It started off innocently enough. Garrett Richards, fresh off a long DL stint, weaved his way through the first inning with a flourish on five pitches, keeping the dream alive that he would complete the game in under his 50 pitch limit. It was not to be, but he got 10 outs, striking out three, giving up one run. Blake Wood proceeded to come in and blow the lead that we had, but the real story is that Richards essentially successfully rehabbed at the major league level. That is going to go a long way, even if he’ll only get 4 or so more starts before the end of the regular season
(and 5 more as part of the #tod).
The Angels hit hard in the 3rd, blitzing their way to 3 runs behind 5 straight batters reaching base an a sacrifice fly from Albert Pujols, making it his 6th straight game with an RBI. He hasn’t done that since 2012.
In the 5th, the A’s hit for 16 bases, including 3 HRs, as they proceeded to wipe out the lead we built and erase any hopes of a calm, peaceful game. It also set up the chance for comeback win #42.
The Team of Destiny in these jerseys struck back in the 6th, with CJ Cron golfing a baseball-sized golf ball into the seats in left. I really think he chose the wrong sport.
Being the Angels and the bullpen, we proceeded to blow the lead in the bottom of the inning, until Noe Ramirez came in with the bases loaded and did some serious damage control. K-Rod circa 2002, anyone?
The 8th inning was a lot of the same. Cron tripled in Kaleb Cowart, and then Fernando Salas came out for his second inning of work.
I just want to make one thing clear. Fernando Salas pitched 10 pitches in the 7th. He trotted out there in the 8th. There has been an occasion where Yusmeiro Petit threw a clean, 10-pitch inning and did not get rewarded with a second. There has been an occasion where Blake Parker threw a clean, 10-pitch inning and did not get rewarded with a second. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you, Mike Scioscia.
Being the Angels and the bullpen, we proceeded to blow the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Cam Bedrosian, aka Subsoil, came in for the 9th and walked Khris Davis on 4 pitches. We all prepared for the worst. He then proceeded to throw two terrible pitches, and he got a pop out and a GIDP ball. Go figure. Baseball.
It all pales in comparison to Ben Revere. As the clock neared midnight (it was actually 11 pm), he shot off like a cannon, whipping his arms through the zone as if he was riding a horse, shooting towards the enemy. Oh, we knew this enemy all too well. He was the guy who had owned us for so long, forcing us to pay unfair and heavy levels of taxation and penance to this team. Watching him everyday out there in the lineup was terrible. And he had the early strikes today, making a sliding play in left and hitting a HR (which he couldn’t for us).
And then he Joyced it. I thought all was lost, but Ben Revere got the ball down quickly enough, and our enemy dropped the ball. He was vanquished. Now and forever.
All I’m going to say about the bottom of the 10th is that we closed it out. My heart collapsed. (The A’s loaded the bases before Jed Lowrie, known Angel-killer, flew out to center).
We’re back in a playoff spot. And they’re back out there in 12 hours. Each game matters. Each inning matters. Each at-bat matters. And each pitch matters.
This team is crazy. No one will survive the end of the year. But at the end of the day, it’s Just Another Halo Victory.