Last night, the Angels came up with a couple of big innings to turn a modest lead into a all-around laugher. The A's own blooper reel had a lot to do with it. Tonight, a game tied 1-1 in the 7th quickly became a 9-2 blowout, but this time in Oakland's favor, with the Angels looking like clowns. If yesterday you kept thinking, "save some runs for tomorrow guys," well, you'd be guility of the gambler's fallacy, which you should feel very bad about, because you also happened to be right.
Although the lineup mustered only two hits before the ninth inning, once it was already too late to matter, they did have at least one chance to scuff up Sonny Gray, who otherwise pitched pristinely. After scratching across one run in the second, Johnny Giavotella singled with one out in the third, and then Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout drew consecutive walks to load the bases. But Albert Pujols struck out in an ugly way (if we're honest about it, all his strikeouts are pretty ugly these days) and David Freese popped out to end the inning. Another base-runner would not reach until the bottom of the ninth, when Bob Melvin was nice enough to trot out a rookie pitcher for his major-league debut.
The story of the night, however, will probably be Mike Scioscia's decision to pull Jered Weaver after six innings and 93 pitches. It made enough sense to me though. Weaver hasn't thrown more than 90 pitches in any game yet this season, and watching him on the mound right now kind of reminds me of Livan Hernandez in his terminal stage, just with a better slider instead of a sinker. It's all junk that major leagues aren't going to miss very often—the league was already batting .309 off him before he coughed up another 8 hits tonight—you just have to hope they don't "hit 'em where they ain't." With the bullpen having done all right so far, I probably wouldn't have pushed my luck either. Didn't seem to work out that way tonight though.
With the loss tonight, the Angels drop to 6-9 in a division that has just one team with a winning record, which just happens to be Houston at the moment. But the A's have probably surprised everyone by scoring a ton of runs while keeping pace on the defensive side as well. There's still a chance to at least salvage a split tomorrow, which would count just as much as a win in September.