Thursday, July 07, 2005

Halos Take Two of Three from Twins

Garrett Anderson was Mr. Incredible yesterday, depositing a two-out two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh off Minnesota starter Johan Santana to give the Angels their first lead of the game. Then in the top of the eighth it was Anderson gunning down Michael Ryan at the plate to snuff out a Twins rally and help to preserve a tenuous 7-6 Halo victory. Ryan represented the tying run and was trying to score from third on a fly-out but Anderson threw a bullet just wide of the plate but catcher Jose Molina made a great catch-and-tag to complete the double play. It was Ryan's birthday but I don't think he appreciated the gift(s) that Anderson and the Angels bestowed on him and the Twins Wednesday.

Angel starter Paul Byrd was bailed out by Anderson after going 6.2 innings while surrendering 5 runs on 5 hits. Byrd has had a great month, not losing since a June 7th game against Atlanta where he gave up just 3 runs on 9 hits. Over the past month Byrd is 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA and one of the reasons the Angels have now opened a 8.5 game lead over second-place Texas. Of course one of the other reasons in Anderson who is having a memorable 2005 campaign. The Angel left-fielder is hitting .311 with 11 HR and 64 RBI in 80 games this season. Compare that with just 75 RBI in Anderson's injury shortened 112 games last year. GA in on pace for the most runs-batted-in in a season since his 123 RBI efforts in 2001 & 2002. Last week in a game against the Dodgers Anderson recorded the 1,000 RBI of his career and suddenly (at least to me) Garrett is within grasp of stats that no other Angel has dreamed of. Consider that Anderson celebrated his 33rd birthday last week and is putting-up the best numbers of his career and that in 2006 (barring injury) GA should record his 2,000 hit and 250th home-run. Further, if he can have, say, five more similarly productive years he could have 3,000 hits and 300 HR's. Instant first-ballot with those numbers. But five more productive years are certainly no given particularly with a guy already afflicted with arthritis. But then again, it could happen...

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