The Twins took to the field tonight in hopes that ,even with Mike Trout back in the lineup(at DH), they would stand a chance to stop the Angels’ perpetual offense-motion machine that has vanquished foes all across the MLB land in the month of July. They didn’t fare too well against a Trout-less lineup last night, and as much as they were wishing for the opposite this evening, the Angels were relentless as usual, and even better, it was the second night in a row where they were getting production from outside the realm of Pujols and Trout. Plus, you had potential trade piece(according to some, argued against by others) C.J. Wilson on the mound, looking to stay hot and dominate Minnesota like he did Boston over the weekend. Okay, so maybe that dominate the Twins exactly like he did the Red Sox, but we had a good game on our hands regardless.
Chris Iannetta is a man on fire lately, hitting a three run highlight reel homer last night, and he added to his resume this evening with a solo shot in the second inning. It’s the first time he’s had homers on back-to-back nights since September 2013, and it also finally raised his average about the dreaded Mendoza Line(.203).
With a 1-0 lead, C.J. Wilson turned the third inning into a boring, run-scoring slog, capped off by Brian Dozier hitting a two-run single and giving the Twins a 2-1 lead. Believe it or not, this is the first time the Angels had been behind on the scoreboard since July 11. Quite the streak there, but the thing you don’t want to see is Wilson turn into The Nibbler and revert to his pitching mentality that makes you pull your hair out. It’s not only the nibbling, but he begins to be distracted by baserunners, or calls that don’t go his way, etc. C.J. has a rhythm, and when he’s in that groove, he’s a top notch option, but that groove can easily be scratched and disrupted and the results when this happens are a little dicey.
Luckily, this Angels team seems committed to consistently picking up their pitchers, evidenced by the bottom of the third, when Kole Calhoun had an RBI single, scoring CF Daniel Robertson, and then Mike Trout hit into a double play, but not before Johnny Giavotella crossed the plate. The score was now 3-2 and the Twins had the lead for a whole 11 minutes. Don’t mess with this Angels team and their leads.
The fourth and fifth inning went by with some more hitches in the C.J. Wilson giddy-up, but he was bolstered by some solid defense. Daniel Robertson did a great Trout impression as he tracked a ball down in deep center and caught it right as he leapt at the warning track, crashing into the wall with such force it sent his hat flying, but Robertson just let the swag flow and pumped his fists.
In the bottom of the fourth, some trouble popped up in the form of David Freese getting hit on his hand by a Mike Pelfrey pitch. Freese would leave the game, and have beat writers scrambling to speculate what this could mean as far as potential call-ups. Kaleb Cowart time, or the return of Kyle Kubitza? We’ll know soon enough.
In the sixth, Johnny Giavotella hit a long drive to the wall in center field that resulted in a triple, and Kole Calhoun continued to pick up the Halos offensive slack as he quickly drove in Giavotella with a single to right center. In the seventh, Albert Pujols had an RBI double and knocked in Johnny Giavotella(third run scored in the game). A 5-2 Angels lead, with Wilson done in the fifth, Trevor Gott having a good seventh, and Joe Smith getting down with his bad self in the eighth. The relievers going off without a hitch, and then it was time for a little history. Huston Street came into the ninth inning, with the chance to record his 300th save(TWO weeks after he got 299). He was his usual, reliable self and quickly got through the side, giving the Angels their seventh victory in a row, and he then went right to the sidelines for his obligatory BODYARMOR bath. Congrats, Huston Good to have you on our team.
A game in which Mike Trout did nothing(although even when he does nothing, he still knocks a guy home), and Albert Pujols ONLY hit a double, the supporting cast stepped up big time. Kole Calhoun drives in two, Johnny G gets three hits and three runs scored, Iannetta fires up the Destructobeam, and Daniel Robertson is oohing and ahhhing the crowd? That’s impressive; that’s adrenaline-pumping; that’s better living through team chemistry. Seven games in a row now, and I feel like they’re just getting started.