Tagged: Brian Fuentes

Winning Words

Tuesday night’s game versus the Mariners featured the same pitching match-up that we saw last week up in Seattle…Scott Kazmir and Felix Hernandez.  Again, Kazmir was solid, going 7 innings and giving up 1 run on 3 hits.  And again, Kazmir’s performance failed to garner him a much deserved win.  But at least this time the Angels were the victors, winning it walk-off style in the 10th.  As much as I don’t particularly like close games, “closer” (and I must use that term loosely) Brian Fuentes, had better get some time on the mound in these last few weeks or he will be a liability in the post-season.  The second pitch home run he gave up to Mike Sweeney that forced a 10th inning was really hard to watch.  When he followed that up with two walks, Jason Bulger had to come in and rescue the inning and ultimately, the game.

                           

Jered Weaver had a good night on Wednesday, striking out 8 in 6 and 1/3.  In all fairness, Ian Snell and Jason Vargas weren’t too shabby either.  The difference in the game was what happened with runners in scoring position.  The Angels were 3 for 10 with a base clearing double from Kendry Morales in the first inning.  The Mariners were 0 for 7.  It was almost a good thing that Trevor Bell gave up a run in the top of the 9th.  Brian Fuentes needed the practice…and got the save, number 40.  Of course, this is my favorite 40:

                                    

As we dig deeper into this final stretch, I can’t help but think about how consumed I am with my Angels and baseball.  Consider how everyday words are taken over by baseball fans and now only pertain to the game and the road to the championship:

Clinch – Really…isn’t it everyones’ favorite verb?  What other word can elicit the ultimate sigh of relief from a baseball fan?

Division – Math term?  I think not.  There’s three in each league and that’s all that matters.

Wild Card – Has nothing to do with poker all though the term “Texas Hold ‘Em” may still apply.

Record – In this age of CDs and Ipods, this one’s easy.  Wins and losses, plain and simple.

October – The only month that matters.  April is a close second.

Yankees – Used to be only Scarlett O’Hara could make it sound like a curse word.  Now we all can.

 

            

Let’s face it.  Certain words hold special meanings for baseball fans during baseball season.  Just last week my mom mentioned on the phone that she had bought an “Angel” something for my car.  How very cool, I thought.  It’ll be a great addition to my Angels license plate frame, Angels antenna ball and Angels window flag.  I picked it up this weekend:

                                         

Ooops.  Guess I forgot there are other kinds of angels.  What can I say?  It’s baseball season.

 

Baseball…we love to fly and it shows.

 

 

Good Morning Baltimore

I have to admit I did not watch Friday night’s game.  I, like most Americans, was glued to CNN watching that breaking news story that gripped the nation.

                

               map.jpg picture by lafmyers

 

Scientists Confirm New “Bermuda Triangle”

Wichita, Kansas (AP) – Scientists from MIT have confirmed the existence of a new “Bermuda Triangle”.  In response to disappearing aircraft, small watercraft and a number of farm tractors, scientists raced to the rural town of Fall River, outside of Wichita, to investigate the mysterious occurrences.  “We detected the presence of some type of magnetic force field that is approximately two hundred miles wide,” Professor Stewart Bradley reported during a press conference Friday afternoon.  Kent Hardy, an official with the FAA also provided more information regarding the rumor that a plane, believed to be transporting the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from Orange County to Baltimore, had disappeared from radar Thursday evening only to suddenly reappear one hour later and landing without further incident in Baltimore.  “Although exact details are not available, I can confirm that the plane disappeared from radar at approximately 8:00 PM, eastern time.  We were able to reestablish contact one hour later although the crew reported nothing unusual had happened.”  While scientists are insisting some kind of atmospheric phenomenon is responsible, Fall River residents are reporting the sighting of a large, unidentified flying object, circular in shape with bright colored lights.  “I was bringing Paris and Nicole, my two dairy cows, into the barn when all of a sudden I saw this huge thing in the sky that looked like a ginormous  Frisbee and that thing just sucked up that big old airplane!” Tucker “Tadpole” Johnston, Jr. claimed.  Officials met the plane and interviewed all crew and passengers but no one recalled anything out of the ordinary happening during the flight.  “Everything was normal,” Angels third baseman Chone Figgins told reporters.  “We were singing 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall like we always do to pass the time and then we all took a nap.  But my belly button hurts.”

