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Monday, May 12, 2008

The Once And Future Vlad: Angels 10, White Sox 7

This game's centerpiece, of course, is Vlad's three-run jack in the fifth, a long fly that, for all it left the park, didn't get out by very much. Nevertheless it was Vlad's best game since his three-RBI, three-hit game against the Twins on April 1; he drove in four, a season high, and the importance of a revitalized Vlad can't be overstated right now. Garret Anderson's RBI triple was also an impressive piece of both hitting and baserunning, especially considering the Sox has played him on the "no doubles" defense; his hit perfectly split the alley, and Anderson was already to second by the time the Sox got to the ball.

Nick Adenhart got his first major league win, easily his best major league appearance to date. He wasn't always sharp, but when he was it was impressive, as in his punchout of Jermaine Dye; the first two pitches dropped in the dirt but Nick got Dye looking on a fastball at the knees.

Chris Bootcheck actually managed to avoid (though just barely) allowing his two inherited baserunners to score, but they advanced on a passed ball, a really sloppy catch by Mike Napoli. Bootcheck also walked the bases loaded but got out of the jam by striking out Old Friend Orlando Cabrera looking.

Boots had a 1-2-3 seventh, but his eighth was an example of why you don't want him in your bullpen for critical situations, eventually allowing the Sox to nudge closer. If this had been a closer game, it's likely the Angels would have lost. Even Scot Shields, who's had a good year this year, ended up getting yanked after getting into a jam. Certainly, the bullpen will be mix-and-match for the rest of the season, as it's unclear whence help will be forthcoming.

P.S. Matt Brown got the golden sombrero. Yikes.

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re: Dye's strikeout. maybe you were at the game, but to sat the first two pitches "dropped in the dirt" is putting it midly. from my viewpoint on Extra Innings, the first two bounced several feet in front of the plate along with being about 2 feet outside.

seeing is believing - young Nick definitely has some control problems with the good arm and he needs to get that 21 yr old body more steadily repeating his motion.

i'm glad the Angels have anough depth to get him back to AAA for a good spell. I'd hate to see his confidence wane and affect the obvious talent he has.

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