The Angels won tonight, handily. They roughed up Jharel Cotton, a pitcher who wasn’t so easy on them last season, with just about every piece of lumber in the lineup. The pitching was pretty impressive at points, and at it’s worst, totally serviceable and competent. All of that is great; the five runs they scored, weighed against the goose egg laid by their Oakland combatants, was even better.
This was a dominance-establishing win, but who knows what we’ve lost?
Garrett Richards made it 4.2 IP, and he had only in the previous inning gotten into the locked-in, flamethrowin’, ace-like rhythm that you had waited all winter to see, with no runs on the board and stingy as ever, giving up only three hits to the A’s. He was hitting 98, he had movement, he was giving me hope in stem cells and dudes named Garrett Richards.
Then, Martin Maldonado walked out to the mound, the trainer and Mike Scioscia began their darkly-familiar procession, who knows what racing through their minds, besides, you know, just that the worst case scenario may be unfolding right then and there. Richards was taken out of the game, and I was no longer of a vertical nature, laid down by my own G-Rich fears.
Word would eventually break that it was a precautionary measure, for now, due to a bicep cramp. That is why I am cradling every Halos talisman I’ve ever collected or been collected by, and wishing to those baseball gods that the Angels PR people are truthful and their words mean what they mean. That it’s just a bicep cramp, it was precautionary. Richards is really OK, he’ll be back for his next start.
If we don’t hear that, then tonight was one of the worst ways you could possibly win.
BUT...for now, I’m going off of the smiles and calm coming off of Garrett as he was visited up on his own private Boot Hill. He looked like the man who had a fright, like Shoemaker dealing with one up the middle in his first game back. He’s coming off stem cell therapy on that elbow, though, so let’s be careful. OK...I can dig it.
G-Rich was smiling or in seemingly good spirits, therefore I am going to let this win wash over me anew, like the horror in the 5th never really quite happened. The bottom of the order was awesome, with Danny Espinosa and Andrelton Simmons driving in some runs and racking up some hits, even Martin Maldonado got in on the act with a double.
The guys at the top, most notably the Red Baron, Kole Calhoun, or Calhum as it’s pronounced in it’s original Cesspoolish, went 3-5, and everybody basically chipped in to totally dismantle the Athletics’ staff. All except Yunel Escobar, who went 0-4. The lone soul who could find no purchase in Oakland’s rocky skyline...don’t have too many of those, Yunel, because Jefry Marte is calling from inside your house.
13 hits, five runs scored. Everybody (except Yunel who) combining at the plate to put some pressure on the opposition and a get a rousing win in the process. The pitching, both starter and reliever, were rock solid; aces all around, and stone cold killers dressed in red, dug in the batters box.
There were good vibes in the air. There are STILL good vibes in the air.
Because it’s just a bicep cramp. It was precautionary. Garrett Richards will be OK.