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Ball don’t lie: Angels beat sad sack Dodgers 3-2 in wildest, most thrilling walk-off possible

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Angels 3 Dodgers 2

With a very close, back and forth Freeway Series unfolding on the field at Dodgers Stadium the past couple nights, it’s no surprise that there has been some tensions bubbling up between the fans of both the Angels and Dodgers. Things got especially beefy this afternoon, when video of an Angels fan getting bloodied up at Chavez Ravine started going around social media like wildfire.

The fans were barking and chest-thumping at each other all afternoon, and tonight’s game at the Big A had not only the second largest crowd for the Angels (since the 1998 renovations), but it had a palpable sense of a classic sinister sports rivalry, the type that would get approving (but just barely) nods from soccer’s most loyal hooligans. With all of this electrified animosity in the air, it’s only fitting that the two teams combine to make one dramatic and nerve-racking game.

Alex Meyer was one of the night’s brightest stars, as he dropped what could arguably be called his best start of the season. It was, at the very least, in the top two or three, that’s for sure. He went SIX glorious shutout innings, giving up just ONE hit, while walking five (Meyer’s only blemish this evening) and striking out four. Yep, Alex Meyer didn’t just give six solid innings in a regular old game; he gave six outstanding innings, no runs and one hit, against a damn good team and in a playoff atmosphere.

He also showed some great toughness and resiliency on the mound, which is the type of encouraging signs you want to see from a guy like Meyer, who’s always on the cusp of a big breakthrough, it seems. He would finish with 99 pitches, he only needed 31 to get through innings 4, 5 and 6. The rest were in the first three frames. He was having some problems, and he corrected it like a pro. Bravo.

Meyer was doing his best to hold down the visiting blue horde from the mound, but they’d also have to do their work at the plate, something that didn’t materialize in last night’s contest. Tonight, they faced Hyun-Jin Ryu, who would ultimately get 5.2 innings pitched and eight Ks to go along with them, so they didn’t have an easy road. So, with two pitchers locking horns and shutting down each other’s run support, this game would basically come down to the longball and the wildcard.

That’s right, this game was decided by who had the biggest, baddest, swaggiest swing in L.A., and by which team would be possessed to make the biggest, weirdest blunder. Oh, and it was AMAZING.

The festivities were kicked off by an insane, two-run Andrelton Simmons homer in the sixth, which broke the scoreless tie and put the good guys up on top 2-0. Simba smacked the ball with everything he had, going down to his knee, like we’ve seen recently, but this time added a sick, authoritative bat toss at the end.

The Angels held on to that 2-0 lead for a bit, but then in the seventh, Keynan Middleton tasted the other side of the fired-up coin, as he gave up a big solo dinger from Trayce Thompson. Middleton still made it out without giving up any more runs, but the score was now 2-1 and if you were like me, you had a feeling that something was going to happen in the last inning.

Well, “something” sure as hell happened, folks. That’s the understatement of the year.

If you live by the long ball, you can die by the long ball, and we learned that a bit from the Thompson shot, but then, with TWO OUTS in the ninth inning, and Cam Bedrosian on the mound pitching like a madman, the sky came falling. Yasmani Grandal ignited the fury and joy of the crowd, simultaneously, by cranking a solo bomb off of Bedrosian and tying up the game at 2-2. O.M.G.

The storyline of this game had already been chock full of intensity and awesomeness up to that point, but the Angels weren’t down. They were tied, and had another inning of regular play, so while we all started scouring our living rooms for lucky talismans of any kind, the Team of Destiny Angels just laughed, and then felt a little sorry for what they were about to do to the sad Dodgers.

Danny Espinosa started off the inning by making an out, no surprise there. Then, Ben Revere managed to get on via fielding error. Things got interesting, though, when Revere got to second on a wild pitch. A man was in scoring position, and Cameron Maybin was up to the dish. The only rub there is that Maybin was already 0-4 on the evening, but maybe he had some redemption in store? Nope! But he still got the Halos a a different kind of way...a really, really weird way, to be more specific.

Maybin didn’t get a hit or a walk or anything, but instead he struck out. Hold on, though! The ball thrown by Pedro Baez went past the catcher, but Maybin seemed frozen and not realizing he should be running to first. He then made an effort to get down the line, just enough to rush Dodgers catcher Grandal, enough so that he did the worst thing he could possibly do in that moment: He air mailed it over first base.

Revere, while all these eerily fortunate series of events were unfolding, Revere was running. Running to third and then home to score, and with the ball going into right field, the Dodgers didn’t have a chance. Revere was safe at home, that was it, the Angels had won a game that not only had a historically big crowd, but was also one of the craziest, gnarliest thrill rides we’ve seen. All of that on the back of some huge homers, and a wild and shocking finish.

That’s Team of Destiny stuff right there, 100%. This team is amazing.