                            

Now, I’m not saying this could have anything to do with the Angels losing Friday night to the Orioles 6-16, but at least now it makes sense.  How else do you explain Jered Weaver giving up 6 runs in the first inning?  The O’s scoring 7 runs in the 7th?  It’s aliens, I tell you.  Aliens.

                 

By Saturday, the Angels were able to shake off any residual effects of the alien probing and were in top form, especially Big John Lackey who gave up one run in 7 rock-solid innings.  The Orioles sent rookie Brian Matusz to the mound.  Four of his five innings were shut-outs, but the Angels were able to score all 5 of their runs in the 3rd.  Orioles relievers only gave up one hit in the last 3 and 1/3 innings.  But the damage had been done.  Lackey had his 99th career win, Brian Fuentes had his 33rd save of the season.

              

Sunday’s game was just plain crazy.  I may as well start with the bottom of the 9th because that’s when Brian Fuentes blew the save and allowed the Orioles to tie it, 8-8.  The Angels loaded the bases in the 11th and 12th innings and couldn’t score a run.  Finally in the 13th, my Torii Hunter provided the go-ahead RBI but that was just the beginning of a 9 run inning (tied a MLB record, by the way) that had the Angels ultimately winning the marathon game, 17-8.  As the Angels were having their run-fest, my mom called.  Again, she was asking why the game wasn’t over when the Angels scored the first run of the inning in “overtime”.  I think I have no choice but to get a Powerpoint presentation together for her.  That’s okay.  I was just impressed she was watching.  And we were both impressed with the Angels. 

 

Baseball…Kid tested.  Mother approved.

 

 

The Blame Game

Let’s talk about Sunday’s game, shall we?  There isn’t any point in coming down hard on Ervin Santana for his miserable 3 and 2/3 innings.  Why bother bringing up Shane Loux’s not so stellar 3 innings?  And is there any reason whatsoever to mention the icy cold Halo bats?  No.  The Angels lost, and lost hard, in a 1-10 pouncing by the Twins in the final game of their four game series.  But I know exactly who to blame for this loss.

    timeout.jpg picture by lafmyers

Ooops.  My bad.  I had absolutely NO business even typing the word “eight” in my last post.  I should’ve known it’d be the kiss of death for the Angels’ 8 game win streak.  I guess I just got overly confident and really thought it would be okay to give my boys a little pat on the back for the incredible way they’d been playing lately.  I will not make the same mistake twice so if you wonder why I fail to mention a winning or hitting streak or any other kind of pattern that may develop the rest of the season, just remember this post.  I apologize to anyone and everyone who may have been adversely affected by Sunday’s loss.  To all those who rejoiced or otherwise celebrated my Angels’ misfortune?  I give you the bird (X 5).

                                untitledHSHSHSSSHS.jpg picture by lafmyers

                                      (That’s Lucy, Lily, Lola, Liza and Leo-na.) 

At least I was spared the horror of it all.  My friend asked me to run to Long Beach with her to help her buy a new couch.  We left just as the game was starting and didn’t think we’d be gone long.  After five long hours in a large furniture warehouse that lacked A/C, we already knew it hadn’t gone well for the Angels because when we called home, Mr. Lucky (Bubba) and her son, Zachary (Little Bubba) would only say, “You aren’t going to like it.”  My friend remained optimistic and thought they might just be teasing us.  I knew they weren’t.  I am my husband’s polygraph machine.  I don’t even need to see his face.  I knew he was telling me the truth.  When we got back to the house, both Bubbas were at a neighbor’s so I began to play back the game on fast-forward.  Zachary stuck his head in the back door just as I got to Kendry Morales’s solo HR in the 4th.  He said, “Oh, so you saw their ONLY run?”  He slammed the door just in time and the remote control failed to smack him upside the head.  He’s quick, that kid.

