Well, that was exciting…and unexpected. I feel that I must Internet-prove my enthusiasm.
Now, CAPS LOCK off, resume Shift key usage as normal.
Some people out there will say they watch baseball precisely because it's boring. Only when you have a long baseline of routine, predictable, unexciting experiences can you appreciate the transcendent drama in the sublime instants like that one. I'm not really one of those people. I like the slow grind, like the cartoon dad in his bathrobe and hideous argyles, slow-browsing the same stock prices again and again every morning, patiently waiting for the patterns to appear. But tonight, I don't just care.
So, yeah, by the time the eighth inning started, Chris Sale looked set for a complete-game shutout. I had already resigned myself to diving in the dumpster behind the punnery for some stupid headline about the "Clouseout Sale" or the "Angels AWOLNATION" or one of those even more terrible "sailing" songs from the eighties that you haven't heard since the last time you had to wait in the dentist's office. I'm honestly not all that clear what else happened tonight, which is not unusual in itself, just that this time those memories got overwritten instead of never being formed at all.
Remind me again. It's 5-1 with none out in the eighth—a run has already scored, don't remember how, the drinking has already started. Then Howie Kendrick stacks the sacks with what looks like a pretty terrific AB for the butt of all those "future batting title" jokes. Chris Sale is already at like, 105 pitches or so, the reliever is ready…and Robin Venture leaves him out there against Mike Trout. Of course he's the guy you want hitting if you're the Angels, but Sale might also be the guy you want pitching too. Yeah, it probably makes sense to bring in the righty, but maybe not as much sense as it does in hindsight. Sale is pretty much the truth in case you haven't been paying attention.
Trout quickly goes 0-2 on a couple of fouls. He's right on them, but it's still 0-2, where the probability of an out jumps to like 80%. Here comes the waste pitch, nearly plunks him, okay, whatever, he'll just waste another. Suddenly between another foul and a close take it's 3-2 and anything can happen. A changeup, low, probably still in the strike zone—really good pitch, you could still take your pride with you back to the dugout after striking out on that one, swinging or looking. Somehow Trout puts the bat on it, launches it in into the alley but it's too high, someone is going to run it down out there, and then it just drops onto the rock pile. The CAPS LOCK goes on in your head.
I suppose there's still that other rally with two outs to pull ahead, and a refreshingly forgettable (i.e. uneventful) appearance from Ernesto Frieri in the ninth, but what is there to say, besides "MIKEF**CKINGTROUT"?
Well, there was that bat that hit that guy in the stands, who was already wearing a neck brace, and then that other guy who kept trying to pull the it away from the guy in a neck brace who just got hit by a bat. Mike Trout might save the Angels one day, and maybe even the world, but assholes are forever.