The game of baseball lives on.
The Angels, mired in slump, produce a miracle off Kenley Jansen in the ninth, with Shohei Ohtani, David Fletcher, and Ian Kinsler combining for some late inning magic.
In the 9th inning, facing a Top-5 closer, the Angels quickly made two outs. Then Ohtani worked a walk. Jansen, who had allowed 7 of 7 successful stolen bases, continued his slow, exaggerated windup, and Ohtani stole second. Yasmani Grandal airmailed his throw, and Ohtani was quickly ninety feet from home.
David Fletcher, the true American hero, or as Victor Rojas dubbed him, “The Little Engine That Could,” lined a single that was nearly nabbed by shortstop Chris Taylor (in other words, Andrelton Simmons would have had it), and the game was tied. For some reason, I think that nickname will catch on.
Ian Kinsler used an “excuse-me” swing to bunt a ball into right field. Fletcher went first-to-third easily, and when Yasiel Puig’s throw skipped past Grandal, Fletcher was in and the fireworks started.
The Angels first run came in the 6th inning when Ian Kinsler forced a balk from Kenta Maeda.
That’s a savvy veteran move by Ian Kinsler. Dekes down the line, gets Kenta Maeda to balk. pic.twitter.com/WzSfU0HNL6— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) July 7, 2018
THIS, is how the Angels have to play. They have to play with speed, with conviction, and with attitude. Mike Scioscia led the charge in the early 2000s, when he was ahead of the curve at taking the extra base, the hit-and-run, and the stolen base, but somewhere in the decade that followed, he fell behind.
The victory tonight proves that once again, speed kills. Led by Mike Trout, this club can be one that flies on the bases. Justin Upton, Shohei Ohtani, David Fletcher, Ian Kinsler, and Andrelton Simmons all display above-average speed, and these weapons need to be deployed on the diamond.
-Ian Kinsler made up for his earlier bone-headed play:
This is a 7-5-4, just like it was drawn up. pic.twitter.com/U1ispk9A45— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) July 7, 2018
-Start temperature for the game was 108 degrees Fahrenheit, an Angel Stadium record for temperature at game start.
-Felix Pena was dealing at 76 pitches (the only run on the board at the time was due to an Upton misplay) when Scioscia pulled him in the 6th inning. He did not look happy.
-Noe Ramirez may need to work out his mechanics. He came in, threw 6 straight balls, and on Pitch 7 Chad Whitson decided to bail him out.
-Victor Rojas, Mark Gubicza, and Jose Mota were clinically excellent in the 6th inning, going after Scioscia for pulling Pena and then getting on Kinsler for his errant throw. It was the patented Victor-snark at play.
-Seattle lost, if you’re into that kind of thing.
This poll is closed
Shohei Ohtani, the sensei
David Fletcher, the American hero
Ian Kinsler, the wily vet
Felix Pena, the gem
Victor Rojas, the snark master