Do you feel alive right now? Do you feel the blood circulating, your heart slowing down after racing non stop for a few uninterrupted innings? I can feel it; it was almost sick-making, there was fight in Texas tonight, in this big weekend series opener. The Halos held on, flexed some muscle, and then flaunted the ability to overcome not only the Rangers, but to also overcome a few questionable Mike Scioscia moves.
The Angels won tonight, when the final out came in the top of the ninth, and that’s all that really matters. Do we need to dwell on the fact that this bullpen game, started by Bud Norris, went off the rails when, in the fifth inning, Jesse Chavez gave up an early 2-0 lead (that Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons built with some good hitting) ? No, not really. Chavez would also give up a go-ahead dinger in the sixth, but I’ll let it slide.
That’s mainly because once the Halos were down 4-2, heading into the bottom of the sixth, that’s when they turned on the Team of Destiny afterburners, and roasted these Texas kooks with some unruly hot dogging.
Justin Upton doubled early in the game, and he doubled again in the sixth, and just like earlier in the game, Andrelton Simmons would eventually drive him home. At that point, the fans could tell something was brewing, especially after Luis Valbuena scored Kole Calhoun via sac fly to LF, and the Halos had reclaimed the lead, up 5-4, and were finally back in front of the Rangers. The best had yet to come, though.
With Simmons on base, and C.J. Cron at the plate, Cron launched a booming homer into the bullpen in left, sending every Angels fan on the planet into a euphoric hysteria at the sight of Cron trotting the bases and the 7-4 score going up on the Big A jumbotron. This team is in a wild card race that is as brutal as it is unforgiving, and every showdown, with every team, from now on, is going to be the last game of our lives.
Tonight, with the Twins losing, and the Angels winning, the Angels will live to play another game, with everything on the line again. Let’s just hope that Mike Scioscia will no longer go to Cam Bedrosian in any high-leverage situations; at least not until that guy can get his act together. It was his loading of the bases, with no outs, in the eighth that would force Blake Parker to perform a six-out emergency save, as the Rangers crept back to a 7-6 tally.
All ended up as well as can be, joy overflowing throughout households, bars and Angels Stadium parking lots & adjacent eateries, smiles everywhere, but we’re all just holding back the winces from those hefty and painful heart palpatations the Halos bullpen (ok, just Cam and Chavez) put us through. We’ll be ready to go at it again tomorrow, and so will this Halos team.
Two games back from the promised land. They’re creepin’ and they’re creepin’ and they’re creepin’...