It was only Thursday, when I was shirking my day job responsibilities at the office, today that meant I was pondering the upcoming evening’s Angels/Mariners series opener and all of the importance that the big weekend, 4-game set would hold. Seattle was holding on to a Wild Card spot, while the Angels, and a handful of other AL underdogs, were neck and neck every night, our Halos right there with them.
Seattle was hot, but the Angels were also hot, and we were going to find out who’s hotter, and who is the real pretender to Houston’s current AL West crown. The series lived up to the hype, with every game emanating an intense, do-or-die aura that was tough on the nerves but for the spirit, there was nothing better, as the Halos would busted out the comebacks, the drama and everything else that’s made us enamored and intrigued with these dudes in 2017.
If you didn’t watch today’s series finale, and had managed to avoid finding out the score, then you could still probably figure out, via context clues, that the Halos beat the Mariners today and got the sweep. You’d be correct, by the way. The Mariners didn’t just become ice cold and give away all of these games, either; Seattle was in each of these contests, to varying degrees, of course, but they proved to be the Mariners team that had miraculously found some success this season (they have some hitters, but their rotation is insanely bad and we pretty such saw exactly that this weekend).
But really, the Angels are also just an anthropomorphic buzzsaw right now, with a little buzzsaw baseball uniform and a cute little New Era hat that goes over the top of the buzzsaw. This buzzsaw has all the horsepower (starting pitching and bullpen), a strong chain (sick defense) and some sharp teeth (the bats) to turn ANY team into sawdust right now, so the Mariners can’t be held to TOO much of the blame.
Parker Bridwell was on the bump and he walked away with even more confidence in that location-heavy skillset of his, as he got his seventh win of the season on a 6.0 IP/ 4 H/ 1 R/ 1 ER/ 1 BB/ 2 K kind of afternoon. He was hitting all the spots he wanted to, and had that slick glove work backing him up if he were to make a misstep.
He went his usual fast pace, and was never out of control more than he could handle; his resolve and discipline shines through in numbers like giving first-pitch strikes to 17 of 23 batters. He only had two Ks, but those were both to Nelson Cruz, and considering how much he killed the Angels this series, those Ks counted double. Bridwell continues to be the dropper of jaws, and the lottery ticket to end all 2017 lottery tickets, and that’s on a team that has a really good crop of hidden gems and lotto tickets.
The Angels lineup finished the day with six hits to the Mariners’ eight, but obviously our guys made them count more. C.J. Cron continues to capitalize off of Yunel Escobar’s injury at a torrid pace, hitting another dinger today (9th of the year). Andrelton Simmons had a sac fly, thanks Simba! Martin Maldonado had a two-run single, which gave him a new career high for RBI in a season.
Not really the bombastic, Jerry Bruckheimer-produced, action-packed type of scoring in this game; just some solid knocks here and there, but the four runs they’d put up on Seattle this afternoon would be plenty good, with Bridwell doing his thing and the bullpen locking them down, too.
Well, Bridwell did give up a run in the first, and the bullpen (well, Keynan Middleton) did give up a run, as well. But Bridwell would get the win, Middleton would get the save, and since they technically had to come from that early 0-1 deficit, this counted as their 36th comeback win of the year! Not only that, but it was the first time the Angels have swept a four-game road series since 2014.
They walked away from Safeco with the Mariners seeing stars and Looney Toons-ish lumps protruding from their heads, getting clobbered today 4-2 and giving away four games straight to the rival Halos, which also gave away their Wild Card spot. It is now owned in full by our guys, thank you very much.
That’s six in a row, season best. Sole ownership of a Wild Card spot. A bitchin’ team. The buzzsaw needs some more ballclubs to chop down and cut into little bits. This buzzsaw is just getting warmed up. Who’s next?