                

I was looking forward to Monday night’s game with the Indians because the Angels have gotten very good at responding positively to an embarrassing smackdown.  Hmmm.  Joe Saunders gave up 2 runs in the top of the 2nd which didn’t rattle me at all.  Maybe one of those sweet come-from-behind wins was on the menu for tonight?

  menu.jpg picture by lafmyers

When Juan Rivera, Kendry Morales and Mike Napoli had back-to-back-to-back solo shots in the bottom of the 2nd, it certainly appeared that way.  It wasn’t going to be easy as the Indians kept hitting and hitting and hitting.  Up 6-4 when closer Brian Fuentes came out in the 9th, things were looking good for the Angels.  With 17 straight saves in as many opportunities, Fuentes just needed to do his thing to lock in another W.  I won’t go into the gory details, but the Tribe had a couple long balls of their own left in them and the final score was 8-6, Indians.  Fuentes’s ERA jumped from 2.78 to 3.79 and he was unable to get a single out before being pulled.  Hey, he’s a man, NOT a machine!  Just like any closer out there (think Joe Nathan), he was bound to have a bad night and tonight he did.  I just hope he got it out of his system and can erase it from his mind.  The Angels really did minimize the damage with solid defense including 4 double-plays.  Had it been the Angels who got 20 hits, I have no doubt they would’ve scored WAY more than 8 runs.  See?  I knew there had to be a silver lining somewhere. 

                

 

Baseball…we’ll give you something to smile about!

 

 

A-OK in Oakland

Thursday night’s game, the first of four between the Angels and the A’s, came just in time.  After 99 hours without an Angels fix, I had assumed a fetal position on the couch and was having trouble operating the remote because my hands were shaking so badly.  My husband had tried pulling up old clips on the DVR (Garret Anderson’s 10 RBI game, Tim Salmon’s final at bat, etc.) but nothing was working and as the game began, my husband was on the phone with my mom and, although it’s all still a bit cloudy, I’m pretty sure I heard the word “intervention”. 

                           intervention.jpg intervention image by drewboy210

By the time Kendry Morales hit a two-run homer in the 2nd inning, I was sitting up, clear-eyed and relaxed.  What a great start to the second half of the season it was!  Ervin Santana was amazing in 8 full innings.  Granted, he’s got a terrific record against the Athletics, but something was different.  Could it be the mouth guard he was wearing when he took the mound? 

             

Is it possible that a little piece of plastic can make all the difference?  If it can, perhaps every Angels reliever should trade their cup for a mouth guard.  I say it couldn’t hurt to try.  (And every man reading this says it could hurt.  A lot.)

 

Well, maybe Joe Saunders could have borrowed Santana’s mouth guard on Friday night.  He wasn’t miserable, but he certainly wasn’t having a great night.  He gave up 5 runs into the 7th inning, walked 6 and only struck out 2 batters.  The Angels knocked Oakland starter Trevor Cahill out of the game in the 5th, but they weren’t able to get much of anything off of A’s relievers.  They were bested by the worst in the west.  Yuck.  At least the Twins took care of the Rangers.

                      twins.jpg picture by lafmyers

It looked as if the Angels were going to run away with Saturday’s game.  Chone Figgins started off the game with a home run, his second of the season.  The Angels’ bats came alive in the 3rd when they pounded A’s starter Vin Mazzaro for 6 runs.  But Jered Weaver wasn’t feeling good and it all caught up with him in the bottom of the 4th.  He was “nauseous and woozy” and gave the A’s a chance to close the gap when they scored 4 runs of their own.  But the Angels’ bullpen managed to keep a tight grip on the game and only allowed one additional run while the Angels scored 3 in the 7th.  The Angels won 11-6 and once again, the Twins beat the Rangers.

