To be fair, Max Muncy had a great game. He was a tough out all night, and he almost single-handedly created all of the Dodgers offense. With two solo homers and another fly ball that nearly cleared the fence in left, the lefty of the day to watch out for wasn’t Cody Bellinger.
Meanwhile, on a completely unrelated note, the Angels allow the greatest percentage of hard-hit balls to left-handed hitters in the majors.
So let’s watch Muncy square up two baseballs really quickly:
The other Dodgers did not support. Save David Freese, who continues a disturbing trend of former Angels coming back to haunt the team.
There’s a deep Freese in Anaheim. pic.twitter.com/W9lQC3b8Sr— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 12, 2019
The Angels, on the other hand, were up against Kenta Maeda, and they worked counts early against him. Early and often, Maeda was throwing more pitches than he would’ve liked, and Shohei Ohtani drilled one into the seats against his fellow countryman.
We sure hope an Angels fan got that ball! pic.twitter.com/C9l3kaTdoU— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) June 12, 2019
It seems that that bomb rattled Maeda, because he walked a couple fellows to face Justin Bour, newly resurrected from the dead. And yes, I supported this move before it happened. Bour is too good of a hitter not to get at least somewhere in the neighborhood of league average.
OMG it’s J̶a̶s̶o̶n̶ Justin Bourn̶e̶ pic.twitter.com/wiNu45EuSV— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) June 12, 2019
Hey, five runs in the first, and that was all the Angels would need.
That wasn’t to say it wasn’t rough sailing. The Dodgers had opportunity after opportunity, baserunner after baserunner. They left fifteen runners on base. They outhit the Angels 12-6 (not the curveball). And yet, it was the Angels with the run tally.
Félix Peña had nothing today. His fastball wasn’t working and the Dodgers foolishly chased his offspeed when they could’ve sat it. Other than the two homers to Muncy, his line was clean.
Justin Anderson was extremely wild, wilder than his line showed. He did his usual “heart-attack” pitching mode, and he was bailed out by Luis Rengifo.
Ty Buttrey and Hansel Robles struggled in their respective second inning of relief, yet they still made it happen. With Buttrey, it was bringing the heat when he needed and getting swings and misses with the slider. With Robles, it was placing fastballs off the edge of the outside corner, where Triple-A umpire Nic Lentz had been calling it all night (including to Luis Rengifo), and striking out Chris Taylor and Kike Hernández.
It wasn’t pretty, and the Angels were far from the better team tonight, but they win two over the Dodgers, already exceeding expectations for the entire week.
Sidenote: David Fletcher played defense in the ninth, which means he was available to hit. This remains mindboggling.
Sidenote II: The Angels threw three wild pitches. Jonathan Lucroy was the catcher. We extend our major league record and are still on pace to break the all-time single season record.
Sidenote III: Unfortunately, Corey Seager appeared to pull a hamstring in the ninth inning. This is a big blow for the young shortstop, who also missed a huge chunk of the 2018 season due to injury.
Sidenote IV: Brad Ausmus did the best he could. Sure, Buttrey and Robles shouldn’t be pitching second innings, but Cody Allen and Luis Garcia shouldn’t be pitching close games either. He has a fine line to walk. I thought he did fine, hindsight shaping a little bit of my opinion. The one absolute mistake was the questionable challenge of a Dodger slide into second base. It was legal all the way, and the Angels burned the challenge. No matter.
Panther of the SWEEP GAME?
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