It only took nine starts, but the Angels finally got passed the fact that Joe Blanton was starting, and pulled off a victory in a game that turned into a slug-fest. That still didn’t stop Blanton from being terrible, though. After allowing 15 base runners in his 4.1 innings yesterday, his WHIP rose to 1.967. I am now rooting for his WHIP to breach the 2.000 mark, because that would be just swell.
Even though Blanton was allowing hits to half of the stadium, the game stayed scoreless though the third, which is more a testament to how bad the Chicago White Sox offense has been than it is a testament to how “good” Blanton was pitching through said innings. In the fourth, however, the White Sox finally broke through. With two outs in the inning, Alex Rios doubled home two runs and was followed by Adam Dunn who hit a two-run single. The Angels sputtering offense woke up, and fired right back in the bottom half of the inning. Mark Trumbo led off the inning with screaming line drive that sailed over both bullpens to give the Angels their first run scored since Friday evening. A Chris Iannetta walk (one of four for him in the game) later in the inning loaded the bases, and that was immediately followed by a walk to J.B. Shuck to bring home Alberto Callaspo. Erick Aybar‘s sacrifice fly in the inning made it 4-3, but that was it for the scoring in a crazy fourth inning. The Angels had fought their way back into the game.
Blanon went back to work in the fifth inning, and went back to Blanton’ing the Angel hopes for the day’s game. He retired Tyler Green on a pop out, but that was sandwiched between a HBP, a single and a walk. His day was done. Mike Scioscia came out and removed Blanton (who then went and tore up the tunnel behind the dugout according to Ken Rosenthal) in favor of everyone’s new favorite pitcher, Robert Coello. Coello struck the next two batters out to save the inning, and possibly the day, for the Angels. The Angels got kick started in their half of the inning by an Albert Pujols double. Pujols was driven on a double by Trumbo, and he would also score later in the inning on a sacrifice fly. The Angels had the lead, but it was bullpen time, so (according to a completely fictional rumor) Tums were handed out to everyone in the stadium.
After another scoreless inning from Coello (Seriously love this guy), and a scoreless seventh for Dane De La Rosa, the Angels erupted for five runs in their half of the seventh. Three coming on an Alberto Callaspo home run. Which, side note, led to this act of acrobatics by catcher Hector Gimenez.The other two runs were brought home when J.B. Shuck doubled home Iannetta and Josh Hamilton. The Angels now had a commanding 10-4 lead. Plenty big enough for fans to relax right? WRONG!
Enter, Garrett Richards. Richards has had quite the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde season, which is kind of like the season he had last year. Am I the only one seeing a pattern here? First, he gave up a single. Then, he struck out Casper Wells. Then he gave up another single, and then another which brought home Alexei Ramirez. Then he struck another hitter out. Then he gave up an RBI single to Dayan Viciedo. Then he was pulled in favor of Ernesto Frieri, who was not as invincible as he had been. Gimenez welcomed Frieri into the game by blasting a three-run home run to right-center field, making the score 10-9. Frieri finished off the inning, but fans had already swallowed their Tums and were asking ushers at the ballpark for another fix. But this offense was not letting the pitching throw this one away. Howie Kendrick doubled home Mike Trout in the eighth, and that was followed by a Callaspo sacrifice fly (Five RBI’s for Clutchpo yesterday. Well done, little Albert). 12-9. It’s safe to watch, right? This time, yes. Because Ernesto was Ernasty as he struck out the side in the ninth slamming the door shut emphatically as the Angels record ran to 16-27 with the win.
The Angels look to salvage a series split tonight when they send Jason Vargas to the mound in a few hours to square off with Jake Peavy. Game time is at 12:35 PM PST. Light that baby up, and keep it lit.