Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Santana Bails Out His Offensive Offense: Angels 3, Tigers 2
All of this is to say that, given the team is struggling to score runs, why is Gary Matthews, Jr. playing ahead of Reggie Willits? While I think everyone knows the answer to that is the silly contract handed out to GMJ, the real danger here is that one or two hits if sufficiently located will continue to get him playing time. If you're going to stick a weak stick in left, doesn't it make sense to put the highest OBP one there? It was no coincidence that Willits provided the rally-sparking infield single in the eighth, pinch-hitting for the hapless Brandon Wood. Matthews should be close to playing himself out of a job (and frankly, off the team), but for the team's veteran fetish. The Angels won on a pair of singles, Garret Anderson's in the eighth and Matthews' in the ninth. I'll complain about the team's lack of power after they start showing they can even hit.
Ervin Santana, therefore, almost had to pitch a complete game shutout. The CG he got, but not the shutout, as he allowed a two-run jack in the second to Miguel Cabrera. Aside from that, he faced the minimum, so only 29 batters came to the plate. That, darlings, is something special, and one of the best outings we've seen from him all year. (A special word to his catcher, Jeff Mathis, part of the offensive cipher at the bottom of the lineup, but who caught Curtis Granderson stealing on an 0-0 count pitchout in the sixth. He was out by a step or two, from memory.) A good show, and especially necessary considering yesterday's extra-innings game.