                            

Nothing could have prepared me for Sunday’s game.  Okay, so that sounds a little dramatic.  But seriously, the Angels had been hitting up a storm, they were sending John Lackey to the mound, they were playing the last place team in the west AND Oakland’s starter was a 21 year old rookie with a 5-7 record.  Sounded like…

      

…a piece of cake, right?  Totally wrong.  Talk about a pitching duel.  Lackey gave up the first of only 3 hits in inning #1 but Brett Anderson had retired 20 consecutive Angels batters and had a perfect game going into the 7th.  Then, with 2 outs, Bobby Abreu hit a single that just made it by SS Orlando Cabrera.  The crowd was on their feet to give props to Anderson and his 6 & 2/3 innings of perfect baseball.  But at this point, Lackey had his own shut-out going and it’s pretty easy to figure out who I was rooting for.  Anderson, who ultimately gave up only 2 hits, was replaced by Andrew Bailey after 8 and Lackey completed 9.  There were nothing but zeros across the scoreboard going into the 10th. 

            

And then, Bailey sent a fastball over the middle of the plate that Bobby Abreu sent deep, deep, deep over the right field wall and finally, the Angels were on the board.  The A’s came up in the bottom of the 10th and Brian Fuentes appeared on the mound, hoping to secure a win for Lackey and pick up his 28th save.  And that’s exactly what he did.  I kept checking in on the Rangers/Twins game, hoping for another Twins win.  Unfortunately, after a few extra innings of their own, the Rangers managed to come back and beat the Twins. 

                         

(Sorry, but I figured I owed it to my male readers after a video clip of one of their own taking a fastball to his junk.)

The Angels head to Kansas City 3 games ahead of the Rangers and 4 ahead of the Mariners.  The Royals have lost some steam since we faced them back in April but it’s still nice to know Zack Greinke will not be popping up in the rotation.  I know that makes me feel a little better.  But Angels fans know, it’s the teams that aren’t playing well that seem to present the bigger challenge to the Angels and the Royals come to mind first in this scenario so we shall see.  It’s been great to see the team hold up nicely with Torii and Vlady out.  Brandon Wood, Robb Quinlan and Gary Matthews, Jr. are helping out and the playing time they’re getting will only increase their productivity.  I am buckled in for the second half of this wild ride!

Now, because I am the proudest Bird Mom you will ever meet, I must mention that in the midst of all this mind-blowingly great baseball, we had a couple very important birthdays at our house.  Sushi, our Goffin’s cockatoo, turned 6 on Friday and her brother, Sunny, our sun conure, turned 8 on Saturday.  Here’s some quick videos of my babies! 

Some day I will tell you all the story of that little red radio and how it won Game 6 of the 2002 World Series. It did, it really did!

 

Baseball…the only way to fly!

 

 

Just To Keep It Interesting

Monday night’s game in Texas pitted the Angels’ rookie Sean O’Sullivan against the Rangers’ resident headhunter, Vicente Padilla. 

          

I’d heard he’d been pitching better since being optioned by the Rangers.  He had little trouble keeping the Angels in check through 3 but gave up a few hits that the Angels put together for their first run of the game.  O’Sullivan had given up back-to-back homers in the 3rd but managed to shake it off and not allow any further damage.  In the 6th inning, the Angels exploded all over Padilla and sent him packing. 

                

The Angels scored 4 runs, including a 2 run shot by Juan Rivera and a solo HR by Kendry Morales.  The Angels defense was hot and the bullpen was slick.

                 

There was no fooling around there and closer Brian Fuentes notched #22 in his save belt.  (Thank you, Brian.)  At the end of the game, the Angels were 2.5 games up in the west.  Tuesday night was a different story.  Starter Joe Saunders was not on his game.  It was obvious from the very start.  Saunders gave out homeruns like candy to trick-or-treaters. 

                                     

Only the Rangers didn’t have to say “please” or “thank you”.  Saunders lasted just 3 and 2/3 and had allowed 8 earned runs, 4 of those homers…the most in a single outing in his career.  Forget Halloween.  The Rangers can consider this game an early Christmas present.  While I’m sure the Rangers felt like this:

                                   

I felt a little more like this:

        

But I won’t despair.  It could’ve been worse.  As the Angels launched their last-ditch effort in the 9th, loading the bases and scoring 2 runs, the announcers made it clear that anything was possible.  Their example?  The Orioles had been down 10-1 to the Red Sox and had just come back to win that game 11-10.  Now that made me feel better. 

