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9/22: Open Game Thread

First Pitch: 12:55pm PDT


Ichiro CF Figgins RF Beltre DH Cabrera SS Ibanez "LF" Guerrero DH Guillen RF Anderson LF Broussard 1B Kotchman 1B Johjima C Izturis 3B Lopez 2B Matthews CF Ballgame 3B Kendrick 2B Betancourt SS Mathis C ---------- ----------

Batista (14-11, 4.51)       Colon (6-7, 6.68)

To cover yesterday's stuff:

Biggest Contribution: Jarrod Washburn, +39.6%
Biggest Suckfest: Ichiro, -8.3%
Most Important AB: Beltre double, +14.4%
Most Important Pitch: Kendrick DP, +11.6%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): +40.8%
Total Contribution by Hitters: +9.0%
Total Contribution by Opposition: +0.2%

(What is this chart?)

Standing outside the main gate before the game, our group was confronted by an effervescent evangelist who asked if we were going to heaven. I thought to myself, "is this guy for real, or have the Angels gotten really pretentious about what they call their ballpark?"

It was great to meet everyone who showed up - especially Jeff, who gets a special thanks for driving. I'll readily admit that throughout the day I was less than excited about paying money to watch the Angels clinch, even debating whether or not to wear my jersey, but the neat thing about low expectations is that they're easy to exceed, and that was a terrific ballgame from start to finish. The only things the capacity crowd had to cheer about all night were a Vidro double play, a good running catch by GA, and a fireworks show that was seemingly identical to another taking place at Disneyland a few blocks away. We didn't have so much as a single nervous moment. The Guillen home run was a nice touch. Jarrod Washburn clearly didn't want to lose the clinching game, although if he possesses this ability, you wonder why he can't pitch with it more often. The Mariners need to hire a motivation specialist.

Mike Scioscia pinch-hit for Reggie Willits against Brandon Morrow. That was funny to me. A casual survey of the seats found a ton of Vlad jerseys, a bunch of Erstads, a couple Salmons, one Willits, and zero Guillens. Saw surprisingly little GA apparel, although I wasn't looking too hard. I'll give Angels fans one thing - they're way better at turning out in red than we are at turning out in blue. It's a dumb crowd, like ours, but a supportive one. Not to be deterred by the final score, a few of them still gave us some shit after the game, but trash talk falls silently upon the ears of those with no confidence or morale. I probably think the Mariners are a worse organization than these people do.

The rain held off long enough for the game to go by sans interruption (the "worst storm Southern California's seen in more than two decades" gave us a Thursday and Friday of warm temperatures and clear skies). It did, however, pick up in full force as we were walking back from JT Schmid's - thanks to scareduck for that recommendation - a few hours later. Anaheim just couldn't stand to have me pay a visit without giving me at least one bad experience. I can't remember the last time it rained that hard down here, and the worst bits of the storm seemed to last just long enough to accompany us all the way from the bar to the parking lot. Nice try, Anaheim, but you have not broken my spirit. There's no more spirit left to break. You already crushed it into a million little pieces last June.

So the Angels didn't clinch. They're going to, quite possibly today, but I won't see them do it in person. All things considered, a successful Friday.