By Brian Waller, AngelsWin.com Columnist
This team has grit! I stared at my computer screen for a few minutes, typed a few different opening statements but none of them really did justice for what occurred last night. As fantasy baseball GM's and self-professed experts of the game, we all try to pick apart and analyze each series, each game and each inning...we are die-hard baseball fans, it's what we do. We can delve into the team statistics during this recent hot streak and debate and disagree on who should and shouldn't be starting but I think we can all agree, something special has been going on with this team for the last week or so and it really showed last night.
I've said it before and I will continue to say it, the Angels' 2012 season is like a wild roller coaster ride that is filled with dramatic drops and unexpected turns. Just when the Angels appear to be out of it, just when fans accuse them of playing uninspired baseball and not having a passion to win, they roll off 7 consecutive wins capped by an amazing win over the Yankees last night in front of 44,016 at the "Big A". Last night's game was one of the most amazing games I have seen in a long time, the Halos had no business winning but somehow...someway they managed. With staff ace Jered Weaver leaving the game in the 1st inning with an injury and being down 3-0 early against the Yankees, it would have been real easy for the Halos to curl up and take a New York beat down by Jeter and company but they didn't, they persevered. Led by a gutsy pitching performance from Bobby Cassevah and big hits from Kendrys Morales, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo the Halos just refused to give up.
Earlier in the season, when faced with adversity the Angels showed little fight; leads were blown, the offense sputtered and the rotation was ineffective. This team however appears to be maturing right in front of us; their confidence in themselves and one another grows with each game, each inning, each out. The 11th inning win against the Oakland A's last Wednesday and the come from behind win against the Seattle Mariners this past Friday where the team scored 3 runs in the 9th inning show that this team believes in their abilities and won't stop fighting. When looking at the game logs at the end of the season, yesterday's win might look like just another game but it was a lot more than that. It, along with the current win streak has been the turning point in the Angels' season. I say that not because statistically this team is better than it was the previous 43 games before the streak but because they are finally playing together with a passion for the first time in my opinion. I'm not saying the team won't lose games or series the remainder of the season, it would be nearly impossible for that to happen but I think many of you would agree that if the Halos continue to play collectively as well as they have been playing then the team will win its fair share of games from this point on and make a strong playoff push.
As a fan it's easy to get wrapped up in how the team performs on the field, when they underachieve we cry that the sky is falling and when they win on a consistent basis we sing their praises from the highest mountain top. Regardless if you are take a wait and see approach or if you firmly believe the team has turned the corner, it is very apparent the Angels have a fire for the first time this season. That fire is very reminiscent of a certain 2002 club that had a never say die attitude no matter what they had to overcome.