Angels 1 Astros 2
It’s a tale as old as time, but by “time, I more or less mean the last couple months: Matt Shoemaker pitches his heart out for the Halos, virtually neutralizing a team’s ability to score runs, and in doing so, he gives his team the best chance to winThe Halos bats’ then react like a 5 year old left in the bathtub too long, meaning they shrivel up and leave nothing behind but a soggy turd.
Shoemaker’s night was the same excellence that we’ve come to expect since he was called up from AAA towards the end of May. He would end up going 6.2 IP, giving up five hits in the process and just two runs, both earned.
He had a little bit of a hiccup in the fifth, when he gave up a triple out at Tal’s Hill to Preston Tucker, which was then followed by an RBI single from Jason Castro. Before that point, he’d been cruising. There was some more tension in the seventh, when Shoemaker got two down on the Astros, and then with a man on third already, he walked the #9 batter to put runners on the corners.
That was the point where Mike Scioscia pulled Shoemaker, with George Springer coming up to the plate. Prior to that at-bat, Spring had gone 0-3 so there one could argue that you leave the starter in there to get that final out. On the other hand, Shoemaker had just tipped over 100 pitches, so his time was coming up regardless. Instead of bringing in recent 8th inning usurper Cam Bedrosian for an important, clutch out in the seventh, Scioscia stuck to his love of roles and put Joe Smith out there.
George Springer immediately hit an RBI single, giving the Astros a 2-0 lead, and putting one more earned run on The Cobbler’s line for the night. Tough luck once again for the bearded fan favorite; Shoemaker now has an AL leading (and tied for MLB leading) 7 starts where he goes 6+ IP and allows 2 runs or less, but doesn’t get the win. There is no justice on this cruel rock we call Earth.
The Angels just couldn’t do much against Houston starter Lance McCullers, who would end up going eight innings of shutout ball, striking out 10 Angels along the way. Our dudes got straight up smoked. They got one run on the board late, thanks to some work from Andrelton Simmons (who went 2-4 and is now batting .276!!). But outside that, you had a lot of silence, including a 3 K night from Trout. Not what you want in an AL West road game. Or any game.
The win streak is over, and as we learned very well in Shoemaker’s last start, he basically has to be perfect and the Angels will MAYBE gift him one lone run, and then and only then can he get a deserved W, I guess.
This series was big, and was going to tell us a lot about the team we’ve seen post-All Star break, but in this first downer of a game, we just were taught what we already knew: Matt Shoemaker is good, but the Angels can’t give him any love.