Finally, the M's catch a break with the Angels, who lose to the Cardinals 9-6. Now just 4.5 games back after another gutty one-run win. How about Bloomquist stealing third there to set up the go-ahead run? Stellar.
I'll hopefully have some more thoughts on the game later tonight, but this is the one thought that already keeps sticking with me: I don't know how this team keeps doing it. The M's just keep figuring out ways to pull out wins, and that's as good an indication of a good ball club as any, in my book.
By the way, after watching him mow down the Padres again, is there any better closer in baseball right now than J.J. Putz? Jeff Sullivan over at Lookout Landing doesn't think so:
In save situations, opposing batters are hitting just .083/.154/.150 off of JJ Putz, with four walks and 18 strikeouts in 60 at bats. In one-run games, that batting line is .107/.167/.143, with two and ten in 28. In twelve plate appearances with two outs and runners in scoring position, Putz has yet to allow a baserunner. On zero days' rest, he's given up one hit in 5.2 shutout innings. I could keep listing off stat after stat, but instead I'm just going to say this: JJ Putz is the best closer in baseball. He's not pitching on a level all his own, but among the elites, he's currently the leader. With the game on the line, there's no one I'd rather have on the mound.He made the Padres look silly in the 9th, and he seems to only be getting stronger as the year goes along. Seriously, he might already be the best closer in team history. I know we all have a soft spot in our hearts for Sasaki, but c'mon: The Kaz-man was heartburn city more often than not. Whenever Putz comes to the mound, you just know the game is over. He's that good -- and I'm not sure I can say that about any other guy who's ever held that role for the M's.
Anyway, more to come later. Enjoy the sweep.