Matt Shoemaker has to be a happy camper right now. He was recently sent down to AAA, after consecutive bad outings, only to get called back up for a start on the big league club. Not only that, but it was in front of a hometown crowd(he grew up 30 minutes outside Detroit) that included his father, and he showed no signs of the Shoemaker we saw in his previous two starts. The Cobbler was back in prime form, going 7.1 innings pitched, giving up zero runs while only allowing ONE hit, and striking out five. Excellent day for Shoemaker, especially since he got to do it in front of some of his Michigan friends and family.
The Angels offense was not so noteworthy, other than the fact they did manage to put a couple runs on the board. The first came in the sixth, when Albert Pujols singled home Kole Calhoun. Shane Victorino gave them a little more cushion in the ninth with a sac fly that scored Pujols, and gave the Angels a 2-0 lead. Maybe we can't put too much ire on the Halos, because they were facing top pitching prospect Randy Wolf...wait...that's not right. (/checks MLB.com). Nope, I had it right. The Angels managed to score a scant TWO runs on a guy that has one a lone game in the past three years. It's a weakness we've grown accustomed to, but it still doesn't go down all that easy; the relentless futility that they put on display against weak and strong pitching alike. These guys, I swear.
Oh well. They got all they needed to win on a day when Matt Shoemaker made a triumphant return to not only MLB, but to his home state, and he gave us one fine game on the hill. Joe Smith and Houston street came in the eighth and ninth, respectively, and protected the shutout, giving Shoemaker a W on the stat sheet to go with his newfound Detroit street cred.
The Angels leave Michigan with a series win, and head to Ohio to face the Indians in what should be a very sweep-able series this weekend.