There was a rain delay before tonight’s series opener in Baltimore, which was the first rain delay the Halos have experienced thus far in the 2017 season. While they were waiting for the torrential downpour to let up on Camden, somewhere in the guts of the yards, they were surreptitiously charged with the power of Odin, filled to the brim with the strength and ability of a god.
When the rains finally died, the Angels were reborn; out of the dark corners and caverns near the diamond, they would lumber toward the plate, still trying to understand the vibration and energy they could feel surging throughout every muscle. They could see everything in slow motion, they could hear the pitcher’s thoughts. The lineup ceremony complete, “Play ball!” from the umpire crier , and the battle had begun.
It was time for one amazingly vulgar display of their newfound power from the Angels. Legend has it that when C.J. Cron first grabbed a bat, it was shattered with such a strong grip that the handle was a pile of sawdust on the dugout floor. Mike Trout ordered his offense to get to work, knowing they’d best get to putting Odin’s power to use before it got them in trouble, or accidentally killed somebody.
In the first, Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols hit back-to-back blasts, putting the Angels up 3-0 almost immediately. That Pujols homer was his 609th of his career, which ties him with Sammy Sosa at 8th on the all-time list. For the 2017 season, that was Calhoun’s 15th HR and Pujols’ 18th. This was a mighty beginning, but it was just the beginning of the long ball onslaught.
Two modern day barbarians would wreak havoc in the top of the second, C.J. Cron and Kaleb Cowart. Two men, often Bees, now Angels and killing Orioles with raw brutality. They flexed their brawn and produced another pair of Halos homers, making the lead now 5-0. This pleased Andrew Heaney, who could only stare in awe at their beastly cuts. He would soon get a taste of such cuts himself, however.
It was Heaney’s first game in over 400 days, the young, goatee’d pitching impresario having succumbed to injury and getting the surgery of Mr. Thomas John. He was thankful to Odin for supplying his brothers-in-arms with such athletic weaponry to give him a 5-0 lead, making the game a piece of cake. Odin did not respond to Andrew, but somewhere out in the universe, booming laughter could be heard. The Orioles had his power, too.
Heaney was not in trouble right in the first frame. It didn’t happen until the bottom of the second, but it happened. They revealed themselves as the monster, created by the same god, but here to devour our dear heroes. This is who the Angels would have to slay, but it would not be an easy task. The Baltimore battalion was bashing balls just as the Angels were, making Andrew Heaney’s comeback a true ordeal.
Heaney gave up a home run to Mark Trumbo in the second, and then he would give up round trippers to Caleb Joseph and Manny Machado in the bottom of the third. Those two home runs would cut the Halos’ lead to 5-4, the long advantage now shortened, the enemy threatening at the gates. Fear not, for the warriors from heaven still had plenty vim and vigor, they still had the power, and they still had mighty Michael Trout.
Mike Trout, in the fifth inning, hit his 25th four-bagger of the season. It was off of the Orioles squire known as Jeremy Hellickson, and he was also responsible for the previous home run blows that the home forces had to absorb. Such is Baltimore pitching, though, every gracious to their hosts, giving to their opponents while away from home, as well. That Trout dinger had upped the score to 7-4 Angels. This was a joyous moment.
The bottom of the fifth is where the power of the gods was sapped, sucked dry and expended, from thence t’was up to the strength, determination and limitations of the men. Not before the Orioles got one more good whack, a solid chop from Manny Machado (his second such HR of the game) that brought the birds to a 7-5 tally.
The Angels had pitching to hold them, they thought. It would be down to the heroes of the pen of bulls. Heaney had finished his return to his home in the dirt diamond, putting up a 5.0 IP/ 7 H/ 5 R/ 5 ER/ 0 BB/ 5 K effort against the feisty foe. That is a welcomed sight from this pitching prince, a sure sign of good tidings to come from the baseball gods unto Andrew Heaney.
Cam Bedrosian was a fighter. Blake Parker was as brutish and unmovable as ever, and Yusmeiro Petit gave his heart and blood over 1.1 innings, on the mound in the eighth and the ninth. The Angels and Orioles, after a forty minute delay from power of Odin and the storm, embroiled in a friday night fight, had their horns locked since the end of the fifth. Nobody was giving the other any more ground.
Until the 9th.
Petit was still on the bump in the final frame, the steely eyes of a gritty sellsword, but Baltimore would slowly begin to wear him down, and submit him. He would give up a single, but then get a strikeout. Then, it was a walk, putting two men on base in a dire situation for all that is right in the kingdom of Artevania. Lord Scioscia had seen enough, and was worried for the outcome of the battle, so he brought in the dangerous fire-master wizard, Keynan Middleton.
Middleton was of no use, though, and would give up a single to load up the bases. The score was 7-5, there was one out on the board, somewhere out in the universe, Odin laughed from the bottom of his gut and out of his throat and it shook the fabric of time. Manny Machado was at the plate. He was not afraid of the fire-master wizard Middleton.
Machado hit his third home run of the evening, capping off a comeback that was like a dagger in the hearts of myriad Angels subjects with a grand slam. The good guys were vanquished by the horde, and the home run, ever so kind to us in the first five innings, was now the same tool used for the destruction of the Halos.
The final score was 9-7, and Andrew Heaney was not the winner like the pre-9th prophecies had foretold, but he was an afterthought now; my mind instead goes to the power that we saw, from our heroes but also the evil orange and black. The third walk-off grand slam in a month. What is happening? Perhaps it is not Odin, but it was Loki, all this time. That’s the only explanation for this cruelty from the gods.