Angels 2 Athletics 3
This was Ricky Nolasco’s night, but the problem with it being Ricky Nolasco’s night in Oakland is that Ricky Nolasco had to be there, in Oakland. You see, no matter how much success Nolasco would end up finding against the A’s, it would be his old, bad habits that end up giving his stat line a shiner.
First of all, the Halos would start this game in the best of ways possible: Luis Valbuena would hit his first extra-base hit as a Halo, and it was a two-run bomb to CF off of Kendall Graveman in the top of the first. In the Angels’ first time up, they took a 2-0 lead, on the back of the new dude, Valbuen. Then, Nolasco went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first, making me hope the rest of the innings in this baseball game would mimic the first.
That would have been awesome. What we got was...well.
Nolasco had two detrimental pitches in this game in which he was mostly stellar, and those pitches resulted in solo home runs from Jed Lowrie and Trevor Plouffe, in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively. Now, contrast that Ricky Nolasco outcome with that of the rest of his night, where he went 7.0 IP/ 5 H/ 2 R / 2 ER / 0 BB/ 10 K. Yes, he had zero walks, and TEN STRIKEOUTS. Those two homers were all the Athletics had tonight in the offensive department while facing Nolasco. That’s a pretty rad night for Ricky.
Like I said, it was Nolasco’s night, but of course he gave up two runs in the most Nolasco way possible, and what could have been a legendary outing turned out to be just a damn good outing. That’s still a net positive, so I’ll take the sweetness that Nolasco gave me, and use it to cover up the nasty taste of those dingers.
The Angels, all the while, were doing zilch on their offensive side of things, so it’s not like they picked Nolasco up or helped him at all. They would cling on to those two runs, from the Valbuena homer in the FIRST INNING, all the way through the ninth and into extra innings, which we were delivered to by the Halos bullpen and/or the Athletics’ sorry, timid lineup; just depends on which way you want to look at it.
Oakland and the visiting Angels locked into that 2-2 groove for a large part of the game, and then we got some free baseball that nobody asked for, but we gladly took anyway; because we all totally needed to hear that incessant drumming coming from O.Co, right?
That’s what happens when you don’t have Mike Trout. Oh, yeah, as your probably heard, Mike Trout missed tonight’s game. He was given a clean bill of health today by the Angels’ docs, but they just wanted to be cautious, probably because he has a clean bill of health by the Angels’ docs. Someone else would have to be a hero, or plate some runs on their own.
Luis Valbuena, hitting in the clean-up spot, did his job with a two-run dinger and a single in the 11th. Probably the hottest Halo tonight was RF Ben Revere, who went 3-5 on the night, and he had himself a chance to be a big dog in the 11th, with Valbuena at 2nd base, but he would ground out instead. The Angels still had runners on the corners in that frame, still threatening, sadly they had Cliff Pennington at the plate, so...yeah (Andrelton Simmons was taken out in the first, after getting hit on the hands by Kendall Graveman, x-rays have come back negative).
The Angels had their chances in the 11th, and they had chances elsewhere, too. They were 0-6 w/ RISP, though, and had nine LOBsters. No tears can be shed for them. The Angels bullpen was also in a tough spot, and they fought off the Oakland horde for as long as they could, until Deolis Guerra, in for his third inning pitched, would give up a walk-off homer to Jed Lowrie.
Oh, by the way THERE WERE TWO OUTS ON THE BOARD. This team, man. This team.
This is a rough one to lose; Nolasco had a rad night, until he got Nolasco’d...no Mike Trout, and no Simba...a bunch of cRISPy LOBster...against the A’s?! Ughhh. Let’s forget about this one, otherwise it’s liable to cause me grave injury. Mike Trout...comeback!