The Angels lost to the Brewers last night. The Brewers aren't some world-beater team, either. In fact, they came into tonight's game with fewer wins than the Angels. Just like their road series with the Twins, this team is getting blindsided and pistol-whipped by some opponents that every fan thought would be a gimme. Take heed, Angels fan in the year 2016: there IS NO gimme with these guys.
This game featured both teams trading punches with each other, with the Angels using the first few innings to jump out to a much-needed lead. Albert Pujols singled in a run off the wall in the first, although he was also thrown out going to second(he apparently thought he had hit it out, not hit the wall, so there's his excuse for the bonehead running). Hey, Albert giveth, Albert taketh away.
In the third, Rafael Ortega drove home Cliff Pennington with a single, and Mike Trout followed that up with an RBI single of his own, Yunel Escobar scoring the run. After the third, it was 4-0 Halos and the team was buzzing. Nick Tropeano was tonight's starter for Los Angeles and if anybody could use some run support, it'd be him. At first, it looked like the Angels were going to lay some smack down; the offense had the lead, and NiTro looked good. It wouldn't stay that way much longer.
It took just two pitches to more or less undo any of the good Nick Tropeano did in this game, one where there was actually plenty to like from the young starter. But two pitches in this game were knocked out of the park, each giving the Brewers two runs and each one worked to erase NiTro's good night on the mound from our short term memory. They also handily wiped away the 4-0 lead that the offense had given to Tropeano in the first few innings of the game. Two pitches.
The first ill-fated toss was a two-run blast from Chris Carter in the fourth, a 91mph fastball from NiTro that Carter tore into like a starved mountain lion going after a bunny rabbit. The second heartbreak pitch was a change-up to Jonathan Lucroy in the fifth, another no doubter that tied the game at 4-4 and suddenly Nick Tropeano had been reduced to a husk out on the mound, withering in the wind. He wasn't QUITE done, though.
NiTro faced Chris Carter one more time in the fifth...one last ditch effort to regain some dignity. He dug deep into his arsenal, and found every ounce of strength and courage in his gut, and threw a slider to Carter that he lifted out to the left-center bleachers. Yup...seems about right with this team sometimes.
That last homer gave the Brewers a come-from-behind 5-4 lead, and it goes without saying that Mr. Tropeano's services would no longer be needed in the game. Another bad night of pitchers getting rocked, and Mike Scioscia having to dip into the tired, worn out bullpen. The Angels seem locked on to this particular form of exasperating loss, and aren't going to be letting it go any time soon; every game is another chance to twist the knife once more into our Halo hearts.
The Angels had some chances, especially a bases loaded situation for Yunel Escobar which he defiantly poo-pooed all over when he grounded into an inning-ending double play (a category the Angels lead all of MLB in right now). They had some hits, just couldn't pick their boy NiTro up. Poor guy...three homers, two from Chris Carter, and just like that the game shifted into darkest timeline territory.
This team is playing whack-a-mole with their issues right now, covering up one hole only to see a problem pop up elsewhere. Something needs to happen to make it all click at the same time, and then keep it clicking. Otherwise, we're in for a maddening, bumpy ride.