Angels 4 Indians 3
I've got a huge problem, guys: I'm running out of words to describe Matt Shoemaker's amazing run of starts, especially having to process and describe the scorcher he threw tonight. This is a great problem to have, to be honest; I hope it gets to the point where I just post a shrug emoji, along with a dozen fire emoji, to convey my thoughts on The Cobbler, to be quite honest. Make no mistake, Shoemaker is on some next level plane of pitching existence right now.
Shoemaker was a revelation tonight, a reckoning set upon the Indians for eight innings, using the splitter with pin point accuracy and bewildering Cleveland's motley crew all evening long. Shoemaker ended up throwing 108 pitches in this game, over eight innings. He would give up only three hits in that time, never really getting into trouble of any kind, with a staggering 11 Ks.
Yep, this was the Elite Shoemaker that we've been spoiled with for weeks now, and I keep thinking he'll dissolve and return to his previous output. But then instead of that regression, he subverts all conventional thinking and throws a gem that is somehow better than the last gem. We are blessed to be seeing this string of games, though, to say the very least.
The tragedy in Shoemaker's turn into a juggernaut as of late has been the fact that despite being lights out, he's never guaranteed run support, or a win. Tonight, the Angels tried to pick him up as much as was needed to safely give him the W, and then they even added a couple more runs on top of that. A Jefry Marte double in the fourth was the first run put on the board for the Halos, and the insurance runs came in the seventh, with the bases loaded, when Kole Calhoun blooped a single into shallow left field, scoring two.
Those insurance runs would be important later on, sadly, but it should have been all the Angels needed tonight, if they relied squarely on the shoulders of Matt Shoemaker and his historic run. Historic how? Matt Shoemaker entered an elite club tonight, as he tied for third place in most Ks without a walk (49). He's tied with Pedro Martinez, and trailed only Curt Schilling and Greg Maddux. Of course, Shoemaker did finally issue a walk tonight...just one...but it was enough to end his incredible run.
Now, on to the score. The Angels had that 3-0 lead heading into the ninth, with Shoemaker on the bench and Huston Street called into the game. I had a rather sardonic thought come to mind: "what if Street totally blew this game and once again, Shoemaker was screwed over by his team?"
It was a little dark humor for myself to smirk at, but not meant as a legit possibility. Then, Street started allowing guys on. Then, Carlos Santana singled home a run and Lonnie Chisenhall got a sac fly. It was 3-2 Angels...Street got down to two outs, but had guys on first and second. Apparently, Matt Shoemaker can pitch like Clayton Kershaw but the Angels will find a way to make things difficult.
And then, worst case scenario happened: a single by Tyler Naquin drove in the tying run, 3-3 ball game in the ninth after Shoemaker all but wrapped up this quick, easy win with a nice little bow on top. Huston Street took that gift, doused it in gasoline and lit it on fire. This is more than sad; it's a damn travesty. Shoemaker deserves better than this.
Luckily for Huston Street, the offense was in the mood for a walk-off tonight. Brendan Ryan lead off the bottom of the ninth, his first hit of the season, and a couple batters later, he'd be knocked home from second, thanks to Yunel Escobar.
Esky had that walk-off game on lock down, and the Angels snatched victory back from the jaws of defeat, even though there shouldn't have been any snatching to begin with. Shoemaker doesn't get the win, of course, but he can hang his head extremely high knowing he gave them another golden outing on the mound.
All in all, a great, if frustrating, game...but then again, that describes a bunch of them this year. Tonight, I'm not complaining.