 

Baseball…fair and balanced.

 

 

Back In The Saddle Again

A weekend sweep of the Diamondbacks put the Angels in their rightful place…1st in the west!

                                    

I can’t say they deserved the ranking any earlier in the season.  They looked woefully lost in April following the death of pitcher Nick Adenhart.  They also had 3 of their ace starters on the DL and a bullpen that had a disturbing habit of giving games away in the final innings.  There were cold bats, base running errors and a closer who had an extremely tough time finding the strike zone.  But somehow, things came together and in recent weeks and we’ve seen the team really gel. 

                

The Angels emerged from this final series with the Diamondbacks with the best record in the MLB for interleague play, 14-4.  Anyone who wants to minimize that achievement needs to keep in mind that the Angels faced the Dodgers, the red-hot Rockies and the Giants, all of whom sent their very best to the mound. 

       

I’m not at all surprised that the Angels are in sole possession of first place.  I knew they’d get there eventually.  Texas, Oakland and Seattle have all made instrumental changes to their teams that will keep this a tighter race than we’ve had in recent years.  But I believe the Angels have that key formula that will take them all the way into the post-season. 

                

They’ve got incredible defense, led by my ALL-STAR Torii Hunter, stealing HR’s and extra-base hits in center field.  The infielders rarely fail to impress and have entertained us regularly with some amazing double-plays.  The Angels’ offense is back on track with everyone in the line-up contributing from lead-off man, Chone Figgins, to their pitching staff who threw in a few hits of their own when given the chance during interleague play.  The bullpen has settled down and closer Brian Fuentes has been outstanding during his latest outings. While this is all quite reassuring from a fan’s perspective, I believe the Angels once again have that one vital ingredient that has been lacking for the last few years. 

         

Without real competition in the division, they haven’t needed it.  Well, they’ve got competition now and the only way they’ll prevail is by having that one important element, that little bit of magic that carried them to a championship in 2002.  What is it?

     hunger.jpg picture by lafmyers

 

Baseball…it just tastes better.

 

 

Rocky Road

The Angels looked very unprepared for their meeting Monday night with the Colorado Rockies.

            

The game was an unmitigated disaster, with one notorious notation: the Angels set a club record for wild pitches.  Matt Palmer, in his shortest outing and first loss, gave up 6 runs before he was pulled after 4 and 2/3 innings.  And the Angels’ relievers?  Total meltdown.

                

Ironically, the final score, 1-11, was the exact same score as the final game in Tampa Bay.  We all know what happened after that game.

                        

Mike Scioscia let the team have it and overnight they began to play like a team who should be in first place in the west.  I want them back.

                      

Tuesday night was an improvement over Monday’s total trampling…not by much, but enough to get the job done.  Rookie Sean O’Sullivan made his second start and although he didn’t get the win, he kept the Rockies from running away with the game.  Angel pitchers kept the Rockies 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.  Down 2-3 in the 8th, Jeff Mathis took a walk, followed by a pair of bunts by Figgins and Aybar.  The table was perfectly set for Bobby Abreu to drive in 2 runs and the Angels had the lead.  Closer Brian Fuentes took over in the 9th and did his thing, including 2 strikeouts!  He collected his 20th save, most in the AL.  The Angels’ win combined with the Rangers’ loss to the Diamondbacks have the Angels tied for first in the west with Texas. 

                 

I’m sure everyone noticed Vladimir Guerrero’s newly shorn locks, no doubt an attempt to pull himself out of a David Ortiz-like hitting slump.  It may not have helped Tuesday night, but let’s hope it has an effect soon, not just for the team’s sake.  Like Big Papi, it’s tough to watch a hitter like Big Daddy Vlady struggle at the plate.  At least he’s been hitting, but you know he’s trying to find his big swing.  30 of his 36 hits have been singles, not exactly the power we’re used to seeing.   

