With the Rangers winning in extras last night, and fans having to watch Rougned Odor celebrate around home plate like he was actually a cool baseball player and not a scumbag, it is safe to say that a win in this afternoon’s series finale, and thus a series win, was of utmost importance. Luckily for us, and the Halos themselves, and all that is good in the world, basically, Tyler Skaggs , Luis Valbuena and Justin Upton were up to the task. The good guys won the day, thank the baseball gods.
Skaggs was the most important piece in the Angels arsenal on Sunday, as he faced off against a somewhat formidable Doug Fister, with both starting pitchers keeping their respective opponents from doing too much damage. Skaggs and Fister both turned in 6.0 IP outings and both only allowed four hits to the batters they squared off against, but it was Skaggs who was the better man, as he proved to be the stingier of the two by not allowing any runs, while also striking out six.
Fister, on the other hand, would give up three earned runs, which were enough to be the dagger in Texas’ heart, for this weekend, at least. Luis Valbuena, who logged a two-hit game for himself, would drive in two runs on one of those knocks (a nice double into the right field corner), and Justin Upton got a run on the board all by himself by reverting back to his hammering ways with a solo dinger.
The Rangers could only scrounge up a solitary run of their own, coming off of a solo dinger from Nomar Mazara, but this one wasn’t off of Sunday Hero Skaggs, nope. It came off of reliever Noe Ramirez, but it would be the only run allowed by the bullpen and just like that, the Halos rejoiced along with the Big A faithful who were in attendance, the testy series was theirs and Odor could finally be told to go be a crappy house guest elsewhere.
The fact that Skaggs was able to fan half a dozen Rangers and allow no runs is pretty rad, but what’s even more rad is the fact that it seemed to be par for the course for the Angels’ starters this weekend. Over three games, the Halos’ starting pitchers threw 19 innings, and the Rangers only got ONE run in that entire time, and it wasn’t even earned. Let’s all give a round of applause for those dudes, because they were quite the bulwark against Texas’ surly attack.
Now if we could just see that type of starting pitching in every series...oh, and if the lineup could be consistent, and the bullpen not blow any games up in late innings...yep, if they could do that, then this team would probably get back to those early April salad days, when they were making everybody they tangled with look like guppies and the Halos were the big fish in the Big A. That can’t be TOO hard to do, right? The Royals are up next, guess we’ll find out.