I guess it took a low-key, sunshine-drenched getaway game against the Twins to break the Angels' current, frenzied win streak. The team played the Twins today at the Big A, and the game blazed by in a manor which made me think the Angels just wanted to get a loss out of their system, just to even their mojo out. It wasn't a bad game at all, just a quick, nondescript affair in which the Halos bats didn't do much, if anything, and Garrett Richards managed to simultaneously look like an ace AND a loser.
Richards was absolutely dealing throughout this game. He started off on fire, retiring the first 11 batters he faced. Then, in the fourth, he suddenly hit a little speed bump in the form of a double and a walk. He would then make his one horrible pitch of his day, a slider to Trevor Plouffe, who took it yard for a 3-run jack, and the Twins would jump out to a 3-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the Angels really didn't have anything to offer against former Halo Ervin Santana. Through eight innings, Voodoo held the Angels to just four hits, while shutting them out on the scoreboard. He also accrued seven Ks over that time, showing us a little taste of vintage Santana that we used to see on a regular basis. Good for him, I guess. Bad for the Halos, but games like this happen and it probably has little to do with them cooling off in the big picture.
Garrett Richards actually went back to his dealing ways after that fourth inning hiccup, which is somewhat frustrating and makes you wish you had a time machine to go back and stop him from throwing that misplaced slider to Plouffe. He finished the day with 8 IP and only four hits. But again...three runs. Those three runs were all that the Twins would need. Still, if we're looking for silver linings, there is something to be mined from Richards looking quite dominant. He has an ERA of 2.34 over his last eight starts, and he's still poised to firmly grasp the Angels' role of Staff Ace in the second half.
So...no 8 game winning streak. But they still took the series win, and they're set to face the Texas Cupcakes over the weekend, which surely will yield another series win. They can't win them all, even though lately they've made us feel like they can. Turn the page, folks.