Matt Harvey justified Brad Ausmus’ decision to have him not start on Opening Day, Andrelton Simmons sustained a back injury (described as “back tightness”) to tank any remaining trade value he had left, and the Angels offense continued to take incompetence to new heights in the home opener against the Rangers Thursday evening.
But before we get into the game, can we just take a moment to appreciate the perfect storm of incapability that is this team? The level to which the team has cooperated to ensure loss after humiliating loss is simply astonishing. We have seen this type of teamwork for years at this point, but never quite like this. Special commendation goes out to the defense, which only seems to look entirely invalid when a game is close and winnable.
So let’s get right into it. Matt Harvey started off bad. He also had a poor middle. And the circumstances of his departure were downright subpar. It was, through and through, a traumatic experience for both the team and the fans. The first inning was enough to demonstrate that I am a poor judge of talent, transpiring as follows:
No-Doubt Home Run
Laser Beam Foul Pole Scraper Home Run
That was pretty much all she wrote. A high expectation was not held for the Angels offense, but they managed to let us down even still as Tommy La Stella obliterated a chance to do some major damage to Edinson Volquez, who wears a metaphorical “Kick me” sign on his back at all times.
Credit to Kole Calhoun for at least trying to do a little something-something to get the ball rolling, but the real silver lining of the game was, of course, the fishgod. Mike Trout gunned down Ronald Guzman at the plate with a 96.4 MPH strike. It was completely unlike anything we have ever seen from him. And while Rod Carew praised him in the booth, he erased a ball from existence to cut the deficit to 4 runs. But most importantly, the guy bat flipped! Talk about stealing the show.
The Angels are now 1-6. That’s not very good. Trout is now batting .350 with a 1.117 OPS despite only one homer and a supporting cast headlined by Calhoun and Brian Goodwin. That’s pretty darn good. Remind me why he gets pitched to at all again?