Tim Lincecum just isn't really showing us anything that says he should be a member of the Angels' rotation for very much longer. Granted he may still be a ways from shaking all of that inactivity rust off, and tonight he had some gaffes on defense hurt him, but as of right now, The Freak just ain't The Freak. Tonight, however, despite what on any normal day would be a certain loss, he was gifted one of the rarest 2016 Angels gifts there is: Runs.
The Halos were quick to get on the board today, with a huge (by Angels standards, at least), four-run 2nd inning that saw both Andrelton Simmons (RBI single) and C.J. Cron (solo homer) continuing their hot streaks, and Shane Robinson and Yunel Escobar chipping in their piece. With a weak facsimile of The Freak on the mound, they'd need more runs that that to walk out of this one intact.
The Angels had a 4-3 lead going into the fifth, with the Rays slowly climbing back. A two run single from Nick Franklin would tip them up and over the Halos, giving the home team a 5-4 comeback; that would also be the end of The Freak's night.
Lincecum was in line for yet another L, as he was yet another Angels starter that couldn't get past the 5th. His line of 4.2 IP, 10 H and 5 ER gives me supreme fits of deja vu, because I swear I've written that out, or something similar, many, many times in the past few weeks. This SHOULD have been a loss, the Angels being down when Mike Scioscia lifted Lincecum, but the Angels made a rally, and then some.
Simmons continued to bat out of his mind yet again, hitting a double that would regain the the Halos' lead (he'd also hit a triple in the 9th, the dude's on fire). A Shane Robinson fielder's choice would tack one more on, and the 5-4 Lincecum hole had been filled in, replaced with a 7-5 walloping.
C.J. Cron has had himself one heck of a road trip, and this game is just more of the same. He topped his second inning solo shot with a towering, three-run bomb to straight center field in the top of the ninth. God bless his streaky, powerful heart. Carlos Perez added an RBI single, Yunel Escobar had an RBI single, (his third hit of the night), and then Kole Calhoun had an RBI single. RBI SINGLES FOR EVERYBODY! Just like that, a bakers dozen on the Rays, Lincecum was well off the hook and they had a stout 13-5 lead, six of which came in the ninth . All without Mike Trout in the lineup? Sorcery!
16 hits in total for the Halos, with a lot of RBIs coming from the scorching hot bats of Cron and Simmons. You had a bad night for Lincecum, but a good night for the bullpen, especially Cam Bedrosian, who may have overtaken Joe Smith for the 8th inning job (Bedrosian went 1-2-3 tonight). Again, all without the bat or glove of Mike Trout (although he did eventually come in as a pinch runner in the ninth).
Not a bad game. Not a bad game at all. Of course, the Rays are the Rays. Why can't they all be the Rays?