Talk about making your debut count. Carlos Perez, the Angels catcher making his MLB debut on Cinco De Mayo sombrero night, not only got a single in his first big league at-bat, but he came up to the plate in a 4-4 ballgame, bottom of the ninth, and cranked a line drove homerun to left field. As many have said already, you really couldn't have scripted tonight any better. This team not only needed this win desperately in order to stop a putrid losing streak, they needed a spark; a rush of excitement and adrenaline in the form of a magical Spring night at the ballpark. I never in a million years would have thought someone could upstage the setting of the Guinness World Record for Most Sombreros, but this guy Carlos Perez just pulled it off.
Of course, the entire game was pretty nuts. Albert Pujols got things started in the first with a two-run bomb, to which the Angels lineup responded by going relatively quiet until the end of the game. It was seemingly going to be another one of those games that we saw all weekend long in San Francisco, where the pitching needed to be perfect because the Halos weren't scoring any runs. But if being perfect were the goal, Garrett Richards was up to the task. He wasn't efficient, but he managed to go seven innings with only giving up one run. It was Joe Smith that came in for Smith in the eighth, giving up a flurry of hits right away to the Mariners, leading to a three run inning and a no decision for Richards.
The bottom of the eighth was when the Angels decided to show some late game grit, and props should be given where props are due. Erick Aybar drove in Albert Pujols, and then local folk hero Johnny Giavotella tied up the game with an RBI single. So, the stage was set for a ninth inning we probably wont forget for awhile. Maybe this is what the team needed: a catcher that can actually hit the ball.