The Angels put the finishing touches on their surprising sweep of the current World Series champion Royals tonight, and they did so behind power. NiTro power and good ol' fashioned boomstick power. I'm talking about solid starting pitching, a lineup launching balls out of the yard, and a bullpen that is there to back up all that bold talk. The 4-2 win and series sweep is just the sort of message that needs to be sent to not only the unwavering, faithful fans, but also the the rest of the teams in the AL West.
There was so much to love in this game. Nick "NiTro" Tropeano delivered yet another solid outing, even in a game where he gave up 8 hits in 5.1 innings pitched. But he also had six strikeouts, so he obviously something was working for him. While the Royals had seemingly no problem hitting him(especially Eric Hosmer, who was a triple shy of a cycle and accounted for all KC runs), but when he exited the game at the 100 pitch mark in the sixth, the score was tied at 2. A valiant effort, indeed, for young NiTro. AL West batters, you're on notice.
Those two runs from NiTro were not only from one hit, but they were early, so things seemed bleak for a second there, but then Mike Trout dropped by, the ultimate baseball deus ex machina, and he ex machina'd the hell out of a Chris Young(Royals starter) fastball and sent it into the center field batter's eye. With Rafael Ortega on base from a previous single, that put two on the board and Trout's heroics had tied up the game.
Mike Trout wasn't the only one flexing that sweet longball power tonight, no sir. In the bottom of the sixth, leadoff bro supreme Yunel Escobar hit a solo dinger to the bushes in center field, and the Angels had the 3-2 lead, their first of the evening. That would be the dagger in Chris Young's start, as he'd get pulled and the Royals dipped into their bullpen. It wouldn't matter, though; the Angels were going to score some more, the king of the jungle says so.
Andrelton Simmons hit a solo shot to left field in the seventh, off reliever Luke Hochevar, and the shortstop who had dazzled us with his glove one night was now sending us into a Halos-tinted fugue state from his bat the next. The Angels had a 4-2 lead and the Angels' dugout was rocking.
Meanwhile, when NiTro got lifted in the sixth, he was replaced with Fernando Salas, who got into a tiny jam, but ultimately he held the current world champs at bay. Then we saw Jose Alvarez, who also had himself a good inning. Joe Smith got the save tonight, and he walloped the Royals quickly, getting the win and lighting up the Halo for the third time in a row.
The Angels showed a lot of moxie in this series; one that nobody really thought was going to end well, but one we were all secretly feenin for. It's the Royals, for cryin' out loud. We destroyed them this series. Not just a sweep. An utter obliteration; an apocalypse rained down upon them with great vengeance and furious anger; a savage beating of the man on top of the hill by the man that used to be there. Feed off this, Halos. There is some gold in there...this team is starting to materialize, to gel.
What wonders they can do if they just keep it up.