Another day, another baseball game for the Angels, another loss to the Houston Astros. The Angels now own an embarrassing 3-5 record against a team that was picked to lose nearly 120 games this season. The Angels five losses to the Astros, account for exactly 25% of the Astros win total so far this season. Basically, the only reason that the Astros don’t have a win total in the teens, is because of the Angels. Congratulations Mr. Moreno, this is your playoff caliber ball club.
C.J. Wilson put the Angels in a hole early when he gave up a two-out solo home run to Carlos Corporan. C.J. settled down, put it on cruise control, and waited for the bat’s to show up. Albert Pujols knocked in the first Angels run since Saturday when he singled home J.B. Shuck in the third inning. The game remained tied until Carlos Pena deposited his fifth home run of the season in the right field seats in the fifth inning. An inning later, J.D. Martinez brought home Brandon Barnes with an RB single. Mark Trumbo looked as though he had enough of this “losing to the Astros” nonsense when, in the sixth, he took a vicious cut and launched his 13th home run of the season well over the bullpen’s in left center field. This status remained quo, until things got interesting in the ninth.
Garrett Richards was summoned by Mike Scioscia to start the ninth inning. Why it wasn’t Robert Coello or Ernesto Frieri is beyond me, but things should’ve been safe with Richards on the mound. Of course, they weren’t. Consecutive base hits to start the inning, and a fielding error by Alberto Callaspo had the bases filled with ‘Stros for Matt Dominguez. Dominguez then delivered home two insurance runs with a single to left field. These insurance proved incredibly valuable when the Angels came up for their half of the ninth. After a leadoff walk to Callaspo, Brad Peacock put a 1-2 fastball in the wrong spot to Hank Conger, and Conger didn’t miss it. But did the Angels build on that for some late inning heroics leading to a walk off win? No, of course not. After Hank’s home run, Shuck, Erick Aybar and Mike Trout went down in order. Sealing the fate of another nauseating loss to a team who’s payroll is more than $100MM less than that of the Angels.
So what’s next for the Angels? Well, they try to avoid being swept by the Astros tomorrow when they send Joe Blanton to the mound against Erik Bedard. If Joe Blanton is the winning pitcher in tomorrow’s game, expect him to keep his spot and Jerome Williams to head back to the pen. Game time is 7:05 PM PST. Light up the fail-o, the hotline will be open in case this team gets swept tomorrow. We will be here to talk you off of the ledge….or jump with you. Whichever.