The Angels arrived in Chase Field today ready to continue their four game series against Arizona; they were fresh from a comeback victory the night before, and ready to keep the Albert Pujols-powered train rolling. Before the game started, the team took their BP under the watchful eye of Arizona resident, omnipotent outdoor media mogul and Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno. This was a trip into the snake pit, but also the lion’s den, as Mike Scioscia met with Arte before the game behind closed doors. Oh, to be a fly on that wall. Of course, if there was ever doubt that Mr. Moreno is a smart man, then look no further than his declination to speak with any reporters while he was at the stadium. With all of the news recently about the front office’s attitude towards the fans, his best bet was to keep it all on baseball. Luckily, there was some decent baseball going on this evening.
The Angels would square off against Chase Anderson, who has been quite the NL West upstart as of late. He typically relies on perfect placement of his fastball, so as to then drop the speed and catch guys with his change. It was somewhat effective for Anderson against the Angels tonight, as he shut them out for the first four innings.
Meanwhile, Hector Santiago was on the mound for the Halos, and had a quality start marred by some BIG mistake pitches. It was eerily reminiscent of his last start, against Oakland. In that game, he pitched rather well, but also gave up back-to-back homers at one one point. Tonight, it was a mixture of a Paul Goldschmidt solo home run in the first, a Yasmany Tomas triple that scored David Peralta in the third, and a solo shot from Wellington Castillo in the fourth. Three runs on the board, but he also had nine strikeouts in his five innings pitched. He’s still looked good lately, but he’s not going to survive so well if he continues to give up homers and get into early pitch count concerns.
The Angels would finally get on the board in the fifth, with singles from Matt Joyce and Johnny Giavotella, and Joyce scoring when Chris Iannetta hit into a double play. With the score 3-1, the Angels would inch closer again in the sixth when Kole Calhoun hit a single, and Mike Trout followed with a double, putting the outfield duo on second and third. Albert Pujols would then hit into a groundout, but would drive in Calhoun and get the Angels down 3-2. It wasn’t as pretty as last night, but Albert continued to put the team on his back and will runs into existence.
With Santiago knocked out of the game after five, and Anderson leaving after six, the game would go to the bullpens(including another appearance by Trevor Gott, not a 1-2-3 like his first but he didn’t allow a run) and somewhat settle down. In the eighth there was a little noise from the Angels, after Matt Joyce hit a two-out triple. Johnny Giavotella was next up, though, and didn’t have any Little Italy magic in him tonight, and failed to get Joyce home. The Diamondbacks would end up holding the score in the ninth, and the see-saw 2015 season continues it’s herky, jerky ride as the Angels lost. Arizona tried to let them back through the door to victory, but the Angels were just too modest of houseguests, I suppose.
Perhaps the biggest sin of this game occurred in the seventh, when the Angels led the inning off with an Iannetta single and an Efren Navarro double. With men on second and third, no outs, the offense once again broke new ground in the realm of Completely Blowing It. Erick Aybar got the first out of the inning by popping up a BUNT; Kole Calhoun hit a fly ball to center that wasn’t deep enough to score Iannetta from third; then, our All Star hero Mike Trout came up to the plate. Arizona dug deep and found courage enough to pitch to him, and it paid off, as Trout hit a groundout to third and ended the inning. It was a classic LOBsterfest, but this time the celebrity chefs cooking the crustaceans were our very own 1-2-3 hitters, and they choked quickly but painfully. Meanwhile, the eyes of Arte Moreno looked down upon the field, closely and intensely through his Bushnells; a snarl formed at the edge of his lip, but the cable TV camera may be on him. Calm, he then tucked away the Bushnell binoculars under the luxury suite recliner, and reached for his cell phone. "Yeah, tell Mike I want to see him after the game as soon as you see him."