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The road to 161-1 is long and treacherous

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The Angels manage to pull magic out of a hat to win their first of the season.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Oakland Athletics
Tommy La Stella! The player of the game!
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

*Note: Names have been changed to protect the identities of those in the story.

There were once these two famous climbers. They traversed the world seeking out the world’s greatest mountains, and they conquered each and every one. They arrived at the bottom of the world’s greatest mountain, and they started to climb. They climbed and climbed, sleeping short nights and working long days until they reached the top. And when they did, it was glorious. “Say,” said the first climber, “shouldn’t we take a picture to commemorate us reaching the top?” The second climber agreed, so they called over (let’s call him) *Jack, the guy they had hired to carry the bags. Jack took out his phone and snapped a few shots, and all was well.

Until the climbers climbed down the mountain and checked the picture, and Jack’s beautiful picture...well, his finger was in the way. No one could see the faces in the picture.

“Jack,” they said crossly, “you only had one job.”

Jack shrugged, “Sorry guys, you’re the ones who brought me up. I can’t help it if my thumbs are fat.”

The climbers were upset, but they quickly disassociated themselves from Jack and they invited all of their friends to climb the mountain with them and see the beautiful sights. Everyone climbed the mountain, and they were able to get a better picture. Everyone lived happily ever after.

On a completely unrelated note, Tommy La Stella.

On Thursday, Tommy La Stella bungled a tag by waving his glove around in the air almost as much as Erick Aybar did in the bees GIF. On Friday, he nearly didn’t complete a double play because his throw was weak.

And then he did the inexplicable. In baseball, it’s easy to excuse the physical mistakes. Someone doesn’t make a good throw, someone else strikes out in a key moment. But it’s hard to excuse the mental mistakes. La Stella, for whatever reasons, decided to cut off a throw from Kole Calhoun that was going to nail Matt Chapman at second. Two batters later, with two outs, when the inning should’ve been over, Khris Davis launched a home run.

It’s been said that La Stella was only playing because David Fletcher had a sore hamstring, but Fletcher must have risen from the dead to be a defensive replacement in the 8th, and he later singled. For shame, Brad. For shame. And judging from the gamethread, La Stella probably represents the quickest this community has turned on a player.

It is a shame, because that wiped out a stellar performance by Matt Harvey. Before the home run, the Dark Knight had worked five scoreless innings, including a masterful job of getting out of a bases loaded no outs jam in the 5th inning. Harvey’s stuff was electric, and he finished with 89 pitches through 6 innings of two-run ball. He may be the ace we need. It remains to see whether we deserve him or not.

The Angels, after tying a franchise record for most scoreless innings in a row to start the season, finally got on the board against Joakim Soria. After they couldn’t solve Marco Estrada and Lou Trivino, Jonathan Lucroy and Brian Goodwin got hits against Soria. Then Kole Calhoun doubled in the first run of the season! The A’s, afraid of Trout, IBB’d him, and then Justin Bour faced off against Ryan Buchter in an AB that was going to make-or-break the Angels’ season.

That was not an exaggeration.

Breaths were held, hearts were in their throats...and Bour worked the walk, tying the game. Then Andrelton Simmons singled in two off Liam Hendriks, and the Angels were on their way to 161-1.

In the ninth, Mike Trout (haven’t heard that name!) added two with a run-scoring double, and Cody Allen slammed the door.

Angels 6, A’s 2

Poll

Panther of the Game?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    The Dark Knight
    (243 votes)
  • 5%
    The Lion King
    (17 votes)
  • 9%
    The Red Baron
    (32 votes)
  • 12%
    Tommy La Stella
    (41 votes)
333 votes total Vote Now