It looks as though, after last night’s late inning rally that was capped off by Albert Pujols‘ go-ahead home run, the offense may have found whatever swagger it had lost over the last week-plus of games. Unfortunately, it happened to come on “Jason Vargas regression to the mean” night. Three times Angels players went yickety, and almost had a fourth big fly when J.B. Shuck just missed his first career home run in the second inning.
The Angels got on the board first, and in fine fashion, when Howie Kendrick lifted his eighth home run of the year to right center field. Howie has been on a tear lately, and his lifted his batting average 20 points to push it up to .317. Maybe he will finally deliver on the promise that he will be a future batting champion. The Cubs would cut into that lead in the third inning when Darwin Barney bounced into an RBI groundout, making the score 2-1 Angels. The Angels answered back in the fourth inning when back-to-back singles from Chris Iannetta and Shuck pushed the Angel lead to three, and the score to 4-1. With how good Vargas had been over the last month, this one should’ve been in the bag, right?
Enter the 2013 Los Angeles Angels luck. Cody Ransom erased the Angels lead when he hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning. In the sixth inning, a Ryan Sweeney single put the Cubs on top. The five runs that Vargas allowed, is the most for him since he gave up five runs on May, 9th.
The Cubs lead held steady until the eighth inning. That would be when Mark Trumbo destroyed a James Russell curveball. Early reports suggest that the ball is currently somewhere over Newport Beach. The ninth inning had a little drama, but it was the tenth inning where everything fell apart.
After getting two of the first three batters out, Robert Coello proceeded to load the bases for the Cubs first baseman, Anthony Rizzo. And Rizzo promptly doubled home everyone with a shot down the first base line that Mark Trumbo had no chance of stopping. Trumbo would pull the Angels closer with his second home run of the game in the bottom of the tenth, but with runners on first and second, Kevin Gregg struck out Hank Conger to end the game, and this dreadful homestand.
Angels fan’s get the day off tomorrow to recharge and regroup while the Angels travel to Boston to face the Red Sox. The weather doesn’t look good, with Tropical Storm Andrea heading that way. But maybe that’s just what the Angels need, a rainout, Crash Davis style. Light up the fail-o, and try to forget that the Angels just dropped five of six to the Astros and the Cubs. I know I’m going to try to.