With a huge, brooding thundercloud of turmoil hanging over the Big A this evening, the Angels took on the Yankees to close out their series and the long home stand. They had already won the series with their victory last night, so tonight’s stakes were mainly to get the mini win streak up to five games. I’m sure it was also on their minds that a win may help wipe people’s memories of the last 24 hours regarding Jerry Dipoto, Mike Scioscia, and the whole Angels cabal in general. Tonight, there was actual baseball to be played, no matter what the headlines and beat writers talked about all day.
Matt Shoemaker took the bump for the Halos, and looked very good in his 5.2 innings pitched. He did give up seven hits, but only two runs scored. One of which was an RBI single in the third, from Chase Headley. The second run came off of a solo shot from Garrett Jones in the sixth; Yankees lead at that point 2-0. It was just one of those nights for Shoemaker, where he pitched well enough to win on most days(you’d hope, at least), but with the elusive nature of offense on this squad, it was up in the air.
The Angels were an embarrassment at the plate this evening, mainly with RISP, once again. They’ve had an ailment as of late that disallows them to drive in men while they’re on second or third. There were a handful of instances in this game alone where they blew it, even one in which they loaded up the bases, with one out, and then Erick Aybar popped up to short, and David Freese grounded out to third. It wasn’t just this game, though. In their last two games, they’re 0-17 with RISP, and 7-72 in their last nine. They rely on a dinger here and there from Mike Trout, and the rest is living on a prayer. They will forever get burned in games like tonight’s if they want to keep playing that way; you can’t continually forcing pitchers to have sub 2.00 ERAs if they want to get a W. This will be a .500 theory in practice, and a lost cause in perpetuity.
The Yankees would tack on another run late in the game, with Fernando Salas on the mound, making it 3-0 New York, and that was basically our evening stand in for the quintessential fat lady. Mike Trout added some cheers to the ether with a dinger to right center. That put the Angels on the board, 3-1, but perhaps too little, too late...we’ve heard it all before. They still took every series on this drama-filled homestand, which is something to tip your cap to. They’re still only a few games over .500, in a division with an Astros team that seems to be getting more and more of a divisional foothold. And now there is a litany of charges, jeers and japes sent their way over this Scioscia/Dipoto schoolyard stare-down. Two men entered, one man left. One still owns the team, though. And there is still baseball to be played.