Jered Weaver’s return to the mound was the bright storyline of the day, contrasted with the dark storyline, which is the ever-crumbling Angels grasp on a red October. There are multiple teams breathing down their necks currently, meanwhile the Angels have to focus their energy on just making it through each game alive and ahead on the scoreboard. Perhaps the timing was perfect for Weaver; just when the fans needed something good to focus on, here is our old, trusty security blanket. Of course, the whole game didn’t rest in Weaver’s hands...if it did, it would have probably his first win since May 30. Instead, we were treated to yet another nail-biter, all in effort to not lose a series to Baltimore, and succumb to the rising AL tide.
Jered Weaver had multiple blemishes in the top of the first, pretty much the nightmare scenario cooked up in any wary Halos Heaven member’s imagination: it took him over 20 pitches, and included an RBI single by Matt Wieters and an RBI double from Jonathan Schoop. Down 2-0 after just three outs, and Weaver left cursing on the mound; not a pretty start to an otherwise gorgeous Orange County day. The good news is that he would shake off that first inning tempting of fate, and pitched rather masterfully in the rest of his outing. He had the usual 85 mph fastball and was using location and off-speed stuff to fool batters, and it was just like the Weaver of old. He would finish his day with 5 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 2 R and 7 Ks. Nice to have you back, Mr. Weaver.
The Angels offense managed to pick Weaver up, and then some, starting with a Kole Calhoun homer in the first(his 16th on the season). Down 1-2, they would put the screws to Baltimore some more in the third. Johnny Giavotella kicked things off with a popup to shallow right-center that was almost caught on a dive, but was ultimately dropped. Giavotella never stopped running, though, and managed to get to second on a close slide and he had himself a leadoff double. A wild pitch would allow him to move to third, and then Kole Calhoun would take first base on a walk. With men on the corners, new Halo David Murphy came to the plate and crushed a high fastball up and out, into the right field bleachers. It was Murphy’s first Halo homer and definitely the moment where he made a new home for himself here in Anaheim.
As mentioned earlier, what began as possible losing day for Jered Weaver turned into possibly his first win in a very long time, but in the sixth, Cory Rasmus relieved Weaver and summarily gave up two solo shots to the Orioles, and thus erasing Weaver’s name in the win column. Welcome back to the fold.
The Angels’ bullpen did their job after the starter left, keeping the Orioles from getting on the board again, but unfortunately, Baltimore’s bullpen did the same to the Angels, so after nine innings and tied at four apiece, we got some free baseball.
The game would come to a head in the 11th inning, where Carlos Perez kicked it off with a double, and then Angels sluggers would come to the plate(Mike Trout and Albert Pujols) but even though both were ice cold today, they were intentionally walked to get to the guy that had the midas touch, David Murphy. Murphy delivered and turned a great game into an amazing one, as he hit a long, long single to the left-center gap scored Perez, and gave the Angels a walk-off 5-4 victory.
Four RBIs, 3-6 a the plate, including a three run homer and the game winner...i’ll say that’s one fine way to make your name synonymous with good vibes and smiles in the Halosphere. It took awhile to see what he could do, but this series with Baltimore has showed some bright things to come from David Murphy. The Angels got the series win, keep their head in the tight playoff race, and Jered Weaver came back to the Big A and turned in a nice stat line. That’s a lot of positivity on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, one of the perks of Angels baseball in southern California.