<
>

Thoughts: Angels rally, Puig for HR Derby

Quick thoughts on Thursday's games ...

  • Down 7-0 to Felix Hernandez, the Angels pulled off the comeback of the season to win 10-9. Needless to say, this kind of thing doesn't happen every day. Hernandez had been given a seven-run lead 17 previous times in his career and never lost. It was just the sixth time in Angels franchise history that they trailed by seven runs and won. Hernandez had never allowed seven hits in an inning before and the Angels got seven in a row against him in the fifth. Baseball is amazing sometimes. One game won't turn around the Angels' season, but if they go on a run we can all point to this game. Trouble is, 12 of their next 15 games are against the Pirates, Tigers, Cardinals and Red Sox. We'll know after that 15 games if the Angels are still breathing ... or dead.

  • As for the Mariners, they're only four games ahead of the Astros and it wouldn't be a surprise to see them finish in last place. According to Defensive Runs Saved, they've been the second-worst defensive team in the league (minus-42 runs, better only than the Angels). Their offense, once again, is last in the league in runs per game. The bullpen has the second-worst ERA in the league (just head of Houston). It's a bad team, a bad product for Mariners fan to have to watch.

  • Speaking of the Astros, Carlos Pena launched this long home run to give the Astros a 7-4 win over the Brewers in 10 innings.

  • Watched some of Roy Oswalt's debut for the Rockies, and it was a strange outing. He obviouslyy showed he has something left in his right arm, striking out 11 (and walking nobody) in just five innings, often just blowing it by the Nationals. He touched 94 with his fastball, which he threw on 80 of his 101 pitches, recording 10 of his 11 strikeouts. But he also gave up nine hits and the Nats won 5-1. Here's Oswalt on his performance. Overall, I think he'll help if his health holds up; could end up being one of those great sleeper pickups.

  • Yasiel Puig continues to amaze in many ways -- he hit his sixth home run in a 6-3 loss the Padres but also struck out three times while going 1-for-5. He's yet to draw an unintentional walk in 16 games but is hitting .452. The scary thing about his hot start is he's doing this on talent alone. While he's not a wild hacker up there as you may think from the lack of walks, discipline is clearly not yet one of his strengths. If he develops that aspect of his game -- and there's no guarantee he will -- watch out. Puig is 12-for-14 when putting the first pitch in play (including four home runs, most in the majors since his recall). You'd think pitchers would stop challenging him on the first pitch. By the way: Let's put him in the Home Run Derby. Get it done, MLB.

  • Catch of the day: Twins ball boy snags a foul ball with a leaping grab. Even cooler: He's Paul Neshek, younger brother of A's reliever Pat Neshek, who had a couple tweets about the play: