Notes from Tempe, Day 5

This will have to be a quick entry as I have an early flight.

Al Michaels famously posed the question, “Do you believe in miracles?”

It doesn’t quite rank with the U.S. Olympic hockey team beating the Soviet Union in 1980, but as things go today’s six-run rally by the Angels in the bottom of the 9th to beat the Cubs 9-8 was a rather significant achievement.

The Angels’ starting lineup:

1. Andrew Heid RF
2. P.J. Phillips DH
3. Travis Witherspoon CF
4. Gabe Jacobo LF
5. Jean Segura SS
6. Kole Calhoun 1B
7. Jeremy Cruz 3B
8. Carlos Ramirez C
9. Wes Hatton 2B
P. Fabio Martinez

Martinez was followed by Matt Oye, Loek Van Mil, Aaron Meade and Kevin Johnson.

There was little reason to believe the Angels would win. Martinez gave up three runs in the first, and going into the bottom of the 7th the Angels were down 8-2. They scratched out a run to cut the deficit to five runs, but going into the bottom of the 9th it seemed that this meaningless instructional league game would quickly end.

And then … a miracle happened.

Click here to watch the 9th inning rally. Windows Media Player and a broadband (cable modem, DSL) Internet connection required.

As you watch, here are the players and what happened in sequence:

1. Travis Witherspoon leads off with a triple.
2. Gabe Jacobo (who homered earlier in the game) reaches on an infield single. Witherspoon holds at 3rd.
3. Wendell Soto singles. Witherspoon scores. Jacobo advances to 3rd. Soto advances to 2nd on the throw.
4. Eric Oliver singles. Jacobo scores. Soto advances to 3rd. Oliver advances to 2nd and Soto scores on a wild throw.
5. Kaleb Cowart singles. Oliver advances to 2nd.
6. Roberto Lopez doubles. Oliver and Cowart score.
7. Wes Hatton singles. Lopez advances to 3rd.
8. Andrew Heid lines out to right. Lopez scores.

Let’s not overlook the second-inning homer by Gabe Jacobo. Click here to watch.

I head home in the morning with lots of photos and video to process. I got some photos of everyone who played in the last five games, and video of every pitcher. It will take a while to get it all online, so monitor the FutureAngels.com home page for updates.

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