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Andrelton Simmons hits walk-off single, Angels squeak by Astros 2-1 in tight pitching duel

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J.C. Ramirez had another nice start, but Lance McCullers was also dealing. Still, the Halos took a game away from a pretty tough opponent. That’s something.

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Angels 2 Astros 1

J.C. Ramirez has been pitching out of his mind, but tonight we’d see him in a real deal test of his mettle; a matchup against the Astros, one of the top teams in not only the AL, but in all MLB, too. Lance McCullers was on the bump for Houston, too, so the Angels were going to get tested on the offensive side of things as well as from a pitching perspective.

Ramirez was up to the challenge, I’m happy to report. Our favorite reliever-turned-starter went 6.0 innings, giving up eight hits but only one measly run ( a Carlos Beltran double in the very first innings). He was in command for those six frames, and was staving off that stout ‘stros lineup, to boot. Tonight, we saw more of that Ramirez that we’ve been wishing and hoping is the REAL Ramirez. Well, after so many innings out there in 2017, absolutely shredding dudes, I think it’s safe to say he’s legit.

The only real problem tonight, though, was that McCullers was kicking some rear end himself, going 7.0 innings pitched and only TWO lousy Halos hits. That’s a dominant performance to have to watch on a Saturday night, the home town bats totally muzzled up, save for a Cameron Maybin groundout in the bottom of the second. Just like the Angels, the Astros got their runs early and then we went into a stalemate for the rest of the game.

Well, until the ninth.

Yep. They did it again.

It worked like clockwork. A Kole Calhoun walk, an Albert Pujols single, putting Calhoun on third, and then Andrelton Simmons up to be the hero. Simmons, with one out on the board and in GIDP territory, hit a solid single off of reliever Chris Devensky. That plated Kole, and the Angels had just their fifth hit of the game, and the second run of the game, all in the bottom of the ninth. That was all that it’d take tonight, though. Some games are pretty rad like that.

Two games against one of the top three teams in baseball so far this season, and sure, one of them was a loss, but it was a one-run loss in extra innings. The other game, was a win, by one run, in the ninth inning. Oh, and they did it all with Mike Trout sitting on the bench (he had some pre-game hamstring tightness), and not only did Ramirez look studly, but guys like Blake Parker were also back to looking studly. Yep, they’re standing toe-to-toe with a damn tough opponent in Houston. That’s what you want.

Tomorrow, they have the chance to take a big AL West series, all while facing adversity from not only the teams they’re playing, but from the injury bug, too. Yet, they’re competing, fighting. That’s some Team of Destiny ish right there. I dig it. Tomorrow will be fun.