox bats burst that balloon. I left the game in the 7th with Justin Speier roasting his own ERA on a Memorial Day barbecue with no smoke, all fire and nothing left to show for it but question marks about our supposedly healthy #2 starter and a burned out bullpen of four shaken relievers holding their confident-free heads in their ability free-arms as their ERAs hovered near their IQs.