The Angels were down 6-4 when the entered the seventh inning tonight, but they would send nine Halos to the plate in that frame, and once again we were witnesses to late-inning heroics. The Athletics learned, in that seventh inning moment when an infield single from Yunel Escobar scored the go-ahead run, that they had come to Anaheim at the wrong time.
The Angels are not messing around these days, and they can only be taken down by some equally mojo-heavy badassery (like a walk-off grand slam, for instance). So the A’s, in tonight’s weekend series opener, didn’t really have the sure footing they thought they had when they found themselves going into the bottom of the sixth with a 6-2 lead. Nope. They had been rope-a-doped by the best MLB rope-a-dopers out there.
Troy Scribner had a big night, in that he started an MLB game. He would soon learn, though, that starting is no easy task, as he finished with a line of 4.0 IP/ 2 H/ 5 R/ 2 ER/ 4 BB/ 3 K. Yep, he just had two hits on his scorecard, but was dinged for five runs scored against him. Only two were earned, though, and his only real mistake pitch was drilled for a three-run bomb from Matt Chapman in the second.
To the untrained eye, it’d look like the Halos were knee deep in mistakes and bad breaks, or they were at the whim of inexperienced pitching or silence from the bats. Again, nope. Rope-a-dope, remember. They lulled the A’s into a false sense of security, just like they have against many, many teams in their 32 comeback victories this season. Mike Trout almost ruined it, though, but we all know he can’t help doing stuff like getting three hits, including an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh.
The rest of the guys did a good job of kicking back until that seventh inning, when they not only chased Oakland down, thanks to a mega-clutch, two-run Luis Valbuena single, but they then took the 7-6 lead via the aforementioned Esky infield single. That was Escobar’s 1500th career hit, fyi. Congrats to the MLB player most likely to be a Street Fighter II character in his down time.
So yeah...you’ve seen this type of win before...I repeat, it’s the 32nd comeback of the season...but that doesn’t mean they ever get old. 15 hits total, all wrapped up in a tough, resilient package that battled against a good starter and waited and waited until they could finally strike back. That’s beautiful baseball music, played out for us on a field of grass and dirt.
Two games back from the second Wild Card spot. Lots of big guns coming back. Mike Trout playing like a man possessed. Everybody on this team is playing their part, their instrument finely tuned and contributing to the orchestra. That’s beautiful baseball music, alright. We yet to get to the crescendo, but it should be a wild tune from here on out.