Due to prior engagements, I didn't get to see the games on Saturday and Sunday; from the post-game coverage and box score, I feel pretty lucky right now that I dodged those bullets(i'm also lucky I have people willing to take those bullets...the staff deserve medals sometimes). It was a weekend of embarrassing baseball that saw all that red-hot heat from Oakland get doused as soon as they came into the Twin Cities. Now in Chicago for a four-game series against the White Sox, the Angels needed to regain their swagger, if they ever had it to begin with, and no better way to do that than a complete drubbing of the home team.
Hector Santiago used to play for the White Sox before being traded away, acquired in a three team deal via Jerry Dipoto's Angels, and the narrative we know in sports tells us that he will be fired up to face his former club and do his best to humiliate them in victory. Santiago covered all of those bases, and then some, and then kicked sand in Chicago's face. He was a force to be reckoned with, his fastball often getting up to 95mph, and working his location perfectly to rack up the Ks. And rack up the Ks he did; Santiago finished with a career-high-tying 10 Ks, while going 7 IP, 0 R, 2 H and 3 BB. Hector came to U.S. Celluar to demolish the White Sox and accomplished this feat with beautiful impunity.
The Angels lineup, meanwhile, also sprang to life, redeeming their puny efforts against Minnesota, ravaging Sox starter Carlos Rodon with a thirst for runs and bottom-of-the-order hitting. Rodon didn't stand a chance, as the Angels were hitting off him immediately, and aided with a couple errors and even more hitting, the Halos dropped five runs on him in the first inning. It was a smorgasbord of entertaining baseball: Kole Calhoun, Andrelton Simmons, Geovany Soto and Johnny Giavotella all had RBI singles, there were bases given away by bad throws, and in one fell swoop, the Angels had knocked out the starter.
There was still more awesome to come from the Angels; more specifically, the usually-frustrating C.J. Cron. Mike Scioscia had moved the 1B/DH from his usual 5/6 spot down to 8th today, and Cron had himself a game(natch). Cron had RBI singles in both the third and the eighth inning, and finished with a 3-4, 2 RBI night. Welcome to 2016, C.J. Cron. The whole team was smacking around Chicago tonight, finishing with a burly 13 runs, to their three. The 6-9 guys were on fire, accounting for nine of the team's hits and five runs. Let tonight be an awakening of the God of Runs, please, and not just another false start.
A much-needed win and a return-and-conquer quest from Hector Santiago is just what the weary Angels fans needed to see tonight. It was their highest run total of the season(7), some of the best offense we've seen, and perhaps THE best pitching we've seen. They have three more in Chicago, so while it's great they landed the first punch, they've still got to finish the combo if they want the K.O. Plant those feet, Halos, and clean their clocks. We've got a Halo back home that needs a lightin'.