Forget last night happened, okay? The Angels were on a heater, and they went up against the ultimate cooler, Clayton Kershaw. But he's gone now, don't worry. The Angels bats can come out and play again, and that's exactly what happened tonight at the Big A, as the Angels and Dodgers resumed their Freeway series. No Kershaw, no cry. Tonight was a return to the high flying, high scoring and ace pitching that we saw in Seattle last weekend, as well as on Monday at Chavez Ravine.
In the role of starter tonight for the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers was Mike Bolinger, and to put it in the nicest, yet most succinct way possible, he was no Kersh(neither were the Dodgers' relievers). The Halos got to him plenty, with Mike Trout getting first blood via homer in the first inning(9th on the year). Bolinger would then skate by for a few more innings, until everything went red in the fifth. That was the inning that saw a true Halo Blitz, a time when the Angels weren't even hitting the ball hard or far, they were just getting them to the perfect spots on the field where the Dodgers couldn't make a play.
That illustrious fifth inning had the home team loading up the bases with one out, and the Rally Cat was ready to pounce. C.J. Cron had an infield single that moved all the runs and drove in a run, followed by Johnny Giavotella hitting a dribbler to Howie Kendrick at first, who bobbled the ball while trying to field it and once again, run scores and everybody advances. Karma for Howie's dirty slide the other night? I'm going to go with that, sure. Next up, Rafael Ortega hit a bloop to left that was misplayed, and turned into a double, plating two runs in the process and finally, Carlos Perez got himself a sac fly.
Of course, that would be the last we'd see of Bolinger, and after 4.1 IP, the Dodgers were already dipping into their bullpen. The Angels, meanwhile, smelled blood in the water and didn't relent one bit.
When the runners-on-base carousel finally slowed to a stop, the score was 6-1 Angels and the wheels of the hype train were chugging along right back at Monday night levels, as if the horrid, winning-streak derailing confrontation with Clayton Kershaw never happened. Later, in the sixth, Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron would drive a couple runs, on a single and a sac fly, respectively, putting an ocho on the scoreboard to the Bums' uno.
To sum all of that up: The Angels opened up a serious can of offensive whoop ass tonight. Got it? That was amazing, and exactly the bounce back you'd want to see from this game. But i'd be hopelessly remiss if I didn't mention Nick Tropeano, tonight's home field starter. In a word, Tropeano was NAILS.
In his last outing, Tropeano took over a hundred pitches just to get through five innings and it wasn't pretty. Tonight, he finished seven whole innings and needed only 96 pitches to do so. The dude was on fire. This was his first time in his MLB CAREER that he made it that deep into a game, and he did it while only allowing seven hits and one single run(a Joc Pederson ground ball in the fourth). So not just a great night on the mound for the guy, but a milestone night. Like Shoemaker and Santiago before him, Tropeano brushed off some bad outings in the past and treated the Angels faithful to a masterful performance.
In the parlance of the Descendents, there were so many good, good things about this game tonight: our best look at Nick Tropeano; a homer and all around studly performance from Mike Trout; Albert Pujols got hits too, including his 2,700th on his career; C.J. Cron had a couple RBIs; and everybody in the lineup not named Perez or Ryan got at least one hit. They did this all while dropping eight runs on the crosstown rival, in front of a hometown crowd. The team is back to clicking, gelling, whateveryouwannacalliting, and as long as they don't have to face generational pitching talents, they are straight up steamrolling clubs.
Oh, I do hope they keep this momentum charging forward tomorrow, and they take the four game series from the Dodgers, making them 6-1 in their last seven. This time last week, this would be about as likely as Roger Lodge winning celebrity Jeopardy. But now? I'm a believer.