C.J. Wilson was superb and economical today, throwing nine punchies (three courtesy of Paul freakin' Goldscmidt), yet keeping the pitch count manageable with some groundouts, some fly outs and some well-timed double plays. The offense followed C.J.'s lead, scoring with the long ball, the RBI double and the RBI single.
With Allen Webster on the mound for the Diamondbacks, he of the ever-moving pitch, the Angels' double-play ways continued right where they left off last night, when Mike Trout hit into an inning-end double play in the top of the first. C.J. Wilson returned the favor with a 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first. Thank goodness for small miracles, I suppose.
Not one to break tradition, Efren Navarro hit into an inning-ending double play in the top of the second, after David Freese worked hard at working the one-out walk. Cuban export Yasmany Tomas started off the bottom of the second with a ground-rule double off of a golf swing. I'm not sure they have too many links in Cuba, but Yasmany could probably afford to build the Yasmany Tomas Anniversary Memorial de Saltalamacchia Golf Course with his current contract. C.J. got the light-hitting Chris Owings to strike out with a beautiful change piece and followed that up with a groundout to Taylor Featherston, whose throw pulled Albert off the bag. Due to Albert's super-elongated plantar fascia (that's what happened, right?), he was able to stretch almost nine feet from the base and record the out. True story. The next out was much easier, as David Peralta hit a nubber to David Freese.
The Angels got on the board in the third, courtesy of Taylor Featherston's first major-league home run. Great job, Tay Tay! (Sorry, Gorby.) He almost cracked a smile as he rounded the bases, but he kept it cool throughout. Since it was C.J.'s turn to bat right afterward, the entire dugout opted to watch his at-bat and give the silent treatment to poor Taylor, which actually prompted a smile from the young utility man. Enjoy it, kid, you earned it! Not to be outdone, two batters later, Johnny Giavotella cranked a dinger into the left-field stands on a hanging bender from Webster. You want to see a silent treatment? Check out the one Johnny Magic had to endure.
C.J. threw a shutdown inning in the bottom half of the third, mostly courtesy of a nicely turned inning-ending double play off the bat of Diamondbacks center-fielder A.J. Pollock.
After Aaron Hill started off the bottom of the fourth with a single to left field, Paul Goldschmidt struck fear into the heart of every single Angels fan when he blasted a LONG fly ball to center field. Trout was playing him perfectly, thanks in part to new defensive alignment for the outfield. Gubie mentioned that they seem to be playing a bit shallower as of late, which is something our very own MH252525 has been
carping on mentioning for years now. Trout's got the speed to make it back to the wall, so why give up singles with a deeper outfield alignment? Does Dino Ebel read Halos Heaven? I'm gong to say yes. After Goldy's shock to the system, C.J. induced a double-play ball off the bat of Yasmany Tomas to end the inning.
The Angels went down very quietly in the fifth, but the Diamondbacks did not. With two outs, C.J. gave up a ringing double to David Peralta, which was followed by an RBI double from Nick Ahmed. Luckily, pitcher Allen Webster was up next and he went down rather quickly on strikes. The Angels still led, 2-1, going into the sixth. But not for long... Soon it was 3-1, courtesy of a single by Johnny Giavotella and an RBI triple by Mike Trout. And Trout did Trout, sliding inside the tag, avoiding third-baseman Aaron Hill's glove. After Albert Pujols was intentionally walked (they can do that?!), David Freese drew a walk the manly way and that was all for starter Allen Webster. Reliever Josh "The Ax Man" Collmenter came in and promptly gave up a two-run single to Efren Navarro and a two-run double to Carlos Perez. The rout was on.
Other than an interesting one-out base-running
adventure gaffe by Johnny Giavotella in which he took off and kept running on an infield pop-up in the ninth, the rest of the game was pretty much an example of going through the motions. Jose Alvarez finished off the game for the Angels, and the team heads to Oakland next for a three-game set.
Side note for today's game: Victor's snark was absolutely on-point this afternoon. His comments about C.J's "slide" into second, pitchers being the best athletes on the field and the line about how there have been some amazing hitters in batting practice throughout the years were all great.