It was so obvious in the making. So obvious, in fact, that I’m 99% sure before the series the Angels waltzed into Seattle, saw a Mariners player, and handed him a record player and Buttercup. You see, WE don’t have Buttercup anymore. We PASS ON Buttercup to other teams. If you forgot what it sounded like (because it’s been so long) or you just liked the song and really miss it, here it is:
That isn’t us anymore. No, we have a new identity. #tod
Well, we have to get the bad stuff out of the way first. Two Nicaraguan starters opposed each other for the first time in 30 years, and both sides featured a Ramirez. Their Ramirez, codenamed Erasmo, has also seemed to baffle us, despite his 4.28 career ERA. I looked it up and winced. 4-2, with a 1.038 WHIP. The plan was to let him do more of the same tonight. 6 innings of 3 hit ball, only allowing an unearned run (more on that later)? You would be forgiven for thinking this was the Angels of old. But no fear, they had a plan.
Now, our Ramirez, JC, is deep into his career high for innings pitched, and it’s heavy, unchartered territory. Some individuals will believe that JC’s less-than-stellar start tonight was due to fatigue, but no fear, he was in on the plan. In the third, he allowed Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager to single in runs, affording the fans a nice little temporary 2-0 lead on the night they retired Edgar Martinez’s number (cool!).
The Angels kind of lifelessly limped around until the 5th, when CJ Cron reached third with one out. Martin Maldonado couldn’t cash him in, but Kaleb Cowart proved the value of putting the ball in play by hitting a dinger to first. The Mariners somehow couldn’t get him out. But on a larger scale, the Angels only struck out 4 times today (Valbuena had two, because of course). If they’re not going to be hitting the ball out of the park, they better not strike out, and today proved the value of putting the ball in play.
We had our obligatory HR in the bottom of that inning, courtesy of Corey’s Brother, proving that it’s good to keep that streak up, for our sakes.
But Erasmo Ramirez couldn’t stay in forever. After 82 pitches and 6 innings, he had to give way to the bullpen. The same bullpen we’ve crushed all series. Casey Lawrence, probably their best arm, came in. CJ Cron hit a sharp single, and remember what I said about strikeouts leading to HRs? Luis Valbuena crushed one on a rope to right, a line drive that barely got out. Tie game.
In the 8th, the Halos completed their master plan, putting the icing on the cake for comeback win #35. Tony Zych couldn’t find the strike zone, walking Ben Revere and Mike Trout. Albert Pujols doubled them both in on a ball that Ben Gamel misplayed in left, and Andrelton Simmons cashed Pujols in. Ball game.
By the way, our defense is totally rad. Two caught-stealings in the 6th, followed up by an out at the plate in the 7th? Yeah, Team of Destiny, folks. We are now officially in the 2nd Wild Card slot. We’re flying, and we’re not going back.
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Mike Scioscia (for...reasons?)