Monday, October 26, 2009

Darren Oliver: Emerging From Baseball's Graveyard With The Angels in the ALCS

Darren OliverIn 2005, Darren Oliver couldn't find a Major League team. Fast forward 4 seasons later; Oliver played a prominent role for the Angels in the 2009 ALCS, appearing in 5 of the 6 games. Oliver pitched 2 2/3rd's innings of scoreless relief in Game 6, showing tremendous resilience after giving up 3 runs in Game 5 without retiring any batters. In 2009, Oliver lead the Angels staff in ERA (2.71) and was third in appearances with 63 games pitched. Oliver even started a game for the Halos.
After being released by the Cubs in 2005, Oliver found salvation with the Mets, signing with them for the 2006 season. Oliver became a mainstay in their bullpen, providing effective long and short relief. During the 2006 NLCS, he turned in arguably the most memorable performance by a Mets pitcher, when he relieved Steve Traschel in Game 3 to shut down the Cardinals for 6 innings. That would be Oliver's last appearance in a Mets uniform. The Mets did not resign Oliver, and he was swooped up by the Angels that off-season. He has since made three consecutive playoff appearances (2007-2009) and posted a combined record of 15-3. While fans may remember Oliver's bases clearing double he surrendered to Mark Teixeira in Game 5, don't let that overshadow Oliver's otherwise consistent production for the Angels. Not bad for a guy teams left for dead a short while ago.


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