       

The series with the Rockies wraps up Wednesday night, then it’s off to Arizona for 3 with the Diamondbacks.  Then we’ll see what the standings look like at the conclusion of interleague play before the Angels head to Texas.  Hopefully by then, the Angels will just be looking to put some distance between themselves and a 2nd place Texas.  In the meantime, every division continues to be a real race.  Gotta love it. 

         

 

Baseball…we move the world.

 

 

Tampa Bay Bust(ed)

Thursday night’s game with the Rays didn’t go very well.  Ervin Santana wasn’t able to put together a start that even came close to resembling his last start against Detroit.  But that’s okay.  He’ll get ’em next time.  Sadly, the Angels only had 4 hits tonight.  Maybe if they just practice extra hard tomorrow, they’ll do better against the Padres.  And the Angels’ relievers?  Well, it wasn’t their night either.  They can toss the ball around before the game tomorrow and work out the kinks.  Before taking the field, they can all gather together for a group hug and give a big, rousing “Go Angels!” cheer.

               grouphug.jpg picture by lafmyers

But what I hope most of all, is for Brian “The Man” Fuentes to have some really, really good games.  Oh, that Brian…what a guy!  You know, he just might be my very favorite Angel!

                           heartoutline.jpg picture by lafmyers

Okay, let me explain.  No, I’m not sick, drunk or taking any kind of medication that might impair my normally rational thinking.  It’s much worse.  I’ve been busted.  Yes, I’m ashamed to admit it but I’ve been caught with my hand in the cookie jar of “fair-weather fan-ness”.

                         

As I was watching the game tonight, I logged in to my blog.  I immediately noticed I’d had more traffic than usual.  I thought perhaps, with the new feature that makes blog suggestions at the end of an entry, new readers might have been directed to my blog.  Just in the last few days I know I’ve been introduced to many other blogs I had not previously stumbled upon because of this feature.   Wondering how other games were going, I pulled up the MLB.com main page to check the scores.  And then I saw it.  In the bottom left hand corner of the page…big, bold and in black and white…

“I don’t think Mike Scioscia read
my last post.  If he had, he might
have considered my idea of using
Matt Palmer as a reliever.”
—Hello Halos! 

Oh.my.gosh.  Instead of getting a kick out of having my blog mentioned on the main page of MLB.com, I am mortified.  Who the heck am I to second-guess Mike Scioscia?  Last time I checked, I had not played 12 years of professional baseball.  The only World Series ring I own is a replica giveaway from Opening Day 2003.  I manage an office, not a major league ball club.  But most importantly, I was sounding like the kind of fan I dislike the most:  the know-it-all fan who honestly believes they could do a better job of managing a team than the hugely qualified person who is currently doing it.  

                                       

Ironically, that isn’t who I am.  Not at all.  Anyone who knows me can vouch for that.  I am the first to defend my Angels to anyone and everyone.  I don’t like to hear anyone bad-mouth them, no matter how badly they’re playing.  If anything, I should be attending AAA meetings…Angels Apologists Anonymous.  I admit, it’s easy to get caught up in the emotion that comes with being a fan.  Lately, Angels fans have had to deal with frustration and disappointment instead of the joy and satisfaction we’ve grown accustomed to over the last 7 years or so.  

         

I need to reacquaint myself with supporting a team that’s not necessarily poised for a playoff appearance.  Lord knows, I’ve done it before and I can do it again…if I must.  I haven’t been over-the-top outrageous with my remarks, but a few more losses like these last two in Tampa Bay and I might’ve been headed down that dark and ominous path.  But I promise going forward, I will resume my role of devoted fan and cheerleader, because rain or shine, win or lose, I love these guys and I always will.  Nothing will change that.

