It was billed as the matchup between Shohei Ohtani and Yusei Kikuchi. That didn’t happen. Ohtani didn’t play, Kikuchi didn’t pitch well, and the game was the exact opposite of an auftaktigkeit, a word which means “a principle in music: all musical phrases begin on an upbeat.” Quite frankly, I don’t even know if I’m using the word correctly, much less how to spell it, so the fact that a grade school kid got it right on the Scripps National Spelling Bee concurrently running with this game was impressive.
Even though the game did not start on an upbeat, the Angels quickly put a charge into the action right away. Kikuchi did not have command of his pitches at all, and David Fletcher and Mike Trout walked to start the action. Albert Pujols then laced a single into right, and the Halos were on the board before you could say “Dipoto!”
After Luis Garcia gave up some hard contact but held the Mariners scoreless in the first inning as an opener, the Angels were back up. Kole Calhoun sat dead red fastball and crushed it into the stands, and it seemed like the Angels were on everything that Kikuchi was throwing. A few more hits later, Trout singled in a run, and that was good to see.
César Puello proved backup infielders are overrated and homered again. Brad Ausmus proved that you can do anything with a lineup and still win. He started two catchers and played without an backup infielder. The bench consisted of two pitchers, Ohtani and Jared Walsh, and Brian Goodwin. Ausmus went out and talked to Félix Peña himself in the second inning instead of deferring to the pitching coach. Honestly, he’s out there wildin’.
His name's César Puello and he's your new favorite player. pic.twitter.com/6DAwJQ6WKw— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) May 31, 2019
In the fourth, the Angels added on again, with Trout doubling home two. Trout reached four times. After sitting out Sunday’s game, the superstar outfielder said once again that he felt on the verge of breaking out, and quite honestly, there’s nothing like a set of games at the now-dubbed T-Mobile Arena (forever Safeco in my heart) to set Trout straight.
In the fifth, Luis Rengifo doubled in a couple runs, and the Angels were in business.
With news today that Kevan Smith is going to need a few more days after still showing concussion-like symptoms, Dustin Garneau is going to be up for the foreseeable future. He showed he can bang it with the big boys, garnering (hehe) two hits and a walk.
Because this is the Angels we’re talking about, even when they’re crushing the Mariners, they grounded into four double plays. You will be happy to report that they are still on track to break the major league record for most GIDPs in a season. On the flip side, they only struck out six times. 2019 Angels baseball at its finest.
And finally we get to Félix Peña, who had another gem. He ended up working 5.1, striking out eight(!!) and just keeping the line moving as the Angels offense did its job.
Seattle may be 13-32 in their last 43, but it is always good to get the bats moving and the runners running around the bases. The score was actually reasonably close, but this one was a blowout all the way. Fifteen hits, all of them needed to put the game out of reach.
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Those crazy middle schoolers who can spell their way around the world