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Angels fall short again to Astros, but prove they belong in the ring with the champs

It was a 2-0 loss to Houston, but tonight’s game, and the series, showed Houston that they have some serious contenders to worry about this year in the AL West.

Houston Astros  v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Angels 0 Astros 2

The Angels dropped yet another game to the Astros tonight, but it was honestly one of those types of Ls that portend to big, beautiful things happening to the Angels ballclub, so can we really get THAT miffed? Well, yeah. We can. It’s never stopped us before! But the team showed many good traits in the past few games, traits that can always be found on division, league and MLB championship-winning teams. Hey, you’ve got to find those bright spots, yeah?

Oh, let’s also not forget that Justin Verlander was pitching for Houston tonight, so the climb was all uphill from the very beginning. Verlander looked absolutely Verlander-ish, going all 9.0 IP, giving up five hits and zero runs to just one lone walk. Brutal. The Halos, as tough as the Astros’ starting pitching is, actually went toe-to-toe with the reigning champions, including tonight’s Angels starter, Richards. Richards pitched 7.0 innings, and gave up just four hits and two runs. Those two runs, by the way, were unearned and were due to a mistake pitch that Evan Gattis took deep back in the second inning.

Outside of that hiccup, Richards held his own and then some, and the bullpen did their jobs, it’s just that the damage had already been done and Verlander wasn’t going to be letting go of his grip on the Halos’ throats. We can be very, very proud of the Angels’ starting pitching in this series, however, as they gave up just TWO EARNED RUNS over that stretch against a very tough opponent.

Wow. Now if they didn’t have a Jose Alvarez barf bag moment, then we’d be celebrating a nice series win, even in the face of a tough Verlander-led loss. Hold your heads up high, Angels fans. You can still turn those pages, though.