Tonight, the Angels offense came crashing out of the gates, vim and vigor at max capacities and on full display in front of the home crowd. They faced the Tigers, a team they toyed with a bit last night before finally pouncing, and with the way this team was driving in runs tonight, it was set up to be a bona fide cake walk for the team, and starter Hector Santiago.
Yet things happen with this team, as you may have witnessed a few, or a thousand, times. The win was basically handed to them on a plate, and they just had to screw it up. To quote the famous daywalker, Blade, "some motherf*****'s always trying to ice skate uphill". Tonight, even amidst some blistering Halo blitzes, our guys WERE those motherf******.
Hector Santiago had a couple rough starts before tonight's game; we're talking didn't-even-get-past-three-innings-pitched rough. Hector's a fiery competitor and that pendulum can be a blessing and a curse, so if anybody needed a confidence booster after that two-game torture pit, it was Santiago. Wouldn't you know, he pretty much got just what the baseball doctor ordered.
When men were at the dish tonight, homers were the special of the day and everybody wanted to get in on it. Home runs, bombs, dingers, dongs, blasts and jacks, tonight we saw plenty of 'em. Santiago was at the receiving end of a couple of those strong uppercuts, starting in the first inning.
Miguel Cabrera is a bad dude on the field, and proved that immediately with his first inning solo shot, and that was definitely not what you'd want to see early for Hector. The Angels picked him right back up, though, in the bottom of the first, when C.J. Cron hit a two-run shot and the Halos had a 2-1 lead.
In the second, Justin Upton hit the third homer of the contest, tying up the game at 2-2. There were still many more homers to come, too, just a warning, and the scoring started coming in bigger chunks. Like in the bottom of the second, Mike Trout hit a three-run jimmy jack, just barely over the center field wall, and then in the following inning, fresh-from-the-Salt-Lake-Bees Jefry Marte hit a solo dinger to center field, right where Trout had put one. Things were rolling for the Halos, as those home runs gave them a big 6-2 lead.
They weren't done.
In the fourth, the Halos fired a few more rounds at the Tigers, via a Kole Calhoun RBI double, a C.J. Cron sac fly and a Jefry Marte RBI single up the middle. They did this damage all after the Halos loaded up the bases with only one out...they were firing on all cylinders, and were now the proud owners a delicious 9-2 tally on the scoreboard.
Hector Santiago, meanwhile, had settled down and was having a good, efficient night, excluding those homers. What could go wrong for the Angels, in this dream-like game situation? Well, Blade already covered that, more or less.
In the sixth, Santiago got a little errant and made some mistakes, the worst of which was a two-run bomb from J.D. Martinez. It was 9-4 Angels...still on top, by a decent margin. Ok, this is fine.
Hector wasn't high in his pitch count, so he was able to go into the seventh inning, and while he did get a couple outs on the board, he all of a sudden threw a couple walks, men on second and first, and Scioscia got nervous and lifted Santiago. Who did he call upon in this two on, two out situation?
CAM. FREAKING. BEDROSIAN.
One out, that's all they needed to get out of the seventh at that point, and Cam starts nibbling like his name was C.J. A walk to Jose Iglesias later, and we have a bases loaded crisis. Then Ian Kinsler came up, and as Bedrosian hucked a 95 mph 4-seam fastball towards home plate, Kinsler morphed into Dr. Manhattan, unstuck himself from the fabric of spacetime, and experimented and altered the events of tonight's game to make it as if the Angels lead had completely evaporated and/or never existed to begin with.
What i'm trying to say is CAM BEDROSIAN GAVE UP A FRIGGIN' GRAND SLAM TO IAN FRINGGIN' KINSLER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All of that offense, all of that ebullient, run-scoring energy wasted by a complete meltdown, a worst case scenario come to life with the help of monstrous radioactive mojo. It was 9-8 all of a sudden, and the Angels finally got themselves out of the inning.
And then, with perfect timing and completely unaware of the painful, crippling irony, the stadium played "Buttercup". Fucking buttercup.
Is it such a surprise, then, that in the eighth, the buttercup anti-mojo bomb dropped on the stadium tonight completed it's conquering? Yep, with Fernando Salas on the mound, Victor Martinez hit a solo shot, the EIGHTH homer of the game, which so happened to also be game-tying. The 9-2 Angels rout was now a 9-9 tie that was beginning to borderline on straight up abusive.
The Angels were in desperate need of a hero, a lifeline, a way back to the land of the living. In a game of long balls, they'd need a moonshot from a hero, a Chosen One, to take down these festering Detroit sores.
Tonight, the Chosen One was a man who had already flexed his muscle earlier in the game...and in the bottom of the ninth, with a man on, he flexed so damn hard he almost brought the Big A down to rubble.
C.J. Cron, ladies and gentlemen.
Cron hit an absolute no-doubter dagger to left field, right to the dome of Tigers' reliever Mark Lowe. It left the stadium like it was a Dodgers fan in the fourth inning; loud and quick. With that, the Angels had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, after they had already snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. It was that kind of game, one with nine home runs, one of them an insane walk-off, and a final score of 11-9.
They just HAD to make it hard tonight, didn't they? That's ice skating uphill, right there. But sometimes, I'm cool with it in the end. Tonight is one of those nights.