Angels 1 Rangers 2
The main attraction, of course, was the arms race we saw on display; “arms”...as in Tyler Skaggs and Yu Darvish, both of whom were more or less lights out, and both were stingy with the hits and the runs given up.
Skaggs was the first to exit, after pitching 6.0 innings of two hit, scoreless baseball. What happens when you have a dominant young pitcher who has their fastball, curve and change all working without a hitch? Well, if you’re trying to hit said pitcher, what happens is you have a bad night.
That’s what we saw tonight from Skaggs this evening; a strong, diverse arsenal that racked up 8 strikeouts in those six innings on the field. That’s straight fire. The Rangers didn’t even get on the board til after Skaggs left, when Mike Morin was in for relief in the seventh and Elvis Andrus hit an RBI single.
The game had dual goose eggs no more, but it was still within reach for the Halos. While Skaggs had been dominating Texas, Darvish had been making mince meat out of the Angels’ batters. He already amassed six strikeouts in the first three innings, and his stuff was confounding Halos all night.
Well, until the seventh, with two outs, and one epic at-bat battle from Andrelton Simmons. With Jefry Marte already on second, Andrelton Simmons loped a liner to the right-center gap, scoring Marte and allowing Simmons into third for a game-tying triple. Simba comes through in the clutch.
That put the wraps on Darvish’s night; his final line would be 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 R, 9 K, 1 BB. That’s deadly, but Simba laughed in the face of that Rangers adversity and tied things up.
The tie was short-lived, though, because in the eighth, J.C. Ramirez gave up a solo blast to Adrian Beltre, putting Texas back up, a 2-1 hole and the daylight for the Angels was officially fading fast.
The bottom of the ninth crept upon the hometown heroes and all of a sudden it was do or die against their rival. Sam Dyson was on the mound for the Rangers, and he was having none of the Angels attempts at making a comeback. There was a little bit of fight left in the Angels, as they did get a couple guys on base, but ultimately they would lose for the day.
A 2-1 loss against the division leader...could have been worse, I suppose. Could have been better, and was definitely within the realm of probability that they could have won that game. There’s still fight in these Halos yet. Tonight, there just wasn’t enough to get the job fully done.
(Okay, now let’s all go to the comments and gripe about Scioscia taking Skaggs out)