Angels 5 White Sox 3
Tonight, under those bright, new lights of the Big A, there was so much muscle being flexed that you could practically hear the ripping of sleeves from miles away. There was some nice pitching in this one, don’t get me wrong; Jesse Chavez was rock solid and became just the second Angels pitcher to go 7+ innings in 2017, and the visiting White Sox starter Mike Pelfrey was stingy, at least in the beginning.
The people were oohing and ahhing over the pitching tonight, though. Nope, this was a veritable rockin’ and rollin’ and swollen’ bash bro dinger festival supreme, and there were so many balls being crushed out of the yard that the Big A looked like Missile Command.
Both Chavez and Pelfrey were looking very in-the-zone through the first three innings, and we were at a 0-0 stalement, when Jose Abreu set this impromptu home run derby in motion. It was a two-run shot off of Chavez, and then White Sox were the first to jump out in front. White Sox shortstop Tyler Saladino added an RBI triple in the fifth inning to make it an odd 3-0 tally.
Ok, Chicago had their chance. Now, the Angels’ shredded, burly, muscle men would get to work showing these little gherkins how the big boys party.
In the bottom of the fifth, a one-two punch forged in the mountains of Olympus was released upon the unsuspecting throng of Angels fans, and by that I mean Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout hit back-to-back bombs and it felt like we were watching some sort of strange, intoxicating poetry from another universe altogether.
Kole Calhoun’s was a three-run monster blizzy, which tied the game up and got the crowd galvanized. The remarkable thing was that Calhoun homer was just the second hit for the Halos at that point. They wouldn’t need many hits tonight, anyway. Anything other than biscuits would get booed mercilessly.
Mike Trout, of course, followed up with a solo shot, which gave the Angels the lead, and it also gave Trout four consecutive games in which he’s hit home run. This dude is unreal, what can you even say? Going yard four games in a row? As Garrett Richards or Calhoun himself would probably say, “He’s a joke, dude.”
The Angels had a 4-3 lead at that point, with Chavez still keeping the White Sox at bay, in a game with three game-changing homers already. They weren’t done yet.
In the seventh, Martin Maldonado hit a laser beam to LF, and with that the Angels had a 5-3 distance from Chicago, and after Chavez valiantly fought through to the eighth, they could look to the bullpen to turn out the lights and close that party down.
That was a Summer thrill-ride worthy of Jan De Bont’s kinetic, action-packed cinematography. A home run slugfest, trading barbs til the knockout is landed. Pepper them with a KC and a Trout blast, then put them on the mat with the Machete Maldonado.
Of course, the Angels did give up a homer themselves, which is something that’s been killing them this season, and could have killed them tonight. But it didn’t, so we can celebrate. You live by the home run sword, you die by the home run sword. Tonight, they are beyond alive.