Angels 6 Rangers 3
Last night, after the Angels capped off their sweep of the A’s and got their 4th win in a row, they got into a change of clothes, packed their bags and got on a plane. Mike Trout tweeted some airplanes, but Yunel Escobar took it one step beyond, as he did a live Instagram from inside the Air Force Arte.
There was music blaring, people laughing, shouting, and Escobar himself was speaking to the camera, giving shoutouts to people leaving comments, all while sipping from the party staple to end all party staples: The red Solo cup.
Yunel Escobar's live on Instagram right now, on the Angels plane, music blaring, red Solo cup. These guys are having some fun tonight. pic.twitter.com/CVOgggPSud— Halos Heaven (@halosheaven) April 28, 2017
When teams are having fun, often times good things will also sprout up on the field; it’s part of that hard-to-explain “chemistry” thing, and it’s something you especially like coming from a Mike Scioscia team, considering he’s been a anti-fun, no-Nerf-basketball-hoop grump in the past. This team, though, was having a ball last night and looking exactly like a team that is in this together.
That party plane was on it’s way to DFW, by the way, to get a little roadie started with a weekend series against the Rangers, and if game one is any indication, I think they need to do whatever it takes to keep those good vibes flowing. Friday night baseball is always a plus, a Friday night Halos win is as good as life gets; a Friday night demolition of the Rangers, IN TEXAS, takes your spirit into a new plane of existence where your soul is lit on fire by the power of every star in the universe.
Mr. Solo Cup himself, Yunel Escobar, kicked off the beautiful brutality by hitting a monster home run to center field in the first. First damn pitch of the game, and this dude launches a 434 ft blizzy? That is nothing short of a purely primal establishing of dominance over the weaker baseball team. Rangers were sweating and the game was only on pitch two.
The rest of the game delved into pitching duel with some good defense scattered about, with Tyler Skaggs pretty much cruising through the Rangers lineup. He gave up a run in the first, too, via Carlos Gomez sac fly. But then that 1-1 score stalled out awhile as the pitchers got to work. Skaggs’ curveball was magic tonight, looking video game-ish at times, but while there was plenty of awesomeness emanating from the Halos’ starter, his night would end prematurely.
Mike Trout decided to get in on this Texas slam dance when he parked a homer in center field on a straight up laser beam shot. With Kole Calhoun on base, that dinger put two on the board and all of a sudden the Angels, and Skaggs, had a 3-1 lead. Mike Trout. What else can you say? That’s Mike Trout; dropping jaws on a nightly basis, spoiling us to no end.
After 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 Ks, and only 76 pitches thrown, Mike Scioscia suddenly lifted Skaggs for Yusmeiro Petit. Right then and there, I had the feeling of a minor gut punch; was it happening again? By “it” I mean another starting pitcher injury. For awhile, we didn’t know what was going on, and all I could hope was that there was a decent excuse for why Scioscia wanted to get him out of there.
Petit quickly gave up the lead and let the Rangers tie the game at 3-3, so the heat really turned up on Scioscia in the Halosphere. He was off the hook, ultimately, because Skaggs was reportedly taken out for “right side tightness”. Once again, the team is making it seem like a nothingburger, and hopefully it is! I mean...no, I’m not even going to think about it right now.
I just want to enjoy this game, especially the moment when it turned on a dime, the game vibe going from “Possible Buttercup” to “OMG PUJOLS IS GAWD AND ANGELS ARE LIFE”. Albert Pujols, with two men on, in the 8th inning, smashed the sweet shit out of that damn baseball into left field. The Angels had a 6-3 lead, and I went into a momentary fugue state.
In a game that started off with positivity and swagger oozing from the Angels, that then devolved into a horrible kind of baseball deja-vu, in which the game is blown and injuries are sustained, Albert Pujols going yard like he was a baseball bully is about the best thing that could have possibly happened.
They got the win, they dropped bombs, they faced some adversity and they still came out on top, on the road, against the raggedy Rangers. That’s enough mojo to turn them into jersey-wearing kaiju, unstoppable by any of these weak, human MLB teams. If the team was feeling awesome last night, and were having nothing but fun going into today’s two-step, then I can’t imagine the elation they have running through their brains right now.
That’s how you start a road trip, folks. Tomorrow, I would NOT want to be the Texas Rangers.