Angels 5 Athletics 4
The power of home runs is a curious thing. It could make one team weep, make another team sing. Change Mike Scioscia into a little white dove. But, more than a feeling, that’s the power of home runs. -Josh Mayhood, poet
Yes, home runs are some dangerous, raw, powerful weapons; swords so sharp they enamor crowds of thousands at a time, while having that double edge...the ability to build you up, or let you down. Sometimes teams need more than some blasts to the bleachers to win games, but tonight’s game between the Halos and the A’s had both teams declaring “Base hits are for losers”.
Basically, we saw the Great Long Ball Battle of 2016.
Matt Shoemaker took the mound for the Angels tonight, and he and another exemplary and encouraging performance. He pitched seven innings, giving up just two runs: Khris Davis homer in the 2nd and Coco Crisp homer in the 5th. Both were solo shots, so minimal damage, and outside of that, Shoemaker gave up six hits in his seven frames, 4 Ks and 3 BBs.
Shoemaker once again punched his time card, then proceeded to give us a show out there on the field. Then punched right on out, but while that was nothing we haven’t seen plenty of lately, there was one development that is always a welcome surprise: run support.
The A’s had already dropped two bombs at the Big A, the Angels had yet to answer. Then, in the 5th inning, with Shoemaker’s two earned runs looming over the Angels’ goose egg, Jett Bandy proved that yes, the Bandy man can, by hitting a laser beam, two-run (and game tying) blast to left field. The Angels had fired back and with one Jett stream swing, we had ourselves a tie game.
Before Shoemaker left, he’d get even more runs backing him up. In the 6th, Mike Trout walked to lead off the inning, and then Albert Pujols got on base from a SS error. The table was set for the game’s next herculean home run. This time, it was Jefry Marte hitting an absolute no-doubter bomb to the left field bleachers, putting three more Angels runs on the board and giving Matt Shoemaker’s wife something to cheer about at home.
The Angels had a 5-2 lead, Shoemaker had put in seven good innings with the run support to back it up. That’s a major league win, right there, wrapped up with a nice little bow, practically. But the Angels couldn’t escape without making things a little uneasy. JC Ramirez relieved Shoemaker for the 8th, and he gave up the fifth home run of the night, a two-run dinger that just barely got over the right field fence, and made it a one run ballgame heading into the ninth.
Luckily, Cam Bedrosian, in his first appearance in the current “Closer by committee” experiment brought on by Huston Street’s trip to the DL, was just as you’d want and expect from this latest late inning dominance. Bedrosian, in his first ever career save, STRUCK OUT THE SIDE. Boom, that’s how it’s done, son.
It was an electric ending to an exciting game that had some amazing Shoemaker, a lot of long balls, and some history making for a young Halo pitcher. Light up that halo.