It’s kind of funny...while the Angels have defied the odds and kept me in a jubilant state of disbelief for a decent stretch now, they sure do lose in the most predictable ways possible. You get a lot of otherworldly wins from these Halos, but the losses seem to come straight off of an Angels Loss factory’s production line, each one built to the same crappy specifications as any other loss you’ll see this year.
It goes like this: The Angels have a tough night at the plate, all while one or two pitchers will give up one or two big hits (usually home runs), and that will be enough for the game to slip out of the Halos’ hands and into some large animal’s steaming dung pile. Tonight, we saw quite the effort from Jesse Chavez, who only gave up two hits in his 5.1 IP, but he also owned a couple runs that were given up by his replacement, Jose Alvarez, which ended up being a black eye on an almost-impressive evening.
Speaking of Alvarez, he’s been lit up like a Christmas tree for a month or so now, and tonight he showed us more of this new, ineffective, meatball-throwin’ Alvarez that we’ve begun to bemoan every time we see him coming out of the bullpen. It was really just those big, extra base hits that killed him, but so far the two Angels starters we’ve seen this series have done well to keep those dingers from showing up, but Alvarez sure changed that tonight.
Here’s the thing about those extra-base hits: Once again, the Angels weren’t really out-hit at all, like we’ve seen in many, many other losses. While Maeda threw seven scoreless innings and looked pretty impressive throughout, the Angels got four hits off of him. You know how many hits the Dodgers had tonight? Four. Yep, both had four hits. One team had zero runs, and one had four runs.
Jose Alvarez is your blame of the game, all for coming in for a fading Chavez, with men on in the sixth, and giving up an RBI single to Cody Bellinger and then the death blow, a three-run jack from Joc Pederson. Alvarez is the Halos’ only lefty, but I’m beginning to think we should just forget about lefty matchups right now, not while Alvarez is looking like a junior varsity bench warmer.
On the heels of a rad 4-0 shutout themselves, the Angels got a taste of that medicine tonight, as did all of us fans, and I for one do not like the taste, nor the sickening, physical effects of sitting through a game that could have come down to the wire, an all out battle of well-matched teams...which instead ended up being a headache-causing showcase for the Angels’ worst pitcher, their one extremely weak cog in an otherwise studly relief pitching machine, in a high-leverage situation and he did exactly as poorly and dumb as you’d expect.
Tomorrow, we go back to the Big A. If we don’t see Jose Alvarez in the game, I like our chances.