Garrett Richards was on the mound and cruised through the first 4 innings looking sharp. We all cringed when Richards had to make a tough play against a Matt Joyce bunt to lead off the game but no harm was done. GRich got by with a little help from his friends, including Kole Calhoun triple in the 2nd, a Martin Maldanado double over Joyce’s head, and a bomb by new Angel Zack Cozart.
Yes indeed, things were looking good going into the 5th with a 4-0 lead and the Angels had their ace on the mound. We love baseball but sometimes it HATES us. The wheels fell off for Richards and after back to back walks and back to back home runs, the score was tied, Richards had tossed a nearly 30 pitch inning, and the bullpen was up.
Albert Pujols seems determined to let us all know that he is not finished and after his go-ahead solo jack in the 6th, he had that look on his face that you don’t want to mess with. Pujols knocked HR # 615 and went 2 for 5.
Unfortunately, Cam Bedrosian didn’t get that memo to not mess with Pujols and the lead he created. He seems to be allergic to clean innings so it was no surprise to me when he let the A’s tie it - again (enjoy that 27.00 ERA and blown save you jerk!)
Fortunately for us, Keynan Middleton, Blake Wood, Jim Johnson, and the 10th inning versions of Noe Ramirez had it on lock down. Ramirez even got all 3 outs in the 10th via K but he gave it up in the 11th to let the A’s walk off and ruin Angels’ fans opening day. But still, it’s game one and there is a lot more baseball to play.
It’s probably not a great thing to nearly burn your entire bullpen on day 1 of a 4 game series but that is what happened with Blake Parker and Luke Bard being the last men standing out there. It’s also not a good thing that Mike Trout - this far into his career had his first 6 AB game with no hits - EVER. Trout and Upton went a combined 0 for 11 in the #2 and #3 spots. That’s gonna leave a mark.
Some good things happened in this game like Shohei Ohtani getting a hit in his first ever major league at bat - and it was on his first pitch. That’s pretty cool no matter who you are. There were also 3 Angel’s players who had 3 hit games with Kole Calhoun, Zack Cozart, and Martin Maldanado. Calhoun followed up his 2nd inning home run with a 4th inning homer.
Balls were hit, runs were scored, jerseys got dirty, and baseball was played. Other than that - the rest sucked. Mostly. Did I mention baseball was played??