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Angels lose a bloody series opener against the last place A's

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The Halos got behind early, then fell short in their 9th inning rally

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Angels 4, Athletics 5

The Freak was not in good form tonight and struggled his way through 3 innings.  Can we just blame it on him not being used to the Big A mound?  It got ugly early, then the game got pretty boring for a while.  It wasn't the home opener that most of us were expecting.  But then again... Buttercup is usually in the house when the Angels are around.

Tim Lincecum was here!  This time in Anaheim, hoping to build on his solid performance in Oakland last week.  Other plans unfolded as Tim Lincecum had to work out of a small jam in the first and he ended up throwing 26 pitches after putting two men on base.  Lincecum had very little time to rest and recoup as the Angels dropped in order in the bottom of the first.

Every single stinkin' A's player went to the plate in the 2nd inning.  Lincecum was basically throwing batting practice and Marcus Semien knocked his 13th home run into the bullpen with 2 men on base.  Mike Trout's throwing error that allowed Yonder Alonso to advance to second on a single, ended up being not significant after Alonso bombed him in.  The second error of the inning belong to Yunel Escobar who lazily chased a pop up behind him and misplayed it miserably, letting it bounce off his glove as Coco Crisp ran in to score.  Lincecum promptly loaded up the bases with only one out, but fortunately Escobar remembered how to field balls and the Angels got out of the inning without any more damage after a 6-3 double play.

From there, the game proceeded to get pretty boring.  Lincecum got out of the 3rd unscathed but not before bringing his total pitch count up to 83 for only 3 innings of work.  That's a pitch count that would even make Santiago proud. It would also be the last pitch he threw as Deolis Guerra replaced him in the 4th.  The Halos got a baserunner in the bottom of the 3rd in the form of Danial Nava, but Jett Bandy prompted erased them both.  Ahh.. GIDP.  It's like an old friend.  Simmons then singled, followed by an Escobar double and the Angels suddenly had something cooking.  Unfortunately it was nothing good and Calhoun ended the inning with a ground out to third.

Not ready to give up in this game, the Angels rallied back in the bottom of the 4th with a Trout single, Cron double and a Johnny G pop up to no-mans land that plated Trout for run numero uno.  Graveman was having his first rough inning and even plunked Danial Nava in the knee to load up the bases with only one out.  The Bandy man came through with a sac fly to right field and the Angels were down to just a 2 run deficit.  It was the first inning worth watching in the whole game.

Apparently the A's couldn't let he Angels come back too much so Khris Davis jacked his 17th home run to center field. The only highlight of that play was watching Mike Trout scale that wall and thinking - if anyone can grab it - he can.  But no dice.  The ball was a good 10 feet over the wall and Trout hasn't learned how to jump that high - yet.

At some point after the 4th inning, like most Angels fans, I feel asleep.  Well, not literally, but the second half of this game was about as boring as they come.  Not much happened.  I guess there were a few highlights through innings 5, 6, 7, and 8.

  • Jett Bandy and his gun nailed speedy Arismendy Alcantara in the 6th when he tried to steal second base.  It was the first time he'd been caught stealing all year in 27 attempts (though his first 26 stolen bases were in AAA).
  • Angels hit into another double play (second of the game)
  • Simmons stole  base

Yep.   That's about it.  If you were watching the game and managed to stay focused and paying attention all those innings, then you have less ADD than I do.

Oh!  But then the 9th happened.  Sean Doolittle came in to close out the game and Johnny G promptly hit a double down the left field line.  The little dude was starting a rally - right?  Shane Robinson came in to hit for Daniel Nava and did absolutely nothing.  The Bandy Man then crushed a Doolittle pitch and planted it in the A's bullpen.  It was a one run game and Jefry Marte came in to hit for Gregorio Petit.

Then it happened. Just as the Rally Monkey was getting his groove on, Marte's bat slipped on a swing, clubbing the home plate umpire squarely in the forehead.  It was ugly.  It was bloody. It caused a several minute delay on the field as he was escorted off by trainers and the 3rd base umpire went to don the home plate gear.  The only thing it did was delay the inevitable buttercupping.   Jett Bandy had himself in line for panther of the game, but instead we drop the series opener to Oakland.