Astros Bring Their Brooms, Sweep Angels

