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Shoebombed: Angels Out-Shelled 3-2

The Battle of Solo Homers ends not with a bang, but a whimpy caught-stealing.

Slight chance of meatballs.
Slight chance of meatballs.
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

The Angels offense allowed Matt Shoemaker two mistakes. He made three.

Actually, I only counted two. Although there's no good way to pitch to Nelson Cruz, who hits a home run pretty much every day, inside is a better bet than most. He hit a home run anyways. But Logan Morrison and Seth Smith both got big fat cookies just a little while after: breaking balls that didn't quite break, right down the middle. They all came deep in the game and totally sucked the energy out of what had been a great pitching duel.

It's a shame because Shoemaker otherwise crushed it through 7-1/3 innings, striking out ten while throwing only 90 pitches. He entered the seventh looking just as good, if not better than Felix Hernandez, but even though he gave up only four base hits in the end, three of them became base trots. Still, it's more than a bit of tough luck. If the Angels had been up 10-0 at the time, we'd all remember a fantastic performance.

The Angels did return fire in the bottom of the seventh. Matt Joyce hit a home run, which might finally push his OPS over .400. David Freese also bombed Fernando Rodney in the bottom of the ninth, to the satisfaction of everyone in the ballpark. Things got even more interesting when Matt Joyce walked with two out, but in yet another finish so anticlimactic it could only have been planned by a tactician so masterful as Mike Scioscia, Collin Cowgill immediately got thrown out trying to steal second.

Supposedly some guy named Sun Tzu once said:

Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment—that which they cannot anticipate.

Still waiting for that "extraordinary moment," Mike.

Anyways, the Angels have now lost blah blah in a row and now have a record of something and something bigger than that, etc. etc. I don't have to tell you things are bad…