This is exactly what Angel fans were waiting for. Forget the sweep of the A's, the four wins on a six-game homestand or even Kendry Morales' continued torrid pace--fans were waiting on the pitching.
On this homestand, the Angels finally delivered.
It's no secret that this team will only go as far as their pitching will take them. The 2010 Angels are not Murderers' Row, they are more Punch and Judy... well, one Punch thus far in Morales, and a whole lot of Judys. The Angels are a singles hitting team. Think back to Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin as the "Two Wild and Crazy Guys" for SNL for the best Angels hitter analogy there is.
While Georg and Yortuk Festrunk were two single guys looking for a good time, Angels hitters are a bunch of single hitters hoping for a good hit in the gap. Like the Festrunk brothers, they haven't been getting to home plate with much consistency.
No, this team it a team built around the pitching staff, right, Mike Scioscia?
"We're only going to go as far as our starting pitchers perform, and if this weekend is any indication, we're starting to make some strides forward," Manager Mike Scioscia said after yesterday's game.
See, told you. The problem thus far is that the pitching has stunk. Angels hitting could be better, too, but they are what they are. If the team was going to salvage the season, it needed to be the pitchers--the starters specifically--who took the lead.
In the 15 games the team has played in May, Angel starters have delivered 10 quality starts and a 3.26 ERA.
Not to say that the season is officially salvaged and my finger is finally off the panic button... it's not. This does represent a good move in the right direction, however. But now comes the real test: Can they sustain it on the road?
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The Halos' last trip away from Anaheim didn't go too well, remember?
What makes the most recent road trip all the more telling is that it kicks off against the division-leading Texas Rangers. Games won are always a plus, games won against division rivals, especially against rivals that you are looking up at in the standings, are plus-squared.
A sweep of the two game series in Texas will put the Angels 1/2 game from first place, give them a five game winning streak and provide enough of a pulse to appease the masses.
Georg and Yortuk would be proud!