Angels 6 Astros 5
Today was the most important game of the Angels' season. That is, until their next game. But that's just how important this last stretch is if the Angels plan on playing in the post-season. Each game is a battle; the outcome either damning and hellacious, or hopeful and exuberant. In a perfect world, they'd all be easy, but this is baseball and the Angels are going to have to work for it. Even then, hard work isn't enough. You need a hero; someone that will come up with the team, city, county, world on his back, stare the opposing pitcher in the eyes, with no fear or hesitation, and show the Halosphere what a hero is. David Freese is no stranger to these moments, he just hasn't had them with the Angels. Until today...
The Angels got to work early, and tried their best to give starter Nick Tropeano enough room to work with, as they scored two runs in the first off of a C.J. Cron RBI single. That 2-0 kick start would prove immensely helpful, as it looked like NiTro was going to have himself a horrorshow of a day, having to throw 50 pitches just through the first couple innings. He would settle down after that, go into cruise control mode and retire 12 straight at one point.
In the fifth, Kole Calhoun solidified his role as The Red Baron when he took a ball deep into right to put the Angels up 3-0. It was Calhoun's 24th of the year, and the Angels were rocking and rolling. Well, until the bottom of that very inning, when Houston finally broke Nick Tropeano. George Springer got an RBI hit, putting the Astros on the board, and knocking Tropeano out of the game. Mike Scioscia lifted him for Mike Morin, who would also give up a run on a ground out to Carlos Correa. This one was all on the Angels, though...or more specifically, David Freese, who could have gone home with his throw and had a play at the plate, but instead he went to second for the force out. It tightened the score up to a nerve-racking 3-2 tally, but i'll give a pass to Freese on that, because he would make up for it later, and then some.
The Angels looked to be headed for familiar, head-scratching loss territory in the seventh, when they walked Jose Altuve to get a better matchup, but Trevor Gott would give up a two run triple to George Springer and all of a sudden their plan had backfired on them. Big time. The Astros were up 4-3, their first lead of the game, and things were looking sad and dark. Again.
But in the eighth, a hero would rise from the smoke and ash. A hero familiar to high pressure baseball situations. First off, Mike Trout would get a lead off double, and then David Murphy would draw a walk(Collin Cowgill would be his pinch runner), setting the stage, the tension, the drama to late-October heights. That's when our hero, David Freese, put on his batting helmet and said "Let me show you fellas how it's done."
With two on, Freese hit a ball sky high, hanging up in the air and slowly drifting towards the left field wall, and it just kept on carrying. It would end up bouncing off of the outfield fence, scoring both Trout and Cowgill, giving the Angels their rightful lead once again. An RBI double in the most clutch of clutch situations, and we had a new ballgame, season, life, universe.
David Freese, welcome to your signature Halos moment. It took awhile to get there, but it was worth the wait. Carlos Perez got himself an RBI single shortly after that, adding to the Angels lead and their bench was celebrating wildly, smiles and elation all around.
The final score would be 6-5 and with this huge win, the Angels are now 1.5 games behind Houston in the Wild Card race. They could also gain a game on Texas, but that game(and Minnesota game) have yet to get underway. We were on the brink, and David Freese brought us back. Hold on to your hats and glasses, folks, because the Angels are currently the wildest ride in the AL West wilderness.