A un-remarkably familiar version of the LA Angels showed up between the tarps and the sewage tonight in Oakland. It's the one that gets on base with regularity, comes to bat with those runners standing out there, ripe for the offing, and fails to timely produce. In fact, 7 Halos came to the plate with runners on base at one point or another. C.J. Cron left 4 of them out there. Erick Aybar, Grant Green, David "Clutch" Freese and Howie Kendrick each left 3. Albert Pujols and Raul Ibanez were practically pikers, stranding only 1.
Tyler Skaggs, 5th man in our starting rotation, plowed hard through the first 6 innings against the run-scoring demons in green and gold and held a 3-1 lead. Come the 7th, his tank ran empty. A home run to Kyle Banks, followed by singles from Coco Crisp and Nick Punto, and Skaggs retired to the dugout. In stepped Joe Smith. Nice and fresh for just this occasion.
But Smith came not from the bullpen of recent success, but from the one of less favorable memories. And he led a parade of failure all too familiar for those of us that lived close enough to the 2013 edition of this franchise. Five A's crossed the plate while Smith was in command, and it was all over except for the additional scoring to be had against Michael Kohn and Jarrett Grube, who did get a front seat of a Yoenis Cespedes 3-run home run on his sixth pitch of the night.
Bummer that. Bummer all that. The Angels lose 11-3, and nobody is going to believe that it was really close. Really, really close.