Game one of today's rain-induced doubleheader was an action packed, run-scoring smorgasbord, and one would think that the team may ease up off the pedal and be content to squeeze out a close, tight knit affair in game two. This team doesn't seem to care about any possibility of being tired or tapped out of rallies, though, and this team also seems to give little to no disregard for hurting a team's feelings by laying another smattering of long ball destruction and RBI steaks served up aplenty. The Angels came into tonight's series finale with one thing on their mind: finishing their heroic, demoralizing, four game sweep of the Boston Red Sox and their Pink Hat Nation fans that had infested the columns and corridors of Angels Stadium these past few days. There would be no Napoli devastation, or any Boston comebacks or bright spots...there would only be the Angels, constantly rag-dolling the hapless Chowds around the grounds like a 22 year old grad student getting gored by the bulls in Pamplona. This was a series of wins. It was also a statement.
Andrew Heaney took the mound tonight, and served up something special, once again telling everybody in plain view of the game that he is up in the bigs for a reason, and he isn't going anywhere. Heaney ended up pitching seven innings, giving up only two runs on five hits, while striking out four. He was in charge of the Red Sox for most of the night, his only mistake was a meatball served up to David Ortiz in the sixth, which he knocked into right field for a two-run shot. Outside of that, he was getting guys to hit into the defense, or he was masterfully painting the corners with 94 mph heat. The kid has some filthy stuff, and so far he's gone at least 6 IP with less than two runs scored in his first five games of the season. The only other pitcher who can claim the same? Dallas Keuchel...the guy who started for the A.L. in the All Star Game. Andrew Heaney isn't going anywhere. No way, no day.
On the other side of the ball, the Angels were up to the same exhilarating shenanigans as they were in the first game of the day, just not quite the matching run total. A mixture of home run blasts and timely, patient hitting from the role players of the lineup lead to a bevy of runs that Boston would be unable to dig themselves out of. In the second inning, Albert Pujols hit his second homer of the day, a booming solo shot to left field, and he tied Mike Schmidt on the all time list. Pujols was also the first Angel to homer in both games of a double header since Garrett Anderson did it in 1995. Twenty years ago...just like the last rain out. This is a weekend of spooky numbers and mojo.
In the bottom of the third, the Angels began the inning with two soft grounders, but then proceeded to send 8 more guys to the plate, and set off a 4-run, two out rally. Albert Pujols walked with the bases loaded, and then Erick Aybar hit a single that scored two runs. Daniel Robertson got in on the hi-jinx with an infield single to third base that scored a run. Mike Trout did his best to regain the AL home run lead when he hit a no doubter off of a Steven Wright knuckledball in the fifth, making the game 6-0 and sending the stadium rocking to and fro in an anti-Red Sox lather.
They were sitting pretty on that 6-0 lead until the aforementioned Ortiz homer made it 6-2, but as quickly as the Red Sux thought they were getting back in the game, Albert Pujols put them right on the back foot again, as he hit a booming solo blast to left center. This was Pujols' third HR of the day...once again, we're seeing Albert Pujols become Vintage Albert Pujols in front of our very eyes. He was virtually silent for the first couple games, but today he made up for it, and then some. That homer would allow him to pass Mike Schmidt All Time and get in sole possession of 15th on the list. He also reclaimed the A.L. home run lead, and between him and Trout jockeying for dinger supremacy, and Andrew Heaney lighting up the vanquished foes, I can't imagine a better four game sweep series-capper than the one we just witnessed, especially considering this is the first EVER 4 game sweep of the Red Sox at home. History unfolding before our eyes...glorious, Pink Hat-mocking history.
This team is on fire, and that may be an understatement. They are now 12 games over .500 and are now a solid two games ahead of Houston in first place. When the games are this fun, why not play two every day?