Angels Take Opener in Seattle

By Michael Hllywa

I’ve gotta admit, it’s much nicer to write one of these things after an Angels win. Especially when said win comes in a game started by Felix Hernandez. Hey, Felix, neener neener neener.

The should-have-been-starting-all-season-instead-of-Joe-Blanton starter for the Angels tonight, Garrett Richards, had himself another solid outing. He threw 7.1 innings of shutout ball, striking out four while walking two and allowing four hits. I may not necessarily like Richards, but there’s no excuse for letting Joe Blanton pitch like he has this season while wasting a young arm in the bullpen. None.

Things got scary in the eighth inning, though. Dustin Ackley smoked a line drive back up the middle that hit Richards on the right forearm. He was immediately removed from the game, making way for Dane De La Rosa. X-Rays will almost assuredly be taken. But, as of now, the team is just saying that he has a contusion.

Here’s a sentence I never thought that I would write: All of the Angels offense tonight was provided by Chris Nelson.

Alas, it’s true. Two batters after Josh Hamilton led off the inning with a single to right field, Nelson blasted his third home run of the season to left center field. The long ball gave the Angels a 2-0 lead, and was more than enough against the Mariners typically weak offense. And for the first time since August 2nd, Ernesto Frieri recorded a save, striking out the side in the ninth inning to slam the door shut on the Mariners.

Other than Richards being removed from the game, the sour note was that, upon his return to the lineup, Mike Trout went 0-4, snapping his on-base streak. the 40-game streak is second only to Orlando Cabrera‘s 63 game streak. At least Trout is back.

More baseball tomorrow as the Angels send Jason Vargas to the mound to face Erasmo Ramirez. Game time is at 6:05 PM PST. Light up that baby….er, no. Baby up that light….no no no. Light that baby up….there we go. It’s been awhile, I couldn’t remember the catch phrase.