Angels 5 Athletics 1
On the day after the Angels mounted a huge, come from behind win against the hometown A's, giving them their third win in a row, one could almost sense a letdown game was on deck. You had Matt Shoemaker starting, who got absolutely shelled in his first start of 2016 against Texas, and it was also an early getaway game in Oakland, with little rest for the Angels as they get ready to head to Minneapolis. Of course, if you were expecting this series to end on a downbeat, then you would have ended up being completely wrong. But sometimes being wrong feels so right.
If anybody on this squad needed a good game today, it was Shoemaker. The Bearded One was atrocious last week in Anaheim, giving up six runs on seven hits in just three innings, and sounding the alarms for a rotation that was already rife with question marks. It was an unpleasant site to see, especially for a player that is as big of a fan favorite as he is. Today, he was having NONE of that, though, and he pitched like a man possessed. Shoemaker was inducing flyball after flyball, as he is wont to do when everything is clicking for him. His stuff was sharp, almost mistake free, and when all was said and done he had tallied 6 IP with 1 H, 0 R, 3BB and 5 Ks. The sun was shining on Shoemaker once again, it seemed, and the Halosphere was all of a sudden flush with Cobbler positivity.
The starter had done his job, now the Angels lineup would just have to come through with some offensive bombast against the A's Eric Surkamp. There must be some residual good vibes carrying over from last night, because today the Halos were getting on base and moving runners with aplomb. The offense was coming at the Athletics from all angles: Kole Calhoun was a beast, hitting 3-5 and driving in two; Albert Pujols had another big hit late in the game, getting another two RBI on his yearly total; and Andrelton Simmons got in on the party with an RBI for himself. Mike Trout looked great, totally copying Calhoun by having a 3-5 day(with 3 runs scored), Yunel Escobar continued to be a solid leadoff hitter, and even C.J. Cron got on base(now batting a stout .103 on the season).
This game was a good vibes machine run amok for Angels fans, providing fist pumps and high five opportunities at every turn. We even got the MLB debut of reliever Greg Mahle, who lived up to his reputation of being adversarial with opposing hitters. The young hurler had a 1-2-3 7th inning, including one strikeout, as he let the hate flow through him and directed it right back at the poor, unsuspecting A's lineup. The legend of Darth Mahle was born.
The Angels came to Oakland with a sourpuss expression fixed to their face, and they leave beaming with confidence and smiles. Four games in a row now, and a series sweep of division rivals Oakland, on the backs of much-needed resurgence from Jered Weaver and Matt Shoemaker, and replete with situational hitting, Mike Trout bombs and game-winning homers. This team is heating up and getting it's legs; now they'll head to face the Twins, who are having a rough time so far this year. The Halos are barreling down the highway of the MLB on this road trip, they just need to keep the pedal to the medal and the rest of these AL chumps are going to be roadkill.