Angels 7 Athletics 3
An Alex Meyer start can be quite the emotional rollercoaster; your brain riding an endless sine wave of elated peaks and frustrated valleys. He’ll show you brilliance and swagger and power, and then next inning or next start he’ll show you ineptitude and failure. Luckily for Alex Meyer, and for the Angels, and us fans, Yunel Escobar flexed enough muscle tonight that Meyer could afford to go on and be his bad (sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally) pitching self.
Tonight, the Angels started off their second game of this Oakland series with a bang, as Albert Pujols mashed a homer off of A’s starter Jharel Cotton. That was number 596 on his career, his fifth of the season, and it gave the Halos an early lead. With Meyer on the mound, though, no early lead is particularly safe, whatsoever.
Meyer had a rocky bottom of the first, that saw him walk Rajai Davis, who then stole not only second base, but third, as well. Meyer would get a couple outs on the board, though, and was looking to dodge a Davis bullet by getting out of the side, but then he gave up a dinger to Yonder Alonso. Giving up the long ball, and runs allowed with two outs; that’s two of the ugliest parts of this Angels squad, all in one play.
That erased the Halos’ early lead, but never fear, because Ben Revere has been heating up, and tonight he hit himself a homer to right field. It came in top of the second, and the boys in the visiting dugout sure seemed to get a kick out of Revere on that one. Who can blame them? His career high in homers is TWO, so with that jack, he’s already halfway to tying that personal best. Revere isn’t known for dingrz, in case you aren’t fully aware by now.
With the score now tied at 2-2, the world’s greatest slugger of all times (in 2017, so far), Yunel Escobar, came up to the dish, with two guys on base, and smoked yet another dinger; everybody, meet Esky The Power Hitter. This aint your father’s Yunel Escobar! He’s been on a tear this season, hitting balls harder and farther than we’ve seen from him in the past, and as I wrote earlier today, this is all pretty evident when you check out his Statcast numbers.
Thanks to Yunel Tha God, the Angels now had a 5-2 lead, and on the other side of the ball, they had Alex Meyer actually settling down...to a degree...and eating up some innings. Meyer had quite the comfy cushion as it stood, but the Halos tacked on a couple more in the fourth, via Cliff Pennington shallow CF bloop, and...yep...a Yunel Escobar RBI, his fourth of the game.
If you must ask, the Escobar RBI in the fourth came off a grounder to shortstop, and he was out at first, but the Angels and Ben Revere (at 3rd) had a contact play called, and the run still scored. Escobar didn’t WANT to hit a jack at that particular juncture of the game, he went with what his skipper called. What a team player!
So, if you’re counting at home, that’s now a 7-2 score, which was the Angels’ biggest lead since April 7. Meanwhile, Meyer would end up going 5.1 IP, which wasn’t bad. He gave up four hits, which wasn’t bad. He gave up two homers, which was bad, and he walked five guys, which was bad. He struck out seven, though, which was good!
In many ways, this could end up being the quintessential Alex Meyer start, and that can be both a good and bad thing. Tonight, thanks to a stout offensive showing, even sans Mike Trout, the Angels could get away with it. They wont be so lucky next time, perhaps, but then again, when you’ve got living legends like Ben Revere and Yunel Escobar hitting for you, anything is possible.