Purgatory Online

Friday, May 14, 2004

Well, that was interesting.

Normally, when you score nine unanswered runs in the first two innings, and you've got your top-of-the-rotation guy pitching, and you've got the best bullpen in the league, you've pretty much wrapped it up. Stick a fork in it, call it a ballgame, turn out the lights 'cause the party's over, and send it out to be framed.

Apparently not.

That's two straight saves Percival's blown, and Frankie Rodriguez is starting to make him look really bad. I know that a lot of people - including me - thought that there was hope the Angels could squeeze one more year out of Percy, and two games ain't the end of the world, but at this point he's going to be under the microscope in a way he never has been before. I'm not going to make any radical suggestions about Percival based on a couple of outings, but I hope and pray that, if the time ever comes, he'll do what's right for the team.

In the meantime, he owes Chone Figgins a steak. He can get in line behind everybody else. When Eckstein lead off with a triple, I wondered if he was taking some satisfaction from the fact that discussions of his tenuous status as the lead-off hitter have made the Times two days in a row now. If so, it must have been short-lived; Figgins's triple, grand slam, and three singles made up an "anything you can do, I can do better" moment for the ages. Not that Figgins himself would see it that way, of course, but it sure was convenient to have as a point of comparison.

In any event, Texas was smacked around by the Tigers tonight, so the Angels' lead is back up to 2 1/2 games. For all the drama and black omens, tonight did the club some good, and maybe taught them that even nine-run leads need to be protected. Considering what happened the last time the Angels went to Baltimore, I'll take it.