Friday Gourmet, Wine & Angels: Yay! A Win for Ervin Santana

I was a little worried going into this series. Yes, the Rays started the season badly, but I knew that wasn’t going to continue. They have been hot, hot, hot lately – just ask the Twins – and David Prince was on the mound. But, even amid the concern, I just couldn’t imagine Ervin Santana going any longer without a win. Fortunately, that turned out to be the better instinct. Congratulations on your first win of the season, Ervin, and here’s to many more. You earned it and man were you due – see, the guys can show you love with run support too, especially when you don’t botch it with a bunch of walks. Whooo hoo!

This week’s Friday Night Ritual (wine, “gourmet” dinner and the Angels game) spread: Tapas, Tempranillo y beisbol. I was in a really good mood today and felt like playing in the kitchen, so we had quite the array of tapas to nibble on during the game – garlic sherry mushrooms; orange, rosemary and pimento marinated olives; bacon wrapped dates; costini with ricota, Spanish chorizo, arugula and a balsamic reduction; and oranges. Hey, it’s dinner for the rest of the weekend too and it succeeded in relaxing my husband who’s had a rough couple of weeks continuing to find a cubicle seat every time the music stops at work. The Tempranillo is from Paso Robles’ Bodega de Edgar, who specializes in Spanish varietals, thus securing the continuing affections of my wallet. And let me just say that it’s a good thing we have Pilates so early on Saturday, because I have Edgar’s Garancha and Albarino in the closet too and the way the game looked like it was going after those errors in the third inning, opening a few more bottles was starting to sound like a mighty fine idea.

Before and after the third inning bobbles though – two hands please Erick, two hands -things settled down into a great tight game with the Angels ultimately emerging victorious – my favorite kind. Santana pitched a good game – less walks, more Ks and quick outs. There was no keeping Ben Zobrist off of the base paths, but at least Santana held him to one hit and one walk with no RBIs. The Angels’ bats recovered nicely from their one day longer than necessary vacation. Almost everyone had multiple hits – Bobby Abreau, Torri Hunter, Mark Trumbo, Howie Kendrick, Alberto Callaspo. Trumbo’s homerun was a monster, absolutely beautiful to see. Everyone else had a hit except Jeff Mathis – come on Jeff, we know you can hit. Pretend they’re all postseason games against the Yankees, please.

Howie and Trumbo, each playing their more natural position again, and Bourjos all had great defensive games. Wells made a great play at the end. Fernando Rodney, gave us all a heart attack when his first pitch turned into a BJ Upton homerun, but mostly settled down and got the three outs we needed with only one additional hit so, yay. Jordan Walden has recovered nicely from his last appearance in which he recieved his first blown save and loss. He earned his fourth save of the season this evening, allowing only one hit. Double yay!

Our pitchers are finally starting to come back from the DL! Scott Downs pitched one inning tonight almost up to his usual level after a nasty, persistent stomach virus – one K, one walk, no hits, not runs. Joel Pinero takes the mound for the first time this season tomorrow and I loved his interview this evening. He sounds excited by the feats of Jered Weaver and Dan Haren and eager to get out there and see what he can contribute. Heck, I can’t wait for him to be fully up to his usual level. Best of luck to you tomorrow Joel! …and kindly wrap yourself in protective bubble wrap after the game. Thanks ever so. 😉



  1. blithescribe

    Ron – He he, thanks. Yeah, Price is tough and was on last night, but sometimes the Angels get to him, much to my delight of course.
    — Kristen

  2. The Cub Den

    I’ve never been a fan of California Wine at least the ones we get here at the LCBO(Liquor Control Bureau of Ontario), so what is a good California wine that you would recomend? I don’t know what kind of Canadian wines you get but if you see any from Ontario- Sandbanks is amazing!!! I doubt you’d get that there but Ontario has great wine.

    —Mark Gauthier

  3. Catherine

    Joel Pineiro needs bubble wrap, elbow pads, a helmet, a straitjacket, and to stay away from all objects that could he could possibly trip over/cut himself with/stub his toe. If he does all that, he should make it through the season just fine 😉

  4. blithescribe

    Jane – Sure thing. They’re just regular button mushrooms, though cremini would work too. I used this recipe as a starting point: But I used 1 TBSP less oil and a full pound mushrooms. Then I used two more cloves of garlic than suggested and added 4 strands of saffron at the same time as the garlic to emulate the mushrooms at a Tapas bar I like. They are good cold too, especially the next day with sandwiches or in a salad.
    Mark – Wine recommendations are so tricky because we all like different things. What don’t you like about the California wines you have tasted (too jammy?) and/or what do you usually like in a wine (Fruity? Spicy?)? That I can probably suggest something up your alley. I have heard that Ontario wines are excellent but haven’t had the opportunity yet.
    Catherine – Hmmm…that sounds a little overkill for Pineiro but right on the money for our Mighty Mice-er. But for Pineiro, definitely bubble wrap and a lot of Pilates to strengthen those darned obliques.
    Jeff – He was great last season both before and after the injury and he was really good yesterday, Shields was just better which is going to happen from time to time. I’m thrilled to have Pineiro back and expecting great things to come.
    — Kristen

  5. blithescribe

    Mark – That makes sense. I don’t know what they would sell in Ontario Paso Robles wines-wise, but as a general rule, it sounds like you would be happier with Zinfandels (not white zin, of course. The real red stuff 😉 ) and with Rhone blends than with their Cabs, Syrahs and Petite Sirahs. A few suggestions if you ever see them: Chronic Cellars Purple Paradise (it’s an absolutely yummy raspberry, blackberry with a nice counterpoint of bitter rhubarb Zinfandel with a dash of Syrah), Minassian-Young’s Black St. Peter (a predominantly Zin blend with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, this is another luscious fruit forward wine with tawny notes, by my palate at least) or Calcerous Vineyards Tres Violet (a GSM, short for Grenache/ Syrah/Mourvedre that is rich and fruity with strawberry, fig and Plum notes). Four Vines is supposed to get wider distribution up into Canada soon, though where I do not know. You would probably like their Biker and Old Vine Cuvee Zinfandels.

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