What’s that?  Even Brian Fuentes?  Oh, him.  I’m trying, really I am.  I don’t know why we’re just not clicking.  I know I’ve been tough on him.  No, you’re right…his stats don’t warrant my nickname “The Closer Poser”.  Okay, I’ll stop calling him that.  Yes, I’ll give him another chance.  My motto?  Yeah, it’s “Once an Angel, always an Angel…except for Jose Guillen.”  That includes Mark Teixeira.  Nice while it lasted, huh?  Okay, Brian.  If you can hear me…I’m ready to make another go of it.  No more nicknames, no more “help wanted” ads for a new closer in the Orange County Register.  I’m willing to try if you are.  Please, Brian, send me a sign!

 

PS – Matt Palmer will START tonight’s game vs. the Padres!  Don’t worry, Mr. Scioscia. I know I had nothing to do with this!

Baseball…the power to take charge.

 

 

Hit The Road

The Angels head to Toronto tomorrow.  Perhaps the change of scenery will do them good.  This last homestand was awful.  It started with a 3-17 bulldozing by the White Sox and ended with, well okay, so it ended with a win.  Yeah, a walk-off win in the 9th.  Woohoo.  I guess I’m still harboring some anger over Saturday’s ridiculous loss.  Closer (or more accurately, IMPOSTOR), Brian Fuentes, was handed Matt Palmer’s shut-out, 3-0 lead in the 9th and single-handedly incinerated it.  I’ll get over it…eventually.  But I am SO over Brian Fuentes.  I would like to personally put him on a flight back to Denver. 

   

What???  You don’t actually think he’s earned the right to fly commercial?  (Good luck clearing those Rockies, Brian!)  I am the furthest thing from a fair-weather fan but Saturday’s game really got to me.  I had trouble sleeping that night.  I kept re-playing that 9th inning over and over again in my head.  (Okay, I’ll admit it…only because I know he won’t go back and read this…not having hubby home to spoon me didn’t help.)  By game time on Sunday, I was toying with the idea of recording the game and indulging in a “General Hospital” marathon (a truly disgusting habit…I need an intervention).   

      

How loyal am I?  When the Angels were down 8-1 in the bottom of the 6th, I didn’t even turn the channel.  Was I my usual optimistic self?  Nope.  Can you blame me?  The previous 5 games were hard to shake. A lack of hitting, an unsteady bullpen and some really lame base running mistakes had taken their toll on me.  Everyone’s entitled to a bad day, including me.  

          

Sure, the Angels seemed to have something going on when they scored 4 runs in the inning but there was no way I was going to fall victim to false hopes again.  In the 9th, down two runs, Izturis and Figgins each managed to draw walks.  They’re on with 1 out.  In the past, I would’ve been up and pacing the family room.  Instead, I remain prone on the couch and actually feel my eyes roll.  Awwww…hate me if you want.  Tuesday night, tying run at the plate, ohhhh…game over.  Sound familiar???  Abreu flies out to left.  Here we go again.  Vlady hits a blooper to right and a run scores.  Huh?  I sit upright.  Mariner’s closer, David Aardsma, intentionally walks my Torii Hunter.  I move to the edge of my seat and start thinking, “Make him pay, make him pay,” like I usually do.  Juan Rivera comes to the plate…and walks!  In comes the tying run!  I feel my pulse increasing but suddenly, there’s a flash and I see…a week ago, Dodger game, tied in the 10th, Angels can’t score, Dodgers get their walk-off.  I shake my head like an Etch-A-Sketch to erase the image.  Kendry Morales is at the plate.  Now I’m on my feet.  And then…

    Kendry Morales mobbed

I knew they could do it.  Good luck in Toronto, guys.  I have faith.  I always do.

 

Baseball…believe in something better.

 

HELP WANTED: Closer

Closing pitcher needed.  Must know how to throw strikes.  Proven track record required.  Must be willing to walk off the mound if, in the 9th, you’ve already allowed 2 baserunners on.  Must be willing to show initiative and return to the dugout on your own.  No waiting for the Big Boss to come and get your sorry *ss.  (Note: giving up a 3 run homer will result in a suspension or possibly a trade to East Anaheim Little League.)  Nights and weekends required.  Uniform provided.  Apply in person at the Big A.  Hurry.  Please.  Next game in 30 minutes.

              brianfuentes.jpg picture by lafmyers