Good morning, Angels fans! It’s hard to believe that just a few days ago we were shaking our heads and wondering how the Angels’ storybook season had turned into one hot mess. After losing two to the Yankees, followed by two losses to the A’s (including Saturday night’s monumental meltdown as the Angels blew a 9-2 lead to lose 15-10), it was a relief to see the Angels bounce back on Sunday with a respectable win. But even that win couldn’t prepared me for what I witnessed Monday night at the Big A.
Not only did the Angels clinch the top spot in the AL West, they did it with an exclamation point as they snuffed out the Rangers, 11-0. Ervin Santana decided to make it a one man job, as he completed all 9 innings, giving up only 7 hits. He had 2 strikeouts but they came at a crucial time, in the 6th when the Rangers had 2 in scoring position with only one out. He had oodles of defense, including 3 double-plays. Considering how dominant the Rangers have been in the west throughout the entire season, it just felt plain good to see the Angels play such a superior game.
The ensuing celebration was especially poignant as the team emerged from the locker room, sans cleats and soaked in champagne, to pay tribute to Nick Adenhart at the huge picture of Nick on the outfield wall.
I’m well aware that the road to the World Series is, once again, paved with Red Sox, but I’ve decided not to think about that right now. I’d rather just enjoy the moment, celebrate in spirit with my Angels and consider what lies ahead later this week. It’s been a long, trying season and everyone needs to let a little steam off right now…fans included!
When the last out was made Monday night, many of the players pointed toward the heavens in recognition of their missing Angel, Nick Adenhart. I did the same thing only my missing Angel is my dad. Dad and I would purchase our tickets in March and somehow, we almost always managed to pick the play-off deciding games. For the first time in 9 years, I did not purchase a single ticket to any game this season. I either was invited or given tickets to every game I attended. I was invited to this momentous game about three weeks ago, well before anyone could have known this would be the night the Angels would become the AL West champs. But once the magic number was reduced to 2 on Sunday, I knew I would be there to see the Angels clinch it on Monday night. Thanks, Dad. Oh, and just to be sure…I pulled out the World Series lucky red underwear. I’m a firm believer in fate but I’m still really superstitious!
Baseball…winning is everything.