Final Score in Anaheim: Angels 0 Rays 7
The Angels came in to tonight's game with a two-game winning streak, and just enough momentum so that when they hit the brick wall known as the Tampa Bay Rays, they were painlessly turned into a bloodstain on the asphalt that would make Agent Orange proud. Dan Haren gave a valiant effort...for two innings. Then it was back to the Dan Haren we have unwittingly become accustomed to this season. Although, tonight Dirty Dan would have had to been nearly perfect, as his pitching counterpart, David Price, threw for 7 innings of shutout baseball against the neutered Angels lineup.
Once again, it was shaky ground from early on after Haren gave up a few solo homeruns, followed by the requisite Big Inning. It was an early night for the clean shaven former ace, getting pulled in the 4th inning with 5 runs already on the board, and then in came Jerome "Pink Puka" Williams. Williams himself would get smoked for a 2-run dinger later on in the game, and that would pretty much be the ballgame.
The offense had nothing to report of merit. Mike Scioscia has lost this team, and what was once a bankable playoff force with the "best rotation in baseball" has now become a sad sack story who are more accustomed to working in the ketchup than they are riding tall in the saddle. Like the time when Charles Bukowski was hired by Creem to attend a Rolling Stones concert at the Forum, and instead just went to a bar down the street, the Angels were seemingly set up to walk into the playoffs and throw their weight around like so many baseball bullies of the past. Instead, they are headed for a post-season aversion, and quickly becoming a cautionary tale led by a butter and egg manager. It's the promise of greatness left to stew in the pot of self-defeat. But while that may work for the likes of poets like Bukowski, it doesn't resound well from a ballclub led by a lasagna-flaunting zib whose main job is to win and not waste Arte Moreno's happy lettuce.
If we didn't love this team with all our hearts, and it were an easy breakup, we could all give this under-performing lot the one-two skidoo and forget all this heartache to do. But there is still baseball to played, and i'll forgive them in the morning for all the wrong they did me the night before. We're in this til death do us part, but the grave they're digging for themselves and the fans is getting to be a mile deep and a foot wide.
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