Matt Shoemaker was figured out by the Astros tonight, and they figured him out early. Ol’ Shoey gave up six earned runs in three innings, at which point the 2015 So Cal Battle of the Pitcher Beards was over, as he was mercifully yanked from the game by Mike Scioscia. Mark Gubicza and Victor Rojas were mentioning how they didn’t think it was wise to start Shoemaker after a Weaver start, as their pitching strengths may overlap a bit, therefore making it easy for the opponent to adapt the following game. It is just a theory, but judging by how the Angels relief pitching made the Astros seem like they suddenly forgot how to hit after the third, I think Victor and Gubi might be on to something. Jose Alvarez, Mike Morin, Vinnie Pestano and newbie Ryan Mattheus all shined in their respective innings, cutting off Houston’s scoring spree for the evening and giving them goose eggs for the rest of the game.
The Angels lineup has showed some fight in them this past week, regardless of the game’s outcome, and tonight they were no different. They faced the Astros’ ace Dallas Keuchel, and actually managed to be the first to really get to him this year. Three of the eight hits came from Mike Trout, including another deep homerun, and spark plug Carlos Perez got his first double. The offense was facing a guy who has been having a great year, and they looked up to the challenge. Silver linings and what not.
As I mentioned earlier, this week has had so many crazy games, so many ups and downs, a few weird and/or frustrating endings, as well as some of the most exciting moments of the season. And tonight was no different, although the late inning surge just made the Shoemaker start taste all the more bitter; a 5-0 win turned into a 6-5 loss. Tomorrow they go for a series split with the division leader, things could be better, but they could definitely be worse.