Number thirty-two in a series.
Broadcast: Los Angeles Angels on FSN West, Angels at Oakland, 9/17/08; Announcers: Steve Physioc (play-by-play), Rex Hudler (analyst)
First to clinch a playoff spot, last to be reviewed here. No offense, Los Angeles/California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It was just the luck of the draw. And I know this is short, but I’ve run out of words.
This was a typical game you often see in September when teams aren’t playing for much more than pride. The Angels, having cruised to the AL West title and preparing for the postseason, rested half of their regulars. The Athletics, relegated to also-ran status since trading two starting pitchers before the trade deadline, featured a lot of young players in their lineup.
That didn’t matter to Rex Hudler, though. His enthusiasm is off the charts. Unfortunately, he also throws in a few “we” references when discussing the Angels, as when he said he hoped the Angels met Boston in the first round of the playoffs because “we owe them.” But he was properly critical of a player who didn’t run out a ground ball hard enough, and he and Steve Physioc mesh well. I think this isn’t an act with Hudler -- he really is that energetic.
In the bottom of the 9th Oakland’s Daric Barton led off with a single to left. The Angels’ Gary Matthews Jr. threw the ball in, and somehow it got away and Barton advanced to second. I say “somehow” because the camerawork on the play was atrocious. They didn’t show whether the ball was thrown wildly or was mishandled by an infielder. It wasn’t caught live, and the replay merely repeated the same camera views just shown, instead of finding an angle that showed clearly what happened. Grade: B-minus.