While never necessarily that close, the Angels’ sixth consecutive lit halo was also not really a done deal. In the end though, the Angels would do enough to come away with their first series sweep, and against a team that was one cruising to one of the best records in the National League.
Felix Peña was not solid, but pitched his way out of trouble for four innings. He came away from the game allowing only an unearned run. The big story was the return of Jaime Barria, who looked pretty darn sick to pull in a win. He would only pitch 2.2 innings in his first ever relief appearance, but the movement on his slider and location of his change was eye-catching. Maybe it’s just the unintentional juxtaposition of him and a wild and lucky Peña that gives this impression, but he looks different than last year—better. He would give up a second run, but by then, the Angels had already scored enough to end it.
The bottom of the third was yet another instance of taking free bases, dropping balls where fielders ain’t, and making runs happen, even when the opposing pitcher has gas and the stuff to shut you down. Brandon Woodruff really outpitched Peña, but didn’t come away with the results he intended. He went 6 innings with 4 runs allowed, allowing every last one in one mostly unlucky frame.
The most entertaining moment of the game was when Phil Cuzzi utterly lost it, calling balls and strikes as if it wasn’t his entire job tonight. Kevan Smith, rung up twice on pitches pretty clearly outside, saw his temper completely fail him, as he told off the notorious umpire. He wasn’t the only person upset either, as Craig Counsell had some choice words earlier in the game. Smith received an ejection that was definitely coming to him but totally worth it.
Finally, Cam Bedrosian pitched Bedrosianly and Hansel Robles pitched with perfect precision, the level of which I don’t think we have ever seen from him, to go along with his elite heat.
Hopefully, this is the first sweep of many to come. Whatever the rest of the season has in store, this set was a joy to behold. Let’s get Win 7 on Friday.
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Kevan Smith’s sassiness