Last night, the Angels never really stood a chance; this was mainly because of the vastly different levels of competitiveness from respective Angels & Red Sox starters Ricky Nolasco and Chris Sale. It doesn’t necessarily mean that this 1st place Boston team is all that much better than this Halos team, does it? I mean, our guys DID beat up on them pretty good awhile back in Fenway.
Yep, I’m going to put last night at the feet of the power of Sale, and the powerlessness of Nolasco. Tonight’s game, however, would develop like you’d expect from these two clubs in the year 2017, and by that I mean the Halos would have the luxury of hits and runs (and, yes, no Chris Sale). The lineup can work wonders when it’s not given too great of a hitting task, huh? David Price was the Red Sox hurler, and the hometown team was far from quaking in their boots.
With J.C. Ramirez taking the bump for the Angels, Price was able to get some comfy, cozy padding on the scoreboard early on, due to the Red Sox dropping three runs in the first two innings. Hanley Ramirez got an RBI single in the first off of Ramirez, and in the second, Mookie Betts had an RBI double and Andrew Benintendi got himself an RBI single. Ramirez didn’t seem to be on such sure footing as you’d like him to see, but then again, it was the early innings, and he’s been known for a hazardous start or two or three. Such is life in the J.Cy. sphere of influence.
In true J.Cy. modus operandi, he really did settle down after the first two frames, and he’d end up with 6.0 innings pitched, with just five hits and those three runs...all the damage was front-loaded, which then set the stage for Boethius’ wheel to come around and give him a taste of the much, for that comfy, cozy padding on the scoreboard was about to get stripped out and replaced with a bunch of Halo-red nails.
The offense had a task ahead of them, and they stepped up big time against Price. You had just a 1-3 night from Mike Trout (RBI 1B, walk, run, and a rad catch in the sixth), but the big Saturday night fireworks came from Albert Pujols and Andrelton Simmons; for the latter it was just another game where we witnessed that burgeoning bat bash, the perfect compliment to that shorstop glove flash.
Simba cranked a two-run, two-out blizzy off of Price in the third inning, his tenth of the year. On top of that, he’d also get an RBI single in the fifth, proving yet again that this new-found tool isn’t some bargain Walmart thing, but some sturdy, American-made craftsmanship. Andrelton Simmons is a hitter, and a legend at SS in MLB right now.
Between those three Halos Simmons hit home, and Albert Pujols’ two-run double, plus some nice at-bats from Martin Maldonado and C.J. Cron, divided by a multi-hit game from Ben Revere, the Halos would more or less laugh David Price (and the Red Sox) out of the Big A, in front of a throng of pink hat nation gherkins; seven hits total off the tough lefty, Price, which ain’t nothing to sneeze at.
The Angels’ offense got to Price, then, after the sixth when Ramirez had the team in a good spot and was done for the night, the bullpen came in and performed quite well, to put it in nonchalant terms. They blanked the Boston bums in the seventh, eighth and ninth, and the Halos could rest easy and smile as the fireworks jubilantly exploded in the sky above Angels Stadium. It was almost like the explosions were giving the Angels a booming ovation to soundtrack their walk from the dugout into the clubhouse.
The Angels can take the weekend series against the first place Red Sox tomorrow, if they win the game, that is. That’s the rub. But what we saw tonight is exactly what we’ve seen them do to Boston earlier in the year, so keep that Capri-Sun on ice tomorrow; we may be celebrating a sweep of an AL juggernaut, and toasting to saddened and bummed-out Boston fans across the so cal landscape, including the Big A itself.