Angels 2 Athletics 4
Well, that was it. It may not have been the exact outcome I was looking for (and will continue to look for, every single game), but it was somewhat entertaining, nonetheless. We did get a sad glimpse into the typcal 2016 modus operandi: Good ole Mike Trout does a ton to help them win, the pitching is decent, but nobody else decides to put some runs up on the board and the bullpen is shaky.
Well, this is just the first game of many, many more. There was still plenty to like, and it was a close contest, but it definitely gave a sad trombone music cue to my life, which was kind of the opposite of what I was looking for, to be honest, but I’m just a weird Halos fan like that. I kind of like when the game is fun, but they ALSO win.
So, what about the game?
Ricky Nolasco, the pitcher to get the Opening Day nod over fan-favorite Matt Shoemaker, actually looked decent in his outing. He did have some problems with the long ball, but he was also contending with an umpire who was squeezing the perimeter of the zone quite a bit, no matter how well Martin Maldonado was framing those pitches.
Nolasco ended up going 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 4 K, and 2 BB on 91 pitches. On many other evenings, I think that this would be more of a feather in Nolasco’s cap than the fly in his ointment. In the second inning, Stephen Vogt hit a solo shot off of Nolasco, and he gave up a single in the fifth that scored Jed Lowrie.
Now, those two runs were, of course, negated by Mike Trout’s laser beam homer he hit in the third, with Kole Calhoun already on base. The two-run shot was Trout’s third Opening Day home run, and it was the main thing keeping the Halos in this game as long as they were. The Trout homer tied things up and got the Halos’ bench rocking. It was short lived.
In the sixth, Nolasco’s last side, he gave up another long bomb to A’s slugger Khris Davis that took about half a second to leave the ballpark (that’s via JoshCast, a revolutionary new tool I use to make up baseball trivia and epherma on the spot). That would be it for Nolasco for the evening, but again, his line wasn’t all that bad. He just needed the Angels (Mike Trout withstanding, who also had a big two-out hit in the 8th) to give him just a lil bit more support.
Hey, kind of reminds me of an Angels season of recent years. trAdition.
Khris Davis came up in the eighth and gave the Athletics an insurance run, by way of yet another monster home run into the chilly Oakland night. The Halos found themselves down 4-2, in the top of the ninth. If there were to be heroes, it’d be in the bottom half of the order, with the likes of Simmons, Maybin, Espinosa and the others.
As jubilant as things had started out this afternoon, it quickly devolved into frustration and wincing towards the television. But there was still time, right? Did they pull off some sweet comeback?
NO. THEY DID NOT.
The Angels lost their opening day game 4-2, and we learned that yes, Mike Trout may just have to do everything for this team, yet again, if they’re to stay in games. The top three of the order, actually, did pretty decent (Escobar, Calhoun and Trout) but beyond that, there was a whole lot of fizzle and no sizzle.
It’s just one game out of many, and it means next to nothing. Until later in the season, where perhaps it will, in hindsight, mean everything.
Some fun stuff was in store, though, so let’s end on the positive notes:
-Mike Trout had his 3rd career Opening Day homer
-Ben Revere became the 1000th player in Angels franchise history. Get your Halos trivia cheat sheets updated, ASAP.
Tomorrow, we go to battle yet again. But tonight, 4-2 loss considered, we can all go to sleep a lil happier than normal, because at the very least, baseball is back. Mike Trout is back. The Angels are back. Not bad.
Not bad at all.