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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Perfection, Twice Interrupted: Angels 2, Diamondbacks 0

The very air is thick with perfection, or nearly so. These days, we swat perfect games aside like mosquitoes in a swamp; we have had two so far this year, Philip Humber against the Mariners and Matt Cain's against the Astros just last Wednesday. And hours ago, Ervin Santana retired the first 20 batters he faced. Justin Upton broke up the perfection with a hard-hit ground ball single up the middle, but that — and a pinch-hit walk to Miguel Montero in the top of the ninth — were all the base runners the Snakes would get; neither advanced. (My friend Kelly Brouse in Cleveland, who never gets to hear Vin Scully call games, was much disturbed that MLB Network kept cutting in to the Angels game, so much so that she cheered on Upton's single so MLBN could get back to the delivery of the Scully. I think it may be a religious experience.)

All of the Angels' scoring came in the first, when Mark Trumbo cleared the bullpen fence to give the team an early — and as it turned out, permanent and final — two-run lead. The team stranded ten runners on the night, which was a testament to Joe Saunders' skill at leaving them elsewhere, or perhaps a comment on the team's weak RISP hitting, take your pick.

Before the game, we had a fine afternoon conversation with the Baseball Prospectus west coast team, headed by Joe Hamrahi, former Register reporter Sam Miller, ex-Dodgers GM Dan Evans, Jason Martinez (of mlbdepthcharts.com), Jason Wojciechowski, and Stephani Bee. After that, Angels AGM Matt Klentak and (I believe) director of baseball operations Justin Hollander came out and discussed their roles in the organization and answered our many questions. It was great fun, and a wonderful opportunity. Joe expressed to me the hope that they're going to do one of these in August for the Dodgers, which will for sure get me out to the park.

ESPN BoxAngels recap

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