Angels 2 Rays 5
Ok, so apparently the Rays aren’t the cool bros we thought they were. The Rays are not the cool bros that would hand out some runs here and there, or give up big ol’ meatballs for our Halos hitters to crush; perhaps they got a little tired of getting walloped around Tropicana Field, like we saw in the first two games of this 4-game series, and decided they’d try to stick up for themselves in tonight’s game.
Regardless of the reasoning behind it, the fact is Tampa Bay came to play tonight, and save for one Albert Pujols home run in the first, the Angels would go down a lot more quiety than I had expected or hoped. That’s it, Rays, we’re not friends any more.
The top of the first seemed like a harbinger of some good baseball to come, and I was already putting the top shelf soda on ice to celebrate a 4-game winning streak for the Angels (hey, it doesn’t take much for me to celebrate like they just won AL pennant). Albert Pujols gave the Halos an early lead when he launched a two-run blizzy left-center field; that was his 597th career HR, by the way, and #600 is now so close that Pujols can probably taste it (I’m not sure how that would work, but just go with it).
So, starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco had a 2-0 advantage, and all he’d have to do is get focused, throw strikes and not give up any of those irksome home runs that he (and many other Angels arms) loves to serve up to opposing batters; and all that the Halos would have to do at the plate is keep getting to Erasmo Ramirez like Pujols did in the first.
The Angels accomplished neither of those goals. Ramirez ended up holding the Halos off the board for the rest of the evening in his 6.0 IP, as did Tampa Bay’s bullpen. The Angels would end up getting just four hits total and if it weren’t for The Machine’s 597th round-tripper, they’d have been shutout.
Nolasco couldn’t help himself with the homers...always with the homers, this guy. He would get tagged for three dingers total, finishing his night with a serviceable 6.0 IP and seven hits, but if three of those hits are HRs, then that whole “serviceable” qualifier is thrown out the window. He even added six Ks in those six innings, to his two walks, but again, those home runs killed any hopes of taking the W in this one and he would have to own up to every one of the five runs the Rays put on the board.
In the end, it was a 5-2 loss that seemed to go by quicker than it takes for me to snap my fingers, or for Nolasco to snap his head around to watch the ball he had just thrown get knocked into the outfield seats. They will be playing at 10 am tomorrow, and they’ll have a chance to take 3 of 4, and thus the series, from this Rays team that seemed like such cool bros the last two nights. Let’s see if cool bro Rays show up, or if we see the Rays team that, like, actually tries to win, and stuff.