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Fernando Rodney Actually Converts A Save

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Final Score in Anaheim: Angels 7, Mariners 4

That's right. A three-run lead with two outs in the ninth inning against the worst offense in baseball is technically a save situation. Fernando Rodney relieved Kevin Jepsen and got the technical save. Of course the out was on a line drive hit right at a fielder, but...baby steps.

Speaking of baby steps, Hank Conger and Mark Trumbo both pinch hit in the 7th inning, their first major-league plate appearances. Each whiffed on 4 pitches from Jamey Wright, who's struck out just a few more guys than he's walked in his astonishingly bad 15-year major league career. No worries, though, it'll be a story they can both tell when the Angels retire their numbers.

Otherwise, the Angels made only one unnecessary out on the bases and misplayed only one ball in the outfield, so if you squint your eyes and look sideways, the team in the boxscore almost starts to look good. The heart of the order put together some decent plate appearances against a very good pitcher--including a homer from Hideki Matsui and a two-run RBI single from Torii Hunter--and Ervin Santana easily held down a Mariners offense that is, well, a bunch of guys with sticks in their hands, but an offense nonetheless.

So I'd put down tonight as a confidence booster. The Angels "chipped away" at Felix Hernandez, "pressured the defense," "manufactured some runs," you know, all those "little things" that get your jersey dirty and make TV color guys gush over your "spirit" and "intangibles." Jeff Mathis didn't do anything other than go 0-4 tonight, but somehow, I'm sure he's responsible for all of it.

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