If the Angels still have those crazy, fever dreams of making it into the playoffs, they not only have to think about felling the falling, now-second-place Astros, but also taking down Minnesota. The Twins are currently ahead of the Halos in the race for the second Wild Card, and this upcoming series is a do or die affair. But aren't they always, these days?
Tonight, the Angels wanted to ride the fine line between the living and the afterlife, but ultimately, they wanted to destroy baseballs to prove they were alive.
With Hector Santiago on the mound, this game began as a nightmare. An infield pop up that caused momentary hysteria in the infield and ended up dropping would eventually blow up to a 5-0 Twins lead after just the first inning. The way it all went down, the little league play in the infield, and the subsequent Worst Case Scenario seemed like it was the capitulation of the 2015 Angels.
The Angels, perhaps coasting on an emotional high from Jered Weaver's a-hole gut check last night, had moxie to spare and showed it in the second, when things got cooking. Chris Iannetta singled in David Freese to put the Angels on the board, and with the bases loaded, Twins starter Tommy Milone walked Kole Calhoun, scoring a run and making closing the Angels hole to just 2-5.
Then, with bases loaded and Mike Trout up to the dish, we had another one of THOSE moments. The ones where you envision the coolest thing that could possibly happen, and Mike Trout then pulls that mental imagery right out of your brain and makes it materialize into reality. Trout hit a grand slam to deep, deep center field, sending the Angels bench into a frenzy, and putting the Angels on top 6-5. They overcame a five run deficit and did it in the grandest, Trout-iest of fashion, and they had my heart all over again.
The game turned into a all out slugfest after that, with both the Angels and the Twins trading barbs, but it was the Angels who would knock the Twins down to the ground the most times, the last out of the ninth acting as the ref calling a TKO. Taylor Featherston hit a bomb in the third; Mike Trout, even if you didn't count the grand slam, had a monster game, finishing with two homers, 5 RBI and 3 BB; Chris Iannetta had himself a night, hitting a homer and an RBI single so we can keep him around I guess.
After the dust settled, the Angels had themselves a wild and wacky 11-8 win, Mike Morin picking up the W...it was just one of those nights. The Angels have now climbed within 2.5 of the cratering Houston Astros and are only one game behind the Twins now in the WC standings.
When Mike Trout is playing hero ball...I believe in this team. He refuses to let us stop caring, and reels us back in with heroic bombs. Lead the way to the promised land, Mike. Lead the way.