Two games into what is supposed to be the softest part of the season’s schedule for the Angels, and two losses is all they have to show for it. They are now 11-22, or, 1.5 games better than the Houston Astros.
The silver lining, I suppose, is that at least Joe Blanton wasn’t terrible. Bud Norris was just a lot better. Josh Hamilton did hit a home run, but it was to the short part of the ball park, so maybe a grain of salt is necessary here. There isn’t any way to sugar coat anything about this team. Plain and simple, they’re bad. Just bad. But after acknowledging last year that I do suffer from battered fan syndrome, I promised myself, and my support group, to not keep my emotions about this team bottled up. Maybe this gets better. Maybe they turn it around. But right now, this already feels like a lost season.
What went right for the Angels tonight? Well, a whole lot of nothing for the most part. Mike Trout grounded into a double play in the first immediately preceding an Albert Pujols double. The next 10 Angels were set down in order by Bud Norris (who, by the way, only had to throw 77 pitches just to get to the ninth inning). The Angels caught a break in the bottom of the third when Matt Dominguez “doubled” to right field. The team’s good luck would only last for so long though. That double was immediately followed by a Marwin Gonzalez RBI double, which was followed two batters later by a Jimmy Paredes RBI double. Sandwich’d in between those two run scoring doubles was a Mike Trout catch that you will probably see later tonight in highlight reels. The next inning was highlighted by a two-out single by Mark Trumbo, which was then erased when Trumbo was caught stealing. Why was Trumbo trying to steal? I don’t know, but I would suggest he receive 40 lashes for not realizing his lack of foot speed.
Chris Carter put the Astros further ahead in the fifth with a solo home run to left field, making the score 3-0 at that point, and pushing Angels fans closer and closer to the point of no return. Hamilton then hit his aforementioned home run in the top of the seventh inning, making the score 3-1 while also staving off the Mendoza line and giving fans a small dose of false hope. But the real killer of dreams, was the Angels half of the ninth inning. Trout lead off with a single. Good start. Pujols followed with another single, sending Trout to third. OK, you’ve got my attention. Trumbo struck out and then Hamilton was hit by a pitch. So now it was bases loaded with one out and Howie Kendrick coming to the plate. Of course, the only thing missing from this suck-fest, was a Howie Kendrick, rally killing, GIDP, which he of course, delivered.
Dreams, smashed. Plasticware, broken. The coffee mug I was given as a gift from a friend’s trip to Disney World, obliterated. Seriously, Angels, I’m running out of things to wreck after you lose. Hopefully, Jason Vargas will stem this tide tomorrow when he takes the hill opposite Lucas Harrell who is starting for the Astros. Game time is at 5:10 PM PST. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go drink bleach.