Angels 8 Rangers 6
Tim Lincecum was in good form tonight, but some bad defense would once again derail any shot he had at hindsight glory. The Freak would finish with five innings pitched, striking out seven and giving up nine hits. He gave up two homers to Robinson Chirinos, so if you take out that guy, who obviously had Lincecum’s number, then The Freak’s night gets even better.
Still, he’d leave the game giving up three earned runs, but two unearned were adding to his scorecard thanks to some more bad defense from Yunel Escobar. He’s a revelation at the leadoff spot, but a liability in the infield. Go figure.
The story of the game wasn’t Lincecum’s pitching, really, nor was it Kyle Lohse’s outing that would get all the attention. No, it was the bats. We had yet another back-and-forth slugfest between the two AL West rivals, and once again leading the Angels’ offensive charge was Albert Pujols.
This was Pujols like we’ve never seen him before. Well, at least not in his Halos uniform. Albert finished going 3-3, with TWO homers and SIX RBIs (not to mention TWO runs scored). There is a ghost in The Machine lately, and it’s driving him to murder baseballs. Tonight, we saw perhaps the best game of Pujols’ Angels career, and it feels like he’s got a few more of those left in him, too.
The first Pujols homer actually tied the game 3-3, with the Rangers having runs at that point solely from the Chirinos bombs. By the time the second homer came around, the Angels were down yet again, this time 5-4, thanks to some hits from Nomar Mazara and Elvis Andrus. But Pujols hit yet another three-run jack and the Angels had not only taken the lead, but they had taken a commanding 7-5 lead.
Ian Desmond would homer for the Rangers to give them an even six runs, but Jett Bandy would counter with a solo shot of his own. After a few lead changes, a couple guys having multi-homer games, a nice Lincecum day and a good Cam Bedrosian sighting, the Angels took the 8-6 lead into the ninth, and Huston Street put the whole thing to bed.
There were some Angels shining bright in this game, for sure, but make no mistake about it: this was Albert Pujols’ game through and through. It was the first time he had six or more RBIs since 2009, a time when he was a king of the baseball world. Tonight, the clock turned back, The Big A became his Delorean, and we saw a legend reborn.
That’s now a season-high five wins in a row for the Halos, Tim Lincecum is your winning pitcher, all in a game where Albert Pujols went yard twice, and finished with six RBIs. What a time to be alive.