Matt Shoemaker is a man on fire; he's a streetwalkin' Panther with a glove full of napalm, a sonic lineup reducer, and a cold heartbreaker, fit to start and he'll rip your batters in two. The dude has pitched lights out in three straight starts, setting Angels records in the process and giving his team a chance to win. Of course, they still have to score and stuff, and when they're going against a guy that they've never seen before, it's a recipe for stifled hitting. But, Matt Shoemaker!
Michael Fulmer was the man on the mound for the Tigers tonight. A little about him: he's a youngster with great stuff that the Tigers got in the Cespedes rental deal from last year. The kid is legit and tonight the Angels found out the hard way. Fulmer had a no-hitter through 6 2/3 innings, with just one walk in the game. The Halos couldn't really do much of anything with this guy, at least until the end of the seventh, when C.J. Cron finally broke up the no-no.
Fulmer chugged along, though, making the Angels look like chumps. He eventually came out in the eighth, but by then, the damage had been done.
Oh well. Whatever. Now, on to Matt Shoemaker.
The Cobbler was giving us all another masterclass spoiling fans with high grade pitching in all it's glory. Shoemaker finished the night with seven innings pitched, with eight strikeouts and 2 runs allowed. Totally ignore the fact that he gave up 10 hits, because he managed to keep the score low, and to go along with his 8 Ks, he had ZERO walks. That's a stellar start, regardless of the amount of hits he gave up.
The two runs he gave up were both off of puny, RBI singles, nothing special. One of those was in a tense, bases loaded situation, and other pitchers (or Shoemaker of April) would have let that shake their mental fortitude, perhaps allowing more runs to score. Shoemaker held strong, though, and got out of the jam. He was having one of those kind of dominant nights, where the opposition could try as they might, but there would be no big scoring innings.
Matt Shoemaker had this game under his thumb.
Shoemaker also made a little history: He took over the record for most strikeouts in a row before walking a batter (33), formerly held by Frank Tanana. Also, he is in some really good company with his recent successes. Just check this out:
Angels pitchers to go at least 7 IP, allowing 2 R or less on 10+ H and 8+ K:— Adam Chodzko (@AChodzkoAngels) June 2, 2016
Nolan Ryan (2 times)
.@MattShoe52 is also just the second Halos pitcher to go 3 straight starts of at least 7 innings with 0 walks: Frank Tanana 7/10-20, 1980— Adam Chodzko (@AChodzkoAngels) June 2, 2016
Matt Shoemaker is throwing the damn baseball like some sort of shiny, golden (and bearded!) god, and he's must-see Angels TV, as far as i'm concerned. The dude is just killing it right now.
Going back to the game a bit, the Angels went into the ninth, now down 3-0 after a late, Detroit insurance run, and were looking to get something going in the bottom of the inning; some of that residual walk-off mojo, perhaps. They would have Calhoun, Trout and Cron going up to the dish for them, so the right pieces were in place, at the very least.
Remember who I said was facing them down on the mound, once Fulmer got pulled in the 8th? That's right. Old friend Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod was back in Anaheim, and had the task of quelling any Halos comeback. He did admirably, getting Calhoun and Cron out (allowed a walk and stolen base to Trout), and finally, a Jefry Marte K would put the Halos to rest for the night.
The Angels lost the game, going silent at the plate in the process, but they still won the previous two games, and therefore they won the series. A sweep would have been dope, but i'll gladly take the ongoing Shoemaker resurgence and his record-setting night as a nice consolation.