“I haven't seen a team that excited to beat the Astros since the White Sox in the 2005 World Series." I read that comment the other day and laughed. As an Angels fan in Texas, you hear lots of comments like this…
Angels fans came into this season with high hopes, their team had signed the biggest free agent on the market and they were going to dominate the American League West this year! Sound familiar? As a fan myself I had grand illusions just like everyone else, I couldn’t imagine that ten games into the season I’d feel the way I felt. Whatever amount of anger and despair can be felt at this point in a baseball season was felt by each and every Angels fan. There are sky high expectations so what on earth is wrong with this team?
Only nine games into the season the lineup that took the field on opening day is 1/3 injured with Jered Weaver, Erick Aybar and Alberto Callaspo all hurt to some degree. Add to this the fact that Trout and Hamilton both were off to pretty slow starts and you’ve got a recipe for stress pudding! On opening day would you have imagined that these guys all started for the Angels on Saturday night? J. B. Shuck, Andrew Romine and Luis Jimenez not to mention a guy named Michael Roth pitched the last two innings! Have you heard of all of them? Probably not!
Any fan, of any baseball team, whose team started out with the expectations that the Angels did this season and then started as badly as the Angels have this season would’ve responded the same way that I’m guessing all Angels fans did when Albert Pujols doubled in Luis Jimenez and Mike Trout in the walk off win on Saturday night. The Angels needed a moment in time, they needed something, anything! They needed that breakthrough, that turning point to break the chains that felt like they had tied this team up and thrown it into a lake, and that happened on Saturday night!
As the Angels entered the ninth inning it seemed as they were going to just fall short again and that the agony would continue. But this game had been different, it seemed as if the Angels were getting close but just missing something. It seemed as though they were going to explode, I don’t know about you but I sensed it. When Hernandez walked and Trout got his infield hit it just seemed like something good was going to happen, and boy did it!
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon and Josh Hamilton hit his second homer and drove in three runners while Mike Trout hit his first homer and scored three times and the Angels have now won two games in a row and won their first series of the season! Even though it’s only the Astros, every game matters. You can downplay the significance of two victories against the lowly Houston Astros but when you are clinging to hope by a thread then you will take it and celebrate it with all your might! Just like every Angels fan did this weekend!
You can say that it looked like the Angels won the World Series on Saturday night against the Astros, and maybe it did but I can tell you this, you’ve got to start somewhere and the Angels started against the Astros. Is this the victory that swings things the Angels way? Is this the series that got the motors of Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton cranked up? Time will tell and it’s going to be a fun ride that’s for sure!
Calm down, it’s just the Astros?! I don’t think I will!