Man, it’s a good feeling when the Athletics are in town...well, THESE Athletics, at least. The Angels needed some confidence boosting tonight, a little win to kick off the last of the homestand, get a little swag back in their step after a tough Houston series loss. The Angels had Andrew Heaney on the mound, and he was the star of the game, commanding his entire arsenal with ease, and showing us the best stuff he’s had since coming back from his Tommy John absence.
Heaney was making his third start in his return, and he was a force to be reckoned with on the mound. He went 6.0 innings pitched, and with that location on point, for all three of his pitches, were devastating to the A’s batters. The slider, change, everything was in concert and he ended up striking out 10 in his entire outing, and getting his first win of 2017 while he was at it.
Oh, and on top of those blisteringly bitchin’ 10 Ks, he also only gave up two hits, and just one run. It was a homer from Oakland’s catcher, Dustin Garneau, but the Angels pitchers are contractually obligated to give up at least one homer, or something, so whatever. Heaney was still amazing tonight, proving he’s still got the arm we gushed over just a couple years ago, and he’s just getting warmed up.
An RBI single from Kole Calhoun, and doubles from Kaleb Cowart and Ben Revere, scattered throughout the game, were the culprits for the three runs that would beat the Athletics, and the bullpen was electric as ever, with Blake Parker striking out the side in the ninth to get his third save of the year.
This is the team getting back to the cool and calm magic machine that we know they are; it was a close series this past weekend, and if some things had just broken a different way, even if just a tiny, tiny bit, then their trajectory would be going to a happier plane. But they lost, and they lost some Wild Card ground, and we needed a shot in the arm.
A game like this, from Heaney, and the bullpen and the bats, is a shot in the arm. They got some ground back in the race, too, now being just one game behind in the race for the second Wild Card spot. That’s more like it. Here we go, dudes.