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Saturday, June 06, 2009

A (Nose)bleeder And A Groundout: Angels 2, Tigers 1

Ervin Santana had a cotton wad stuffed in his snoot following a nose bleed that started before the game. The wound bled so profusely he had to change cotton between innings, but somehow he found his breaking stuff, the missing velocity on his heater, and his A-grade command, getting seven strikeouts over eight and two-thirds innings, his longest game since a 2-1 road win over Seattle on September 22, 2008.

Not to say that it was all roses and rainbows; the Angels squandered the few opportunities they had against Justin Verlander, failing to advance Bobby Abreu from first with one out in the first, unable to get Chone Figgins in from second with one out in the third, Kendrick erasing himself at second on a caught stealing to end the fifth, Bobby Abreu caught napping and getting picked off second in the sixth, and finally, Vlad hitting into a double play with one out and men on the corners in the eighth — on the first pitch.

But for the second night running, Howard Kendrick redeemed himself by pushing across a vital insurance run. This time, it was in the top of the ninth, hacking a chopper off the plate so high that the only play was to first. The first run came on a Juan Rivera single earlier in the frame, but it turned out that Kendrick's run was the difference, because Santana gave up a run in the bottom of the frame on a single to Magglio Ordonez. That brought in Brian Fuentes, who did manage to save the game by getting Curtis Granderson to foul out to Figgins, the latter making an acrobatic catch in the stands.

So that would be three straight the Angels have won in a row; one more and they can equal their longest win streak of the year, a four-game stretch from May 7 through May 10 against Toronto and Kansas City.

Welcome back, Ervin.

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He's still missing his fastball velocity. The slider velocity is also down.

He needs to be looked at.
His FB velocity was at 93 according to Gameday, and the stadium gun clocked him at 94.

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