Three more games to go in the season, all against the Rangers and all in Arlington. With the memory of last night's loss fading, the Angels knew they had to dig deep in the bowels of their souls, and find the will and the determination to finish this season in a way that lands them in a play-in game.
Jered Weaver was on the hill for the Halos and he was nothing short of masterful. He was our retired or aging gunfighter, whom the town believes to be slow and lacking talent, but in their biggest time of need, becomes a gunslinger on fire. Weaver worked off of pure guile once again, due to no heat left on the fastball, but he managed to hold the Rangers to just one run in six innings pitched.
There were two crucial innings, the fifth and sixth, where Weaver allowed men on early in the innings, then into scoring position and threatening. The Rangers did this through hitting, an insane back-to-back sequence of Erick Aybar errors(this part was extremely bewildering) and even a double steal. Every time, though, Weaver would work his magic and pick the team back up. The sole run he would be accountable for was a Shin-soo Choo homer in fourth. Outside of that, he was nails, finishing with 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER and 2 Ks.
He left everything he had for the regular season out on the field, as the tired cliche goes. But it was true...he was an unlikely hero in a jetstream ballpark, but our former ace showed gave us memories of a fine Weaver vintage.
The Angels offense, meanwhile, was having just as tough of a time scoring off of Texas starter Martin Perez. Perez would end up going seven innings of one run ball, the Angels run coming early, from a C.J. Cron RBI single. It wasn't until the ninth inning, when the Rangers were into their bullpen, that the Angels made their move to take this game and keep their season alive. The man to do it? Do I even have to ask?
Mike Trout lead off the ninth inning with a triple to right-center, sliding into third and pumping his fist in his best Johnny Giavotella impression. The Angels had their signature moment, and the fire was lit. Albert Pujols followed up with the go ahead run, via an insanely clutch single to left field. Trout scored, the Angels were up 2-1 and they were running on hi-octane again.
They still need some other team's to falter, but the Angels gave themselves a better shot to make the Wild Card game, and they did it in a crucial, do-or-die, ninth inning situation. They may have just lost two in a row, but they have fight left in them yet.