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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Hey, Baby, It's The Fourth Of July: Angels 8, Blue Jays 2

The Jays are a wreck this year, Ricciardi having made bets on the wrong trades (Glaus is performing much better than Rolen, though there's some talk that new manager Cito Gaston has patched that a bit by moving Rolen down the order), and the offense has collapsed just in general. There's talk that the Jays want to dump the injury-prone and decreasingly short-ranged Eckstein so they can make a run at a shortstop elsewhere.

One thing the Jays have had, though, has been good starting pitching, though that wasn't the case tonight; A.J. Burnett gave up all eight runs, six earned due to errors by his keystone men in the second and sixth. From Torii Hunter's one-out solo homer in the second on, the Angels led, powered in part by a fine three-RBI outing by Howie Kendrick, his first such of the year. Weaver pitched a very solid game, the best, in fact, that I think I've had the privilege of watching this year. He got first-pitch strikes in to 21 of the 29 batters he faced — hooray! — and didn't get into any jams until the eighth, which was questionable considering his pitch count.

Vlad even managed a couple of hits, including a double leading off the sixth; there's an argument that should have been a caught ball by right fielder Alex Rios. But Rios took a bad route and misread the ball, which carried in the warm night more than he expected, and off his glove the ball bounced, with Vlad scurrying to second easily. Hunter reached on Marco Scutaro's error at short, and Gary Matthews unexpectedly rolled a double down the left field line to cash in Vlad. In the eighth, the Angels assembled another rally capped by Garret Anderson's two-run jack that propelled the team to an 8-0 lead. It was pretty odd to see Cito Gaston leaving the by then thoroughly hammered Burnett in the game, but I suppose there's no sense wasting a bullpen arm on a lost game.

And yeah, the fireworks after the game were pretty cool.

ESPN BoxMLB.com recap

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