After last years "Snuggie" night and this evenings Nacho Libre night, nothing r..."/> After last years "Snuggie" night and this evenings Nacho Libre night, nothing r..."/>

Surprise! Surprise!


After last years “Snuggie” night and this evenings Nacho Libre night, nothing really catches me by surprise anymore.

That is, until I caught first glimpse of the halos lineup card this afternoon and saw that Howie Kendrick, never having played an inning of  professional baseball in the outfield, was slated as the Angels starting left fielder.  With the temporary loss of Vernon Wells in left field and the chance to capitalize on a struggling John Danks (now 0-6 in 8 starts), what may have seemed like a practical joke now looks like comedic genius.  Scioscia has the last laugh after all…

The Halo offense sure stepped it up tonight, looking like a team full of hungry rookies.  Oh wait, that is exactly what they are!  Every single batter in the Angels lineup had at least one hit tonight, with the exception of 2.  Peter Bourjos, though 0-3 in tonights matchup, is still batting .291 on the season.  Slightly more impressive with Peter’s speed is the rapid rate at which he is striking out.  With 2 more K’s in tonights game, that brings his total to a whopping 40 in 37 games.  No worries though, as long as he continues to dazzle with his Edmonds-like defense in CF, we will continue to look the other way and not pay notice that he is on pace to strikeout 175 times this year.  The only other batter to not reach base safely in this contest was, of course, Jeff Mathis.  A once fan favorite, now playing second fiddle to Hank Conger it seems, has lost his place in the hearts of Angel’s fans everywhere (myself included).  His 0-5 in this series thus far brings his season average to .186, only slightly worse than his career average of .198, so you know he’s bound to turn things around.

Wait, what in the world am I saying?  Turn things around?  I will be the first to offer to buy Jeff a drink, help him pack his things, and drive him to the train station.  That is how they used to do things right?  What in the world is the holdup with this guy?  Conger clearly has what it takes to play at this level and Mathis is a constant reminder of why players like Brandon Wood just aren’t worth the wait.

Regardless, whether Mathis can hit or not… the rest of the Angels showed tonight that they are clearly dialed in as of late.  Tonight’s 12-36 line brings the team average up to a league leading .271, with contributions from some of the leagues hottest hitters.  Erick Aybar, though 1-5 tonight, is still batting a resounding .344.  Bobby Abreu and Maicer Izturis were both 2-5 in the game, with a combined 3 runs between them, 1 on the solo shot by Izturis (his 3rd of the year).  Torii Hunter and left fielder Howie Kendrick (it’s just fun to say isn’t it) combined for the teams 3 additional runs, both going 2-4 in the contest.  Perhaps a breakout performance of sorts was had by Callaspo, who was also 2-4 in the game, and was responsible for 3 of the teams RBI’s (a season high).

Joel Pineiro capped off a stellar performance, as he always seems to do at the Big A.  The win tonight brings his record at home with the Angels to 8-2 with an ERA of 2.18.  Clearly theres something about pitching in Anaheim that Joel seems to feed off of, be it the masks or the matchups, we may never know.  One thing is for certain though… he’s a winner at home… and a winner tonight!  Light up the halo baby!  The Angels spanked the Dank!