The last few days there has been increasing chatter about how the loss of Torii Hunter has turned the Angels into mindless zombies who show little or no emotion on the field. I bemoaned the lack of interest just yesterday, although I think the Hunter thing is a bit overblown. In reality, the Angels just needed some kind of spark. Tonight, Albert Pujols reminded us that this is his team and he will carry them out of the whole they have dug. He may be a machine, but he is also the heart and soul of the Halos.
Angels 5 Astros 4
-- Not sure what it says about the pithcing staff that Garrett Richards is probably the second best pitcher on the staff after one outing. Richards became the first pitcher this season to throw a pitch in the seventh and might have won the game had the bullpen not surrendered runs after he left. Just the fact that he throws harder than 90 mph is refreshing.
-- Nice debut for newly called up Michael Roth. Although his delivery is radically different, he reminds me of Jarrod Washburn. Washburn and Roth both throw average stuff but I sense a lot of bulldog mentatlity in Roth, which is what carried Washburn for so long. Roth could be a nice addition to the pen.
-- The offense started to show signs of life with Josh Hamilton hitting his first home run and the team totalling 13 hits. But the secret star of the night might be Luis Jimenez. His walk in the ninth made the rally possible and he also collected a couple of hits. He also seemed to show a lot of emotion out there and it's obvious the vets have adopted him as a sort of mascot. Viva Lucho!!!
Mike Trout may be the flavor of the month and Josh Hamilton may be the new kid in town, but Albert Pujols will be the reason this team wins. Tonight he came through when they needed him most.