Welcome back Tommy Hanson, hope you enjoy the patchwork infield we put together for you in your return to Anaheim. Albert Pujols sat out today’s game to give his aching foot and knee a rest. Josh Hamilton was back in the lineup after missing two of the last three games with back spasms. But Mike Scioscia, in his infinite wisdom, decided to play Brendan Harris at first base. A position that Harris only had 38 innings of experience at for his career. So, yeah, welcome back Tommy. Oh, and, who’s that at third base you ask? that’s Chris Nelson. What? Never heard of him? Yeah, the team picked him up while you were gone.
Everything got off to such a promising start, too. Chris Iannetta doubled home Trumbo in the second inning to get the Halos on the board first. Two batters later, Chris Nelson brought home Hamilton with an RBI groundout. Two innings in, two runs up. What could go wrong, right? Well, everything, apparently.
The Astros got on the board in the fourth inning on a Jason Castro home run. Three batters later, Chris Carter tied the game up with a sacrifice fly. But the circus decided to make it’s presence known Matt Dominguez lifted a shallow fly ball to right field. Trumbo made the play, then made the throw home, a bad throw at that. So what do Iannetta and Harris do? Why, they both go after it of course. Leaving home plate wide open for Carlos Pena to scamper home giving the Astros a 3-2 lead. But the fun didn’t stop there. In the seventh inning, Brandon Barnes singled home Ronny Cedeno, signaling the end of the night for Tommy Hanson, and the start of the night for Dane De La Rosa. A Jason Castro groundball led to a Howie Kendrick error, which led to a run coming across. Then Pena delivered an RBI single when he beat the Angels over-shift, giving the Astros a 6-2 lead.
The Angels mounted a mini-rally in the eighth inning. Erick Aybar hit his first home run of the season. Mike Trout followed him up with a walk, and after moving up to third thanks to an error and a sacrifice fly, watched Mark Trumbo draw a walk as well. But when Bo Porter brought in lefty Travis Blackley to face Josh Hamilton, well, I’m sure you can guess what happened. At least, Hamilton didn’t strike out on a breaking pitch three-and-a-half feet into the right handed batter’s box. Progress, people. Progress.
As much as we want the Angels to win every night, they didn’t deserve to win tonight. Hopefully tomorrow will have a different outcome when Jerome Williams squares off with Bud Norris in the second game of this four game series. Light up the fail-o. Normally, this is where I’d mix bleach and ammonia to see what kind of effect it can have on a human’s stomach. But this team played so bad tonight that I am already nauseous enough.