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The Angels needed to be near-perfect to beat Marcus Stroman today & they pulled it off...until the 8th inning

Wright, Parker and Alvarez did their best to hold on to a 1-0 lead against the Blue Jays. Guerra & Pounders...not so much.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Los Angeles Angels Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Angels 2 Blue Jays 6

For awhile, pretty much all the way til the 8th inning, this game looked like one that this particular Angels team should have no business winning. Yet, there they were, up on the Blue Jays 1-0, in late innings; that’s just not the type of Sunday you expect to see this club come out of unscathed, and for a couple hours, at least, the opposite seemed to be unfurling before our eyes.

Well, until the 8th inning.

Before we get there, let’s focus on the awesome pitching the Angels got out of Daniel Wright, who went 5.0 IP/3 H/0 R/0 ER/3 K, as well as Blake Parker and Jose Alvarez, who pitched in scoreless sides themselves (Parker’s was especially electric, as he struck out three Blue Jays in 20 pitches). Toronto had some lumber to fear, but Wright, Parker and Alvarez didn’t pay them any mind, as those three combined for 7 scoreless innings for the Angels, and again...NO RUNS.

They had set their offense up beautifully, the only downside being the fact that they were going against one of the more formidable pitchers out there, Marcus Stroman. Stroman barely worked up a sweat against the Angels, except for maybe in the third, when he got into a tiny jam that resulted in an Albert Pujols RBI single, driving home Kole Calhoun.

Take out that side, and you have pure dominance from Stroman, who had 84 pitches after EIGHT innings...for reference, it took Wright about 80 pitches to go five. In fact, he never even allowed another baserunner after that third inning hiccup.

So, of course, they got themselves a full nine innings of facing Stroman and why not? He’d nine hits, sure, but only that one Calhoun run had crossed and he’d struckout five Angels in the process. Still, before the eighth, the Halos hurlers had kept things close, and maybe they could pull out the closest, most narrow of wins possible...a 1-0 W, against Stroman, on a Sunday afternoon.

Alas, relievers are not all built like Blake Parker or Jose Alvarez. It was Deolis Guerra, in that dreaded eighth, who would give up two runs off of two homers, giving the Blue Jays a 2-1 edge.

Then, the levee broke, and Brooks Pounders was on watch. Pounders got some time on the bump, after his recent call-up, but it wasn’t how you’d want it to go, if your of the Pounders family.

Pounders would give up a homer himself, as well as some other runs batted in, and by the time Marcus Stroman was out in the ninth to get his complete game, he no longer had a 1-0 hole to dig out of, or a 2-1 edge to lean on...he had a 6-1 cushion, as comfy as they get, thanks to ol’ Pounders and Guerra.

Five shutout innings in a spot start; nice! A dominant inning from Blake Parker; nice! Jose Alvarez did his job; nice! The rest of the pitching from that point on; BARF!

Just like that, when we thought the bullpen was looking legit, and the Halos were holding their own at the Big A, they got down, down, down, and there were no late super-heroics to be had. After the bats showed up for a couple nights and gave some run support, they shrunk back into their shells against Stroman.

The game ended with a little bit of hope bottom of the ninth, as Albert Pujols crossed the dish after an Andrelton Simmons single to right field, but ultimately a Danny Espinosa GIDP put it to rest. Sums up the rest of the whole affair, if you ask me. Once again, I’m left thinking “Man, the pitching was good, but they got done dirty.” Then again, Stroman is dirty...filthy...and if you have a 1-0 lead, then your ENTIRE bullpen better be up to the task.

Today, some were. Some weren’t, and here we are. Buttercupped.