Angels 4 Athletics 7
Tonight, it was Christmas in June at the Big A and the only thing the Angels were getting was some knock off GI Joes and a car air freshener. Which is to say, if this were Christmas, they’d have gotten excited about some hints and the size of the present, but once it was unwrapped, nothing but disappointment.
It was one of those predictably maddening games, the only thing more ugly would be the ugly Christmas sweater hats that were given out tonight. But those hats are whimsical and self aware. The Angels do not.
Jered Weaver was making his second consecutive start against the A’s; the last one went pretty darn well, as Weaver went all Maddux on us and threw a complete game shutout with just 95 pitches. If we saw even just a little bit of that Weaver tonight, we’d probably be watching an Angels win. Or not, you know. There’s always that.
This game had plenty of shots traded between the two clubs, a seesaw battle until late in the game. Things got started with a home run in the first for Stephen Vogt off of Weaver to center field, but in the first, Mike Trout walked and then Albert Pujols hit a 443 ft homer to left, getting back the run and then some.
In the second, with Andrelton Simmons on third, a bad throw to try and beat Mike Trout at first allowed Simmons to come home, adding on yet another run and giving the Angels a 3-1 lead. But Oakland charged back undaunted, and came within one run with an RBI single from Billy Burns.
The fourth had a single from Mike Trout scoring one for the Halos, and they were up a couple runs, 4-2, but the fifth showed the A’s retaliating hard and knocking out starter Jered Weaver. A ground out, a couple singles and a sac fly later, the Athletics had tied up the game and Weaver was lifted, night over.
The game was 4-4 and it looked like we had ourselves a barnburner on our hands, but it got quickly out of hand when, in the eighth inning and with Fernando Salas in relief, Khris Davis smashed a three-run shot to center field. The A’s had a 7-4 advantage, the Angels looking like they were on the ropes.
The ninth came, and while the Halos mounted a little surge with Giavotella and Trout getting on base, Albert Pujols, instead of hitting another homer and tying up the game, hit a grounder to shortstop for the final out of the game. The Athletics take the Friday night tussle 7-4.
The Angels are now the last place team in the AL West, truly a low point if I’ve ever heard of one. The Christmas in June didn’t have the happy, Grinch-loves-Whoville ending that you want out of holiday fare, instead it was like watching someone pick at a festering wound, and you’re hoping they just stop.
Forget Christmas and all it’s wintery tropes and archetypes. This team now owes the fans a different type of holiday gather, a Festivus for the rest of us, if only for the ability it affords to air our grievances. I wouldn’t know where to start.