Monday, September 19, 2005

Friday night was a frustrating but much-needed win for the Angels, as the bullpen held on after John Lackey gutted through seven subpar innings. It was nice to see the Lads pull out a game that saw a bad start from a pitcher, as that sort of thing hasn't seemed to have happened very much lately. It was also good to see John Lackey not have a total meltdown while pitching poorly, which used to be his M.O.

Saturday I got to see my Bruins show a bunch of people that they're for real. Yes, Oklahoma is not up to their normal standards, but they still have one of the best running backs in the country and a formidable defense. That defense took Maurice (Jones-)Drew out of the game for about three-and-a-half quarters, putting the game in the hands of Drew Olson and the passing offense.

No problem: Olson had a great day, spreading the ball around like no one's business. Despite losing top receiver Junior Taylor for the season on the second play of the game, UCLA was able to move the ball through the air with relative ease, with standout performances from Marcus Everett and Marcedes Lewis; even Joe Cowan, who struggled in the season opener, made some big catches. On defense, safety Dennis Keyes made two significant and game-turning hits, and the front seven's athleticism kept Adrian Petersen from turning the corner all too often. And when the Bruin o-line finally got things together in the last few minutes of the game, Drew was able to break a run and redeem his stat line for the day, sealing the well-earned 41-24 victory. As someone who has been a big supporter of both Drew Olson and Karl Dorrell from their respective Days One, I was gratified to see the big win.

I was in such a good mood that I couldn't even get upset at the ineptitude of the Angel offense Saturday night. Ervin Santana pitched well, and the offense finally crawled together in the eighth to pick up the winning runs. That momentum carried over to yesterday, where the Lads jumped out to a big enough lead to let The Wyrd just do his thing and notch another Halo victory.

While we didn't look spectacular in beating a bad team, what counts is that we did what we were supposed to do and now have a two-game lead in the standings. This team is finally showing some of that late-inning fight that has characterized some of the better Angel squads, and it's not a moment too soon. I'm a bit worried about Joe Saunders against the Texas lineup, and the Rangers are streaking right now, but the Angels need to step up and extend this lead as much as possible.

UPDATE: I'm a moron. As pointed out in the comments section, we're skipping Saunders to start Bartolo tomorrow.

No worries - Saunders is being skipped and Bartolo is throwing Tuesday (on normal rest) and Lackey is throwing Wednesday. Thursday's starter has yet to be decided.
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