Angels 0, Yankees 7
Arte Moreno's two favorite baseball teams squared off Friday night in Anaheim to kick off a three game weekend series. With both teams comfortably on the outside looking in of the playoff picture, this game had the feeling of an exhibition, both line-ups patched together with AAA cast-offs and veteran has-been's. With the Angels actually wielding more star power than their New York counterparts on this night, it was a perfect opportunity for Mike Trout and co. to flex their muscles and win bragging rights in front of a national audience.
Unfortunately, Jered Weaver struggled to work his rock pile magic on this night, serving up tasty meatballs to the Yankees' spring training lineup. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a home run to right, setting the tone for what would unfold on this Friday evening. After Ellsbury drove in the game's second run with a single in the third, Weaver seemed to settle down with a quiet fourth inning, allowing just a harmless single.
And then we had the fifth inning. Ronald Torreyes led off the inning with a solo home run, followed soon after by another solo shot off the bat of Didi Gregorius. Weaver caught a break when Gary Sanchez was thrown out trying to stretch his second double of the game into a triple, but his night quickly ended when Brian McCann hit the very next pitch out of the yard. Weaver's final line: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 4 HR.
Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka showed Arte why it pays to invest in international talent, baffling Halo batters over 7.2 innings, allowing no runs while scattering five singles, striking out nine batters against zero walks. To add insult to injury, hot-hitting Yunel Escobar was forced out of the game after bunting a pitch off his face in the fourth inning. This one was ugly from all angles.
Ho-hum, yet another foot note in the Angels' great free fall of 2016. Weaver looks less and less like a major league pitcher, his junk-balling ways failing to fool even the most marginal of major league line-ups. Jett Bandy continues to hit and Mike Trout looks like he's coming out of his late-summer slumber, but otherwise the lineup looks disinterested and punchless. Tonight they gave the invading New York transplants and bandwagoners something to cheer for, laughing the Halo faithful out of the building. Way to go, guys.