Angels 5 Mariners 1
People of Earth, fans of the Halos, all those who just witnessed the Friday night lightning of Mr. Jesse Chavez, or the dashing glove flashing, or the KC two-run blizzy, let us all never forget this night. THIS NIGHT, when we saw a proper hyped home opener. The good guys in red stand over the Dipotos, dancing a jig to a 5-1 victory tune.
For reals, though, was this game exciting or what? From the first inning, with our first regular season look at “pitching question mark” personified, Jesse Chavez, to the end of the game, with the halo lit and fireworks doing their raucous song, I had myself a pretty dang good time watching this baseball game.
The fact that it was the home opener was just the icing on the cake.
The Halos fans were out in full force tonight at the Big A, and they were treated to some action from the get-go, as Jesse Chavez got a couple Ks in the top of the first, and was also backed up by a slick, sliding scoop catch by Cameron Maybin in LF.
In the bottom of the first, Yunel Escobar lead things off with a 1B and Kole Calhoun dropped a high-arching pop fly right onto the left field chalkline and into the stands for a ground rule double. Mike Trout would sac fly Esky home and we were off and running, Angels up 1-0.
From that point, there became a few storylines to follow in this game. One of them was Jesse Chavez, who was looking like the best pitcher we’d seen all week. He only went 5.2 IP, so we still don’t have a Halos starter who’s gone six or more innings, but he only gave up four hits in those 5.2, and gave up just one run, via Nelson Cruz single in the sixth.
Chavez would be taken out of the game in that inning, with just 89 pitches thrown, but he had himself an evening that I think we can all be happy with. He was actually getting pretty crafty out there, striking out six Mariners, but it was also the defense that helped make him (and other Angels arms we saw tonight, like Bud Norris) look a lil more sturdy. C.J. Cron had a nice play for Chavez, and Andrelton Simmons had at least three nice plays, sometimes in conjunction with Danny Espinosa.
That’s what we want to see, though. We all were hoping that this defense, as studly and highlight-laden as we were imagining, would answer many of the weak spots of the rotation and the bullpen, and that’s basically what the defense did tonight.
It was beautiful, and it made me start to see a legit, realer-than-Real-Deal-Holyfield, competitive team out there. Oh, and did I tell you I had a blast watching this game? Oh, I did? Ok, moving on, then.
The other storyline on my mind in this game was not so joyful; in fact, it was the one bummer of the game. LOBsters. cRISPy LOBster.
There were so many misfires from the offense, in a game where the offense was actually getting some hits. It’s only when it came to driving the runs over the plate that they would stall out or find a banana peel to step on somewhere, as the team went 0-9 with runners in scoring position. Seven men were left on base. That is U.G.L.Y.
Speaking of ugly, after that Trout sac fly in the first, the Angels added another run in the third, as Albert Pujols hit a grounder to Kyle Seager, which SHOULD have been a predictably infuriating GIDP for The Machine, but Seager botched the glove transfer and a run scored, Pujols was safe at first.
After that sad, sorry excuse for a run batted in, the Halos decided to put some runs on the board with some muscle, which really injected a mega-dose of life and vigor into the stadium and it’s frenzied seat fillers. I’m talking, of course, about DINGERZ.
Cameron Maybin, in the sixth, hit an impressive opposite field solo shot, his first MayBOMB of the season. Then in the seventh, Kole Calhoun launched a two-run bomb into the right field bleachers, nary a movement from the Seattle outfield, because it was absolutely obliterated.
Angels fans at the Big A, Angels fans at home, Angels fans everywhere were pumping their fists and/or doing their best whirling dervish impression in their living rooms at the sight of these beautiful DINGRZ.
It was quite a night, quite a game. It was a more-than acceptable home opener. It was the arrival of Jesse Chavez, and the heralding of a defensive power unit that will save runs and run you over. It was two homers from two outfielders, and most of all, it was a 5-1 win over the Seattle Mariners, at home for the first time in 2017.
In a word, it was...