Tonight, under the watchful eyes and light waves of the Angels faithful and rotten, west coast Yankees fans, we witnessed the continued emergence of a new hope, a young hurler named Andrew Heaney. Tonight, going up against the Bronx bums, he would pitch masterfully. The Angels looked to continue their winning streak, and take their third series in a row. To do so would take not only a work of art from young Mr. Heaney, but also some feats of strength from two of the bestest buds in baseball.
On the hill for the Yankees was Ivan Nova, and he was mostly spot on for the night, although he did allow a significant amount of hits to the Halos. Luckily for Nova, the Angels could not capitalize early on with runners in scoring position. Through the first five innings, the Angels were 0-7 with RISP, and considering that the game around that point was 1-0 Yankees, those opportunities become a gigantic albatross around their necks while sinking to the bottom of the Loss column ocean.
That one run that the Yankees had on the scoreboard came from Andrew Heaney’s sole bad pitch: a solo home run from Mark Teixeira in the second. Outside of that, the young lefty was full of guile and heat out there on the mound tonight. He relied on a good mix of his fastball, often times set up outside, and then would bring on the slider to get guys digging for it.
The Angels would finally overcome the taught, one run affair in the sixth with a glorious, goosebump-inducing paean to the baseball bromance. Albert Pujols hit a homer off Nova to deep center field, and as a testament to the power of super-friendships, his lil bro Erick Aybar followed with a shot to deep center for himself. The crowd went into a frenzy,and the Yankee fans began to have spittle form in the corner of their mouths and single tears fall across their bedazzled cheeks. The Angels had a 2-1 lead, and would now just need to hold.
Andrew Heaney was taken out after the seventh, and finished with a pretty drool-worthy stat line: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. The kid’s got the goods, and we’re going to see him in Colorado soon enough, for at least one more start. Make it count, my good man. Joe Smith pitched a solid eighth, as we expect him to. Huston Street would come in for the ninth, and like Smith, this was his fourth consecutive night pitching. Angels fans held their breath and crossed their fingers for a smooth, tranquil save. Street delivered exactly that, striking out two in the side and lighting up the Halo for the Angels; it was Heaney's first MLB victory and he got a much deserved BodyArmor bath after the game. It was also
The Angels won their fourth in a row, and took their third series in a row. The Astros whooped up on the Royals, and are planting their flag as the team to beat in the AL. So while we may not gain ground, we’ll need to keep up. Also, congrats to Albert Pujols, who is now tied for the Angels record of most home runs in June(13); Erick Aybar hit his FIRST EVER home run to dead center. All in all, a fine baseball game on a warm Summer evening, with whispers of drama in the wings, the team on the field puts it behind them and keeps the win train rolling. Some of the players spoke about how the turmoil and airing of grievances can be productive. Considering that's four games in a row, we may be seeing proof of that right now.