The Angels didn't play their best game of the season night. It also wasn't their worst, though. In fact, we've already seen a handful of games way worse than this one, yet it still stings a bit. Perhaps it's because they just mopped the floor with the Royals at the Big A and we wanted that whoopin' to roll over into some glorious Texas road whoopin', makes sense to me. But the fact remains that the Angels played OK, Hector Santiago pitched OK, but they were going back to the hotel with a loss. Such is baseball.
Historically, the Angels have shelled tonight's Rangers starter, Colby Lewis, getting 52 runs off of him in the last 51 2/3 innings that they've seen him. Mike Trout usually eats him up and serves up a long ball. That's not how it went down tonight. Lewis pitched seven complete innings, and while the Angels batters got to him for nine hits, they could only muster up two runs off of him(one from a Geovany Soto solo homer, the other from a Soto RBI single). We should have seen some fireworks...we were PROMISED fireworks, pretty much, going off their previous Lewis encounters...but they couldn't light him up enough.
The only other option was for Hector Santiago to be near-perfect.
Hector Santiago had ONE bad inning in an otherwise good looking start. He was holding the Rangers off the board with relative ease for the first four innings. In the fifth, Ryan Rua made it a 2-1 game via solo homer, the Angels with the narrow one run lead from the previous Soto heroics. Maybe they could do it on just two runs tonight in Texas? So close...but so far away.
The sixth was when the wheels fell off Hector a bit, or at least enough for the Rangers to get all the runs they'd need to stop the red hot Halos. Texas threatened for most of the inning, with Prince Fielder, Ian Desmond and Mitch Moreland all combining for RBI hits and giving the Rangers a 4-2 lead. It could have been either worse, but a nifty double play turned by the Halos ended the inning and got him out of that hot water.
The rest of the game didn't really move the needle at all for the Angels. We saw some Greg Mahle, Cam Bedrosian and Cory Rasmus, who all did their job and held Texas where they were at. Meanwhile, the Angels just couldn't deliver the timely firepower we saw earlier in the week. They just got one more hit after the Rangers went to the bullpen, and they went down silently, taking a 4-2 loss kick to the nuggets.
The Angels didn't play that bad, and Santiago was mostly fine. They just needed to play a little less bad, or Hector had to be pretty much great. They have a couple more chances to strut on the basepaths and send balls sailing like they did Monday through Wednesday. Tonight, it wasn't in the cards.