Angels 9 Astros 4
At one point in tonight’s showdown, and series opener, against the Astros, Matt Shoemaker had retired 13 batters in a row. Thirteen batters in a row, who wear HOUSTON ASTROS uniforms; these are the guys that are supposed to be the world beaters of world beaters, the second coming of the 2016 Cubs (and to some, even this hyperbole would both be understatements). Yet, Matt Shoemaker was not wilting under that AL West leader heat.
He was, in stead, mowing that deadly offense down like he was one of Leatherface’s finest, most gore-covered chainsaws, and this was his own type of massacre. Of course, he’d then give up a single and a home run, back-to-back, and just like that his night went from badass to pretty good. That’s exactly like this 2017 Halos team, oscillating from badass to pretty good...and downright awful, too, sure.
Tonight, luckily, that type of SNAFU had no bearing on who was going to come out on top. Matt Shoemaker would still get his due, and his 6th win of the season, so you know what, Astros?!?!?!?
When you retire 13 in a row and then give up a single and HR back to back to Astros pic.twitter.com/C6HSt3xJ1M— Halos Heaven (@halosheaven) June 10, 2017
Yep, the Angels were already beating the crap out of Houston 8-2 when that seventh inning, two-run dinger on Shoemaker went down, taking the score up to 8-4. But our dudes didn’t even care, man. The 2nd place Angels weren’t taking any guff from these Astros front runners on this fine evening in Minute Maid park, nope. They would just score again in the next inning, anyway.
That’s how this game rolled. They just kept throwing haymakers, and landing many of them, getting a total of nine runs off of 13 hits. Seven of those hits came off of Brad Peacock, a Houston starter who is not Lance McCullers or Dallas Keuchel, thank the baseball gods. That means the Halos could win this thing, and win it they did.
We saw good nights from Kole Calhoun (yet again, the Red Baron is on fire and I am loving it) and newly-activated Cameron Maybin (who went 3-4 with four runs scored), but we saw a totally killer game from Martin Maldonado. Machete was 2-4, including a two-run blizzy to left-center, his fifth of the year. The guy is an amazing asset behind the plate, but when he’s swinging the stick like this, he becomes my hero.
So this barrage of scoring on Houston allowed Matt Shoemaker to do his cruising on the bump, attacking the Astros with a lot of fastballs and sliders, and for the most part, it was working like a charm. As I mentioned to kick this thing off, he was in a masterful mode in the time before giving up that two-run blast to Alex Bregman in the seventh. He was also only in the mid-80s with his pitch count, so it was an overall productive and satisfying start for The Cobbler, don’t get it twisted.
He just made a few bad pitches, and this ferocious lineup pounced on those mistakes like some batters who knew they weren’t going to get anything better for the rest of the night.
You know what, though? It didn’t matter. The Angels, sitting in 2nd place in the AL West, went off on the big, bad, first place, supposed kings of baseball, and it was glorious. They started from the first, and kept the pressure on, and then you had Matt Shoemaker carving them up and sitting them down; that is my aesthetic.