The Angels and Rangers engaged in some downright ugly baseball today. Sometimes, ugly baseball can be fun, whether the Angels win or lose. Remember the Rally Cat game? That game had both sides doing all they seemingly could to lose, as if neither wanted to win, they just wanted the fun and the scoring to go on forever and ever. I enjoyed that ugly game; I did NOT enjoy today's ugly game.
Things were actually looking good at one point, with the Angels up 4-1 on some early scoring. Kole Calhoun, Jett Bandy, Gregorio Petit and Yunel Escobar all got guys home with some timely hits. Great! Grand! Excellent!
Then Hector Santiago, today's starter, decided to continue the self-destruction he started in his last outing(in which he first got blasted, then got tossed) and had a straight up meltdown. That 4-1 lead only lasted until the second, when Nomar Mazara not only hit a homer, but hit the LONGEST homer in all of MLB thus far in 2016(491 ft). An Elvis Andrus single and a groundout from Odor and that Halos lead was toast.
From that point on, until the very last out in the ninth, the Rangers would continue to score, no matter what bullpen pitcher was thrown at them, and then the Angels would attempt comebacks, only to eventually hoist themselves by their own petard. We saw the scoreboard blow up, going from a 4-4 tie to a 7-4 Rangers lead, which the Angels cut to 7-6, only to have the Rangers add some on, etc., etc. Repeat that back and forth volleying enough times and you'll end up with the final of 15-9 Rangers. BLECHHHH!!
So many runs scored by the Angels: that's good! So many runs allowed by the Angels' pitching staff: that's bad! It was an exercise of ineffectuality, with the bats doing their best to gain ground on the Texas terribles, only to be buried yet again when the Rangers were up to the plate.
Some highlights? HA! That's rich. Oh, you're serious? Well, Rafael Ortega had his first home run(a three-run Jimmy Jack), so that was kind of cool. Jett Bandy had himself a day, going 2-3 and driving in two runs. The Escobar/Calhoun tandem at the top of the order continues to impress. Uhhhhh...that's all I got. There were no positives to be taken from any of the pitching we saw today, although at one point, SS Brendan Ryan was warming up in the bullpen; if only he'd have gotten to pitch, then we'd at least have that hilarious baseball curio to entertain us.
Instead, we got a series loss against the Rangers, in Texas. These last two games have just flat out stunk, heralding a return to the neutered squad we so lamented in the first weeks of the season. Hector Santiago has now stunk up the place in two straight starts, and the bullpen's recent renaissance seems to have been short lived. They are now back to dumpster fire status..
The Halos are headed back to Anaheim, and this 16 game stretch is officially done...so maybe some home cooking, coupled with an actual day off of baseball, can be the thing they need to regroup or reset. Otherwise, it was fun while it lasted, folks.