When the world is turned upside down, it takes a hero to bring the good and the light of the world to safety, to a better future. When the first place teams of the world are in your home, so to speak, doing their best to crush your will and spirit, you will call out for a savior. Even on nights where Hector Santiago is being valiant and strong, defending the territory against Astros invaders, he is only one man on a mound. The men with the bats must do their piece, and then some. It takes a slayer of AL West demons, who happens to go by the name C.J. Cron.
The Angels fed on the fire that was started last night, and it burned bright early when they got things going in the second. C.J. Cron commenced the blitz by hitting a leadoff single, then a double from Erick Aybar put Angels on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Upstart David Freese came through with an RBI single, and catcher Carlos Perez knocked Aybar in with a single of his own. 2-0 after two...not too bad.
The upstanding gentleman pitcher known as Hector Santiago was brave and bold against the dastardly 'Stros, for seven beautiful innings. The first five of which were scoreless. It was only solo homers from Carlos Correa and Hank Conger, in the sixth and seventh, respectively, that Santiago faltered. But while it was the rare occasion that he let the bad guys cross our hallowed plate, it would still be enough to knot things up as the two teams chugged along towards the late innings.
In the eighth, with Will Harris pitching for Houston, C.J. Cron picked up his wooden hammer of the gods, came down from up high in his mountain in the dugout, looked at a Harris pitch square in it's mug and said "I shall vanquish thee". And vanquish he did, as his ax-like stroke would knock that white pill over the center field fence, and the Angels had a triumphant 3-2 advantage on the scoreboard, and life in general.
Huston Street stared down three Astros in the ninth, and struck them out while striking fear into their hearts for future games and any perceived grip they may have on the division. The Angels resoundingly rang the bell of the big boys these last two games, and with Minnesota and Texas also losing, they made strides to catch up in the tenacious Wild Card race, while now being 3.5 back in the West.
C.J. Cron is the difference maker, if there ever was one. He didn't do it alone, but he is the hero of the day. Legend forever.