Found April 21, 2013 on Monkey with a Halo:
In a game that looked like it was in the pooper early on the Angels managed to pull a hard, and I mean hard, fought victory. The Angels offense struggled through most of the game, failing to collect crucial hits in 7 of their 8 RISP opportunities. What really gets me excited is how the Angels battled against the such a heralded AL team, a team thought by many to play deep into the playoffs. The Angels lived dangerously off of Pujols' early 2-RBI double that carried the Angels all the way to the walk-off bomb by Mark Trumbo in the 13th.   In a game where the starting pitching struggled intensely the bullpen came through fantastically, showing once again that it is now a huge strength in the ballclub instead of an incredibly vulnerable weak point. Now the Angels can take some serious heat to Texas this upcoming series and let them know who the real big daddy team of the AL West. Angels 4 Tigers 3 The Angels went from being a laughing stock to a seriously dangerous playoff team in the span of two series. It's not the Angels underwent a magical transformation to become such a fantastic team, they just grew into themselves; which would obviously take longer than most teams considering the girth of this teams talent. While there are a few weak points in the offense (Josh Hamilton), they are greatly outnumbered by the strengths carried by the team. A fantastic bullpen is what gave the Angels the game today, and you could even argue C.J Wilson was a key player in this game (only because he was able to fight against his shortcomings so strongly).  -- It seemed like Wilson would put the Angels in a serious hole fast after starting the game with a bases-loaded fiasco yet again. While Wilson had already hit the 50 pitch mark barely 3 innings into the game he was able to pull through and give the team 6 solid innings of 3 run ball. In hindsight his ability to march through 6 innings after throwing so many pitches early on absolutely saved this team in the long run given the fact that they had to pull 7 innings out of the bullpen. some might say Wilson's tendency to dance in and out of danger is something to worry about, but in my mind this couldn't be farther from the case. April is the time for pitchers to find themselves struggling in their starts, in Wilson's case he refused to succumb to his early failures. His ability to battle through 4 walks and 5 hits in 6 innings while throwing 100+ pitches reminds me less of a failing pitcher and more of a clutch pitcher working past his shortcomings. I'm sure if Weaver were to throw this same game he would be commended on his "bulldog" approach to fighting through a tough start. Wilson is definitely deserving of some praise for his performance today. -- Yes I know I know, we can start talking about Josh Hamilton now. Honestly though, who cares? This is what he does, if we didn't have to sit through Pujols last year I don't know if we'd be taking this better or worse. He failed in sooooo many clutch-time appearances today, but it's to be expected. That type of player playing to his type of contract is going to put a lot on the guys shoulders. It doesn't matter who he is, it's expected that there will be somewhat of a transition phase. The first year of a long term big money contract is going to be full of struggles and self-doubt. Albert Pujols set a strong precedent for the life cycle of a long-term contract with the Angels, if you can't handle the short term pains then it's no surprise you'd be blinded to the long-term benefits he will bring to the table. The difference between sitting through Hamiltons intense struggles and Pujols' same struggles is the surrounding players. Pujols didn't have Mike Trout or another Hamilton-caliber player to rely on. When it came down to it, during their early struggles, it was all on Pujols; but everyone knew he would turn it around fast (which he did). Not many people think Pujols had a great year due to his end of the season stats, which were strong but pedestrian for him. Now Pujols is doing his Pujols thing, aka being the King, and Josh Hamilton has that support to lean on. He also has Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo, as well as a resurgent Peter Bourjos and the young stud Luis Jimenez. No one but Hamilton is struggling majorly, unlike when everyone around Pujols struggled; so he's already in a far better position to succeed than Pujols was. -- Thank god Mark Trumbo came through at the end with his merciful ending to an increasingly painful game. After squandering their first opportunity to walk-off with Trout on second and no outs it seemed like the Angels would let this one slip away. Jerome Williams made sure this wasn't the case with his 3 scoreless inning performance. Williams pitched fantastically against an elite lineup in an impossibly tough position. I've heard some things here and there of people thinking Williams can play himself into the starting rotation, but I find it more plausible that with this weak rotation having him pitch quality long-relief would be more effective for the team. Would you rather have a tight-pitching Jerome Williams relieve a struggling Joe Blanton, or a struggling Joe Blanton relieve a gassed Jerome Williams?  -- Hats off to newcomer Dana De La Rose for pitching a strong 2 strikeout relief appearance. His effectiveness has shown that the Angels have good depth in their bullpen, which was far from the truth last year. Sure, they had good depth in the sense that the depth they had was "deep", but this year we have depth AND quality. Instead of relying on two big relievers and a bunch of "cross-your-fingers-and-pray-for-the-best" type the Angels have a pool of talent to call on. De La Rosa might only have a few innings to his name, but the increasing confidence he gets for his successes will be huge for the long term structure of the bullpen. Another shrewd trade by Jerry Dipoto, who is quickly proving to be possibly the best GM at making trades for relievers. His trades are not lopsided in the sense that they benefit both teams (which is huge in creating trade relations), and they are relatively low cost since he opts to go for diamonds in the rough instead of shelling it all out for a big name reliever. His ability to pick out relief talent is elite, probably because he spent a lot of time pitching himself. This is the one GM we can have the utmost confidence in trades, at least when it's a reliever coming this way. Halo Hero "WHAT?!" you call collectively shout. "But he didn't even hit a walk-off" No, he did not, but there also would have been no game to walk off on had he not pitched masterfully through 3 extra inning apperances. Without him the Angels would have depleted the bullpen, which would have not only been dangerous for the outcome of the game, but for the Texas series as well. Not only did he save the game for the Angels today, but he also saved the bullpen for a key series early on. The only way he could be any more of a hero is if he saved the Princess from the castle the first time around.  
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Los Angeles Angels Prospect Report | Mark Sappington Tops This Week's Prospect Hotlist

Angels Prospect Mark Sappington is all smiles this season with the IE 66ers AngelsWin.com Prospect Hotlist  By Scott Stedman, AngelsWin.com Minor League Reporter 1. Mark Sappington, RHP, Inland Empire 66ers Past 10 Days: 2-0, 0 Saves, 1.59 ERA, 11.1 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 11 K, 1.15 WHIP Overall: 3-0, 0 Saves, 1.59 ERA, 22.2 IP, 17 H, 9 BB, 23 K, 1.15 WHIP, .205 BAA What’s...

