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A Huge, But Potentially Pyrrhic, Win For The Angels

THIRD baseman Albert Pujols celebrates his game-winning HR with fellow LEFT SIDE of the infielder Erick Aybar.
THIRD baseman Albert Pujols celebrates his game-winning HR with fellow LEFT SIDE of the infielder Erick Aybar.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations to the Angels, who are now 1-1 in recent 19 inning games. On April 29th, 2013, Brandon Moss' 2-run HR in the bottom of the 19th finally ended a marathon affair. Last night, after the Red Sox and Angels traded runs in the 14th, finally the weary Angels walked off winners when Albert Pujols led off the bottom of the 19th with a HR.

The win kept the Angels 4 back of Oakland, rather than allowing the A's to open up a 5-game lead in the AL West. What remains to be seen is what impact, if any, playing 19 innings -- that is, playing 6 hours and 31 minutes -- might have on the team going forward.

If anything is going to save the Angels it's that they have a day off on Monday. That's why they could freely use Matt Shoemaker for 3 IP last night and this morning. Shoemaker's next turn would have come up on Monday but they can skip his turn in the rotation this time around (Skip Shoemaker? Sounds familiar), or he may well be sufficiently rested by Tuesday to take his normal turn.

How did the A's and Angels each fare following last year's 19 inning marathon? The answer is: Not so well. Though they would go on to win 96 games, Oakland stumbled following that game going just 3-7 over their next 10 games and running their skid to 5-9 before righting the ship.

It went no better for the Angels. They went 2-6 over their 8 games and ran their slump to 6-11 before embarking on a winning streak that got them back on track.

The Angels' bullpen has been utterly brilliant the past 2 weeks. It has also been used and abused, with starters often going less than 6 IP and in some cases less than 2 IP (I'm looking at you, C.J.), and with a flurry of extra inning affairs not helping to rest anybody.

If anything will conspire to save the Angels from a skid they can't afford, it's the combination of Monday's day off, staying at home, and playing the lowly Phillies. That's some good fortune right there. But is it enough to stave off the "post 19 inning blues"? Time will tell. It always does.