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LAst Night's Action: Angels Stave Off Elimination

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LA Angels defeat Texas Rangers 7-4. Brandon Wood’s RBI single in the second inning gave the Angels the quick 1-0 lead. Nelson Cruz’s RBI single in the fourth off of Jered Weaver tied the game. Rangers’ starter Derek Holland had problems in the third inning loading the bases with two outs with Juan Rivera at the plate. Rivera hit a 3-2 ball that looked, smelled and tasted like a grand slam, but center fielder Julio Borbon with his leaping glove had other ideas snatching it and the hearts of the Angels fans. But a walk and three doubles in the fourth inning knocked Holland out of the game and gave the Angels the 4-1 lead. The Rangers though got it to 7-4 in the ninth inning and Angels’ closer Fernando Rodney wildness continued by allowing the tying run to the plate. However he struck out Mitch Moreland to end the game.

NOTABLE NOTES

NFL Thoughts. At around 1 pm yesterday while I was sitting in the Dodger Stadium press box, I heard a hissing stream of air like a blimp being deflated. I don’t make much of it, so I go into the dining room to get some water and popcorn to prepare for the Dodger game. I looked up on one of the televisions and there I saw it: my Chicago Bears had just defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the new fangled Cowboy Stadium. Then I knew it: that hissing of air were the hopes of all Cowboys fans of being the first team to go to a Super Bowl hosted in their home stadium.

Before the season I really didn’t think the hiring of new offensive coordinator Mike Martz would amount to much, but there have been a marked improvement. Interception-prone quarterback Jay Cutler went 21-for-29 for 277 yards with three touchdown passes and no interceptions. Devin Hester made an awesome catch in the endzone on a 9-yard pass by Cutler to put the Bears up 17-14 with 3:38 left in the first half, and Johnny Knox led the receiving corps catching all four passes for which he was targeted for 86 yards averaging 21.5 yards per catch.

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Despite this, I am a realist and know that the Bears aren’t as good as their 2-0 record is so far, and with a Monday night showdown next week hosting the Green Bay Packers looming it will be difficult.

No the big story is that the Cowboys are 0-2 and cannot complete drives. After an interception and punt in their first two possessions, the Cowboys looked to be all right scoring six on the following two possessions, but after that? Interception, end of half, field goal, punt, punt, missed field goal, fumble, field goal. It’s simply astonishing to see this out of a team that people thought would be a playoff contender in the NFC East.

But for the people further south on the I-45, they have to be ecstatic to see what their team did in Washington. At the end of the first half the Redskins had a 20-7 lead over the Texans. Before this season you just change the channel and move on. But the Texans rallied hard and tied the game 27-27 to get to overtime, and after exchanging possessions including an ill-advised 52-yard field goal by the Redskins, got the ball near midfield and drove down for the game winning field goal.

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub went 38-for-52 for 497 yards and three touchdowns carrying the team a week after the rushing game (24 touches for 58 yards and no touchdowns against the Redskins) kept the Indianapolis Colts at bay in Week 1.

And didn’t Michael Vick look good for the Philadelphia Eagles? 21-for-34 for 284 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 108.0 isn’t too shabby. But the player who stole that Eagles-Lions game was rookie running back Jahvid Best of the Lions. While his 17 carries for 78 yards and two touchdowns was nothing earth shattering, his nine receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown made fantasy owners either cry in despair and jump up in adulation.

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And Mark Sanchez isn’t such a chump now, is he?

TONIGHT’S ACTION

San Diego Padres (83-66) at LA Dodgers (73-77). Clayton Richard (12-8, 3.70 ERA) vs. Chad Billingsley (11-10, 3.55 ERA). 7:10 pm KCAL9, AM 790 KABC.

Texas Rangers (83-66) at LA Angels (74-76). Colby Lewis (11-12, 3.84 ERA) vs. Ervin Santana (16-9, 3.93 ERA). 7:05 pm FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.