The Angels and Mike Scioscia are quite the savvy team. Most teams caught in a playoff race would come into this division battle guns a'blazing, trying their hardest to take down Houston's tough starter Dallas Keuchel. Not the Halos, as they instead went into sleep mode, allowed Houston to win the game, and saved a bunch of energy for not only the rest of the season, but also the playoffs.
Jered Weaver was on the mound, and could have fooled the Astros lineup all he wanted, like last time he faced them, but instead he let guys like Carlos Correa hit bombs with men on, and made sure the home team expending a bunch of their power and resources and exuberant celebration on this series opener.
The plan worked like a charm and the Angels got a night's worth of rest while letting the Astros tire themselves out in a 6-3 romp. The first of those Angels runs came from an Albert Pujols ground out. Way to go, Albert! He's actually been in playoff energy conservation mode for about 6 weeks, so when the Angels get to the ALDS, he's going RAKE. The second run was from a David Murphy single in the ninth. This was totally unnecessary and I hope Scioscia benches him tomorrow. Stick to the game plan, Murphy. The last one also came in the ninth, from Collin Cowgill, and was also completely against the game plan. I hope he is DFA'd, to be honest. This is a Jose Guillen-level level of disrespect. Again, this attention to smart, shrewd baseball strategy is what makes the Angels the best baseball franchise in all of MLB.
Okay, so that first game is out of the way, and the Angels lost, just like they had planned to do. Now, they're going to peel off a dozen straight wins, and you'll be thankful that they took tonight off. Sure, they lost a game in the standings to the Astros, but this was the smart play in the long run.