Angels 3 Reds 0
Wow. Angels games, especially in 2016, don’t often look so simultaneously breezy and dominant as the game we just saw today. It was an early, four o’clock weekday start, with a stadium that was far, far from what could be considered well-attended, and it all went by so quick that I think there had to have been a few people who went to get some nachos and missed the whole thing.
It just took a little over two hours of playing time, but when things settled down, we had one heck of a gem from Ricky Nolasco and some more mashing from C.J. Cron. That’s all it took to cap off a three game series sweep over the struggling Reds, and now the Angels have won five games in a row.
Let’s talk about Nolasco first, because this performance practically came out of nowhere; he was a man possessed, throwing strike after strike, basically being the antithesis of a C.J. Wilson-esque Nibbler, and in doing so, he made extremely quick work of the Reds. He ended up not only going the full nine innings, but he gave a full nine SCORELESS innings. In the process, he would only give up four hits while striking out seven (all on 94 freakin’ pitches!!!!). Man, where did this Nolasco come from?!?!
It was Nolasco’s 11th career complete game, and his fifth career shutout. The last time he had a CG was back in May of 2014, and his last shutout was in September of 2012...I guess he was due, to put it mildly. Cincinnati just had no answers for what Nolasco was dealing, and in the blink of an eye, they were booted from the Big A with another L on their record. Seriously, I have to give massive props to Nolasco for today’s outing, just brilliant and if he was looking for a special way to get his first win as an Angel, this was a great way to do it.
With Nolasco holding down the pitching part of today’s game, C.J. Cron continued to put the screws towards the Reds’ pitching staff. Cron had two RBIs on the day, both from singles, which would give him seven hits and seven RBIs in this short, three game series. With Albert Pujols and Mike Trout out of the lineup today, I expected Cron to do the heavy lifting and that’s exactly what we got. Jefry Marte also chimed in with an RBI double, and with those three runs, combined with Nolasco’s masterpiece, the Angels had more than enough to close the book on their opponent.
I’m still kind of reeling from what I just witnessed; a picture of perfect baseball efficiency, at a breakneck pace of play, and the Angels are on some kind of roll. The Halo is lit before we even got settled in, and now they have some serious good vibes going through the clubhouse with the series wins to back ‘em up.
Bring on the Mariners, I say!