Angels 9 Rangers 5
If ever an Angels game were lit this season, this would probably be the one. The Big A was practically on another plane of existence, one in which the Angels are an AL West powerhouse, resembling the blissful 2000s in all manners of success; the hitting, the dramatic defense and the formidable throwing arms.
Tonight’s death match, the first of three death matches, was a sermon on the virtues of never giving up, too, because the Rangers came out swinging and starter Nick Tropeano struggled mightily. The first inning had a Rougned Odor two-run blast, and then a Adrian Beltre solo bomb. With swings sending baseballs into the green, bleacher creature hinterlands, making NiTro stagger through just the first inning, let alone the second, when Mitch Moreland went yard; it was time for a change.
After two innings, and the Rangers up 4-0 on the Halos, most Halos Heaven regulars would shake their fist at the heavens and think “one of these games”, the memory of the bonkers White Sox sweep already charging out of our mind’s storage and being replaced with familiar frustration.
Tropeano would be lifted for Jhoulys Chacin way, way early, and we would then see NiTro being attended to in the dugout, and then followed into the clubhouse by fancy trainers...so NiTro didn’t lose any of his stuff, per se, but he was injured. Not that that’s any better of any excuse really; we’ll await updates on his status. In the meantime, as soon as Chacin came in and settled down the bats of the AL West-leading Rangers, the offense then began doing their part to make some magic happen.
At first, they would chip away here and there, like with Albert Pujols getting a bases loaded walk, or a Daniel Nava sac fly. It was 4-2 Texas and then here came dat Choi, with C.J. Cron replacement Ji-Man Choi cranking a ball into deep right-center for his first career home run. It brought the Angels within one run, and it nearly brought the Halos’ dugout down with their celebration.
In the sixth, a fielding error by Odor led to another run, and it was a tied 4-4 affair. Not for long, though, because in the same frame, JohnnY Giavotella hit a single to center, driving in the go-ahead run in the process. The Angels had done it, they had tied their best deficit overcome in the 2016 season (4 runs), and held a 5-4 lead over a pretty good first place team.
Then, Mike Scioscia tried to Salas everybody’s hard work and effort by putting in some guy named Fernando Salas. A Bobby Wilson double from Salas ended up tying things up again. This is when the Angels stopped playing around.
It’s the bottom of the seventh, Jett Bandy on third. Kole Calhoun hits into fielders choice, scoring Bandy and the Angels had their lead back, 6-5. Then, with two men on, Mike Trout took a first pitch fastball and drove that thing into deep left field. The man, the myth, the legend, and now the Ranger Killing Game Breaker. As Trout was greeted in the dugout like a hero home from a decades-long quest, the scoreboard read 9-5 Angels and The Big A was a glorious cacophony of joy and cheers; the antithesis of Buttercup on full display.
Just like in the White Sox sweep, this win was supported by just about every farm hand on the Halos Ranch. Andrelton Simmons continues to light up the baseball, going 3-4 tonight and now batting .271, as well as having yet another crazy, over-the-shoulder catch. Jett Bandy had a good game himself, 1-3 and a run scored. Great nights in relief were had by Chacin, who had FOUR scoreless frames, and JC Ramirez, who pitched a couple scoreless sides himself and even got out of a tough, two men on style jam.
The Angels worked the Rangers 9 to 5 tonight, what a way to make a victory. The beginning was pure horrorshow, but the Halos honk faithful were rewarded with a legit, honest-to-goodness comeback on a 1st place division rival. This is what good living is all about, sipping on Rangers tears while watching Mike Trout and Ji-Man Choi make some rain.
Let’s do this again tomorrow, yeah?