The Angels are 3.5 Games back in the AL Wild Card chase after a listless loss to the Oakland Athletics in front of a timid crowd with nothing to cheer for in Anaheim.
Albert Pujols hit a solo HR to lead off the ninth inning to make a 4-0 game 4-1. A day late but never a dollar short. The RH was Albert's 475th of his career, tying him with Stan Musial and Willie Stargell for 28th place on baseball's all-time HR list. It was the 30th of the season for Pujols, making him the first player in baseball history to hit 30 or more homeruns in 12 consecutive seasons. Blah Blah Blah, all that is fine but four more runs would have been nice. Didn't happen.
The Angels were led around by their short hairs courtesy of the quick-pitching A.J. Griffin. The faceless exchangeable names that populate the A's pitching staff robotically dominate with a ghoulish precision. At least this week.
Ervin Santana was almost great but not perfect and that has been the story for many an Angels arm this season. Only 19 games left, though, so the pain will subside. Not to Arte's wallet as the Pujols popups foretell nine seasons of cheating bat speed on bad guesses of pitches that have more movement than a senior citizen can handle.
Manager Mike Scioscia let Mark Trumbo sit on the bench a day longer and his replacement Vernon Wells went 0 for 4 with 4 runners left of base. Pick your poison, Mike, the slump of the year or the slump of the decade. Mike took Mister Decade and paid the price. Where is Drew Carey to tell him if the Price is Right beforehand.
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