At least the Angels have one lefty who can get the job done on a semi-consistent basis. Jason Vargas may not be the flashiest pitcher on the team. But he has been getting the job done as this marks fourth Angels win in his last five starts. But just as impressive as Vargas was today, the Angels patience at the plate was just as uplifting.
The Chicago White Sox sent Jake Peavy to the mound on Sunday, and it seems that Chris Iannetta‘s patient approach is rubbing off on the rest of the team. As a whole, the offense worked six walk in yesterday’s game, two of which came with the bases loaded, and one of those was to Erick Aybar on a 3-2 count with two outs. Yes sir, Erick Aybar drew a bases loaded walk on a full count with two outs. Even Josh Hamilton drew a walk today. Alright, now this is just getting weird.
The Angels got the scoring started in the third inning when Erick Aybar doubled home Iannetta and J.B. Shuck. The following inning, Peavy gave up one hit, but walked four batters (including the two previously mentioned with the bases loaded). Even Joe Blanton hasn’t been that erratic……..OK, that’s not fair to Peavy. But this was the kind of inning that we have been seeing play out against the Angels all season long, it was nice to see the offense force the pitcher to come to them yesterday afternoon.
The Pale Hose wouldn’t be kept off of the scoreboard forever, though. After hurling seven scoreless innings and striking out seven hitters, Vargas was pulled for Dane De La Rosa, who decided that shutouts are just too mainstream. A one-out Alex Rios double got the Sox on the board, and the goose egg off of the jumbotron. De La Rosa was then pulled in favor of Scott Downs who struck out Adam Dunn. He was then pulled, and Ernesto Frieri was brought in to finish off the inning. Howie Kendrick got that run back plus one when he doubled home Mark Trumbo and Josh Hamilton in the bottom of the eighth.
Of course, this game couldn’t be completely stress free, could it? Frieri, of course, came back out for the ninth, and forgot where the strike zone was. A 25-pitch ninth that included three walks (Including the second walk of the season to Jeff Keppinger) and one sacrifice fly. There stand a good chance that Frieri is already getting tired from the workload that he has been carrying over the last few weeks, but he is going to have to bear down and deal with it, at least for another week or so. The bottom line is, however, that Frieri did get the job done and he recorded his ninth save of the season in the process.
That makes two wins in a row, leaving the Angels one win away from being on another “winning streak.” They’ll look to keep their good fortunes rolling on Tuesday after Monday’s off-day when they send Jerome Williams to the mound to battle Aaron Harrang and the Seattle Mariners.