The Angels took on the Rangers tonight, and lost, but probably only because they let Texas win. The Angels are cool guys like that, know what I'm sayin'? The epitome of chill, and most likely they just wanted their visitors to enjoy a couple wins. This is what I tell myself, over and over. I can't tell if it's working or not; am I deluded enough to get this game out of my mind now? Why does it still hurt?
I just want to forget about it, the tussle of Richards vs Hamels, and a loss to the Rangers. But it happened, it was real. It was our lovely, lovely Saturday night, filled with ineptitude and future fail gifs as far as the eye could see. Angels baseball in April...we should be used to it by now.
So, about the game.
Garrett Richards actually didn't look that bad, if you happen to go off of the game tape and not the box score. He gave up four runs, but two of them were unearned, thanks to epic displays in boneheadness from Yunel Escobar and Johnny Giavotella. The other two runs Richards were from a Prince Fielder single in the first and a solo bomb from Adrian Beltre in the fourth. Outside of that, the newly-crowned Angels Ace got through 6.2 IP, with 8 total hits, one walk and six strikeouts. It wasn't the prettiest game, but it wasn't the ugliest, either; he was sitting around 96mph on his fastball and was having success with the off-speed. Just not the kid's night.
The bullpen didn't exactly fare any better, at least not against Beltre, who was red-hot tonight. The Rangers continued to threaten the whole game, no matter who was on the mound. It's early in the season, and the bullpen is already being ran ragged. Of course, they're being fed to Cubs and fending of Rangers, so they just can't get a break one way or another.
The Angels offense mostly came from the new dude crew, with a dash of good ol' Kole Calhoun. Yunel Escobar was perhaps the most impressive, getting a single, a run score, and two walks. He was an on-base machine tonight. Craig Gentry also pitched in for a hit and a walk, Andrelton Simmons had a single(and another night of great D, most notably in the form of gunning down Elvis Andrus at the plate) and Calhoun continued his hot 2016 with another single. But with all of that came all the GIDPs(three total) and a handful of situations with men in scoring position wasted. The lone run was a measly Albert Pujols fielder's choice. Blechhhh.
Fans found themselves eating day old LOBster, same stuff they had the night before only with an extra layer of stink and visions of you tiredly resting your head on the porcelain of a toilet in the near future. While Richards did his job, it was a couple dumb errors that got them behind the 8-ball; and it was the lack of immediacy and good hitting with RISP that kept them there.
The two losses against the Rangers are vexing because they seemed more attainable and material than the lofty goals of shocking the MLB by taking the Chicago series. The Rangers, now that's a team they knew...so they could beat them handily, or at least compete? But there are not too many free rides in the AL West these days, and until Mike Trout rises from his slumber and decimates the competition like a baseball kaiju, then we're going to go through some dark, unforgiving games of Angels baseball.