It’s not often that a regulation game exceeds four hours and thirty minutes, but that’s exactly what happened through nine innings at Minute Maid Park on Sunday afternoon, where the Angels and Astros found themselves tied after the conclusion of nine innings. The tenth inning, then, was the most important one of all.
Houston’s lynchpin reliever, Ryan Pressly, shut down Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in the top half, while the Angels—having already used their best relievers—rolled out Taylor Cole to face Josh Reddick, George Springer, and Jose Altuve. It went about how would one expect things to go in a situation such as this. Reddick doubled to right-center field (a triple had Kole Calhoun not managed to cut it off), was somehow ruled safe on a subsequent pickoff attempt with the call being confirmed, and scored on a Springer single to right-center field. And that turned out to be the ballgame.
That’s not to say there weren’t exciting things that happened in this game. There was a lot of offense to be had as five Angels hitters had multi-hit games with Luis Rengifo reaching base safely four times.
Observe, Shohei Ohtani hitting a middle-middle fastball the other way.
Observe, a rare Jonathon Lucroy triple!
And Mike Trout, with not one but two home runs on the day. He has 28 dingers heading into the All-Star Break.
He almost robbed Jose Altuve, too! He can do it all.
Mike Trout couldn’t quite pull this robbery off (it hit off the wall), but this was a hell of an attempt. pic.twitter.com/Pds6pFhIpX— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) July 7, 2019
The unfortunate news came later in the game, in the 8th inning. This collision happened at home plate:
They are taking Jonathan Lucroy off in a cart, but he was walking on his own power. This has been a hellish week for the Angels.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) July 7, 2019
Houston’s Jake Marisnick tagged on a Kole Calhoun catch, and Calhoun’s throw took Lucroy into the third base-line. However, Marisnick took a step inward with his left foot, setting up for a head-on collision with Lucroy at home plate, resulting in a definite IL trip for the Halos’ backstop, as well as a probable concussion and possible nose fracture. When it rains, it pours.
Ultimately, giving up lots of runs is not a recipe for success, as one may realize. Cam Bedrosian pitched an inning of work and gave up four runs, and Ty Buttrey followed with a two-run inning shortly thereafter. That’s not what you want.
The Angels are 45-46 heading into the All-Star Break, with festivities beginning tomorrow.