It had been a long road trip. So long, that Shohei Ohtani seemed like a lineup regular before he even played his first game of the 2019 season at Angel Stadium.
This weekend, the Angels somehow managed to combine Country Weekend and Military Appreciation Weekend. The caps were black, and some players even wore high black socks. For his part, Matt Harvey wore a black military-themed undershirt. On the country side, everyone in attendance got a cowboy hat. And, well...
It’s Country Weekend at Angel Stadium.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) May 18, 2019
This is Shohei Ohtani. pic.twitter.com/gGuM4mzKs1
Brad Keller for the Royals is the guy who walks everyone, and he lived up to his stats today. He pumped in pitch after pitch, basically getting the ball and throwing it as soon as he got it. The strategy was not effective for him. He walked five on the evening, including Brian Goodwin with the bases loaded in the second. The Angels got three that inning, including one on a GIDP from David Fletcher. I mean, hey, if we’re going to GIDP, we might as well get a run out of it.
(Sidenote: the Angels are GIDP’ing at a 1.20 per game clip. The major league record is 174, which is a 1.07 per game clip.)
After the Angels got four runs in the first three innings, it was mostly smooth sailing.
Matt Harvey did **enough**. He worked 5 scoreless innings, and then Brad Ausmus tried to squeeze one more out of him, but he walked the first two batters and was lifted. Justin Anderson allowed both inherited runners to score.
Ty Buttrey demolished the top of the order in the 7th.
But Cam Bedrosian just HAD to come in, and the ol’ two-out-itis flared up. Despite putting pitch after pitch in the dirt, he got out of it without allowing any runs.
Hansel Robles saved the day in the ninth even though he got nailed in the ankle, because just using your best two relievers for three innings when they haven’t pitched for a couple days makes absolutely no sense. We’ll take the win.
There was really no stress, save for the Bedrosian moments. In fact, Patrick89 started openly taunting the baseball gods in the 5th inning, but it seems even they were unable to help the Royals win the game.
The unsung hero of the game was Albert Pujols, who appears to be a changed man. His stance his narrower, and he once again beat the shift by grounding a weak ball through the right side into right field. He also beat the shift with a laser to left for good measure. The craziest thing of all was that Mike Trout stole a base! When! Pujols! Was! At! The! Plate!
Welcome to the new age.
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Honestly, it was just a good team effort/team win, wasn’t it?