The White Sox sung us all a beautiful Fourth Place Lullaby tonight as they quietly rocked the Angels this evening. As visions of protected draft picks danced in my head, the team lethargically trudged to the final score of 5-3.
For some time, it appeared that I would be setting down to pen yet another exciting and jubilant write-up about greenhorn phenomenon Shohei Ohtani, rookie sensation David Fletcher, Mike “Everything that’s good about baseball” Trout stealing and getting on base, and resurgent veteran Kole Calhoun.
The disappointment that followed a botched bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the 5th, however, would set the tone for what was to come shortly after.
With the Angels up 3-1 thanks to a crushed Ohtani bomb, back-to-back doubles by Fletcher and Calhoun, and a sac fly by Trout, Barria came back out with right around 60 pitches and only 2 runs allowed to finish out his quality start. He then walked the first two men he saw, and was pulled for Hansel Robles.
To Robles’ credit, as he stepped up to the mound, his ERA as an Angel was an impressive 2.19. In the end, though, he allowed both inherited runners to score and gave up one of his own on a hit by pitch before Jose Alvarez came in to put out the fire. This was all the matriarchal White Sox would need to quiet Anaheim, who had gotten a little rowdy and pushed a big kid (the Astros) the day before.
While Mike Trout would end up reaching base 4 times today on 4 walks and stealing 2 bases, and while David Fletcher would go 3-4 with 5 total bases, they would constitute more than half of the Angels’ baserunners on the day. Aside from those two, only Justin Upton would reach base more than once (1B, BB) and the Angels would go 1-10 with RISP.
It was not a good night back for Albert Pujols, Andrelton Simmons continues to struggle at the top of the lineup just as everyone said he would, and Martin Maldonado and Jefry Marte continue to get chances to do nothing at all.
Frankly, it was a fantastic night to unintentionally catch up on my sleep.