The Rangers are in town, did you hear? They also have this guy that used to play here, in Anaheim. His name is Josh Hamilton, plays left field, has a pretty sweet goatee and flame tattoos..yeah, THAT guy! Yep, AL West rival Texas is at the Big A, and Josh Hamilton was given lots, and lots of boos in his inaugural trip back to southern California. It had all the ingredients of some good, Friday night entertainment, but baseball isn’t really known for sticking to the plan.
In the top of the fourth the, Angels jumped out in front first with a 420 foot Mike Trout homer to left field. It was a pitch slightly up, but in the zone, and Trout cleaned it’s clock. That was really all that Rangers starter Colby Lewis was giving up, as the Halos had a tough time with his breaking ball.
Nick Tropeano, the spot starter and recent Salt Lake call-up, looked mighty good in the opening innings, constantly working his 92 mph fastball and then pounding the batters with off-speed pitch after off-speed pitch. This worked for a good chunk of the game, as Tropeano retired 12 batters after giving up a leadoff hit to start the night. He was locked in until the fifth, when the Rangers, behind letting a couple men on to start the side, and then an atrocious throw to first, while checking Elvis Andrus at first. Josh Hamilton scored from third on the play(shudder) and Texas had tied the ball game. Shin-Soo Choo followed with a double that scored Andrus, and then Robinson Chirinos singled in Choo, putting the Angels down 1-3.
In the sixth, the Angels had a perfect opportunity to get back in the game, but they completely Buttercupped it. Daniel Robertson and Johnny Giavotella both started things off with singles. Two men on, no outs and the meat of the order, Calhoun/Trout/Pujols, up to the plate...money in the bank. Usually. Tonight, it was the Halo Heroes who completely derailed the party bus, pulling what looked like typical Matt Joyce ABs. Strikeouts. All three of those guys STRUCK. OUT. I will treat this as the total anomaly that it is(i’m hoping it is), and move on, without chiding them any further.
Tropeano made it into the seventh, but began to have some trouble immediately. A Chirinos sac bunt would score Hamilton(shudder) and the score would now be 1-4 Rangers. Dark days, indeed. But the Angels still had some fight in them, and in the eighth, they managed to get a run from an RBI Mike Trout single. Like the sixth, this would have been a great time to continue a rally, but Pujols once again struck out in an AB that could have changed the tone of the game.
The Angels would take that 2-4 score into the ninth, but there would be no walk-off tonight. It was one of those days where Mike Trout could only do so much, and everybody else did so little. I’ll give props to Tropeano, even though he took a hit in this game, because it really all hinged on a couple bad plays, like his throwing error in the fifth. They’ve now lost two in a row, while Houston took down Kansas City, behind a sterling Scott Kazmir start. The Halos have loads of talent already, but they need more. Or they need to perfectly plan when it is they’ll all go on hot streaks. Yep, sounds easy enough.