Angels Classic Rewind | Dateline: April 21st, 2002

APRIL 21, 2002 GAME 18 - ANGELS AT A’S OAKLAND -- The Angels got a solid performance from their starting pitcher, played good defense and had timely hitting. But when their game against the Oakland A's ended, the Angels walked off the field with their heads down. Greg Myers hit a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the ninth inning off Angels closer Troy Percival to lift the...

Los Angeles Angels Place Pitcher Mark Lowe On 15-Day Disabled List

MLB News: The Los Angeles Angels placed pitcher Mark Lowe on the disabled list Saturday as he is suffering from a stiff neck. The 29 year old has spent eight seasons in the majors, tallying a 3.43 earned run average in 39.1 innings pitched last season while striking out 28 hitters. He has struggled in 2013, his first year with the Angels, walking 8 in just 6.1 innings pitched, topping...

Batting change would boost Angels

Angels manager Mike Scioscia already has dropped left fielder Mike Trout to the No. 2 spot in the batting order. Might it be time for Scioscia to make a similar adjustment with right fielder Josh Hamilton? The Angels are starting to roll, coming off their first sweep of the season against the Tigers. But on Sunday, the Angels' No. 3 hitter, Albert Pujols, again received multiple...

Angels place Alberto Callaspo on DL

The Los Angeles Angels have placed third baseman Alberto Callaspo on the 15-day disabled list due to right calf tightness, the team has announced. Callaspo suffered the injury during Thursday night’s contest against the Oakland Athletics. Initially, the Angels only expected him to miss a few days before returning, but he’ll instead require at least two weeks on the...

Angels Classic Rewind | Dateline: April 20th, 2002

By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor -  APRIL 20, 2002 GAME 17 -ANGELS AT A’S OAKLAND -- A couple of Angels could not agree on who was at fault for their 8-7 loss to the Oakland A's Saturday afternoon before 20,253 at the Oakland Coliseum. There was first baseman Scott Spiezio, who made a throwing error in the eighth inning that led to two unearned runs. And...

Halo Headlines: Madson suffers another setback, Callaspo and Lowe to the DL

The April 22nd, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Madson suffers another setback, Callaspo and Lowe to the DL and much more... The Story: Ryan Madson suffered yet another setback after throwing a simulated game over the weekend. The Monkey Says: I even joked recently that he had been making so much progress that he was due for another setback...

Angels Classic Rewind | Dateline: April 22nd, 2002

By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor - APRIL 22, 2002 GAME 19- ANGELS AT MARINERS SEATTLE -- It's one thing when a team's pitchers have trouble throwing the ball over the plate. A couple of Angels pitchers showed Monday night that an inability to throw to first base can have equally destructive consequences. Angels starter Scott Schoeneweis discovered that...

Trumbo hits walk-off as Halos sweep Tigers

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Mark Trumbo homered leading the bottom of the 13th inning and Albert Pujols doubled home two runs, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-3 victory over Detroit on Sunday for their second straight series sweep of the Tigers. Detroit lefty Phil Coke (0-2) intentionally walked Pujols with two outs and the bases empty in the 12th before striking out Josh Hamilton...

Halo Headlines: Hamilton dropped down batting order, the time the Angels almost trade for ...

The April 23rd, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Hamilton dropped down in the batting order, the time the Angels almost trade for Miguel Cabrera and much more... The Story: Mike Scioscia moved Josh Hamilton to fifth in the lineup against southpaw Derek Holland last night. The Monkey Says: Scioscia is always loath to drop a star in in the lineup...

Angels blow three-run lead, fall to Rangers

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- A.J. Pierzynski hit a tiebreaking homer with two outs in the ninth inning, and the Texas Rangers rallied from a late three-run deficit for a 7-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night. Mitch Moreland had three hits and drove in a run for the Rangers, who also got three hits from Elvis Andrus in their fourth consecutive victory, snapping the Angels...

Game 2013.17: Tigers at Angels

After last night’s deflating loss, of a type we’ve seen before this season and would rather not see any more of, the Tigers send out RHP Rick Porcello against Angels RHP Garrett Richards. Porcello missed his last start due to an off-day shuffle type thing; instead, he turned in a perfect two innings in what I think was his first regular-season (at least) bullpen appearance ever...

Albert Pujols Says His Foot Is ‘Hurting Real Bad’

  So there does appear to be a ***** in King Albert’s armor, afterall. Albert Pujols is nursing a nasty case of plantar fasciitis as his struggling Angels team tries to stay afloat in the early part of the season. Pujols revealed to Los Angeles Times reporter Bill Shaikin “I’m dying,” and then he added “I’m hurting real bad.” The 33-year-old first baseman is slated...

Bats come out to play as Halos rout Tigers 8-1

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Peter Bourjos had three hits and three RBIs, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols drove in two runs apiece, and the Los Angeles Angels slowed the worst start in franchise history with an 8-1 victory over Torii Hunter and the Detroit Tigers on Friday night. Pujols had three hits and Brendan Harris added an early RBI double for the Angels, who had a season-high 16...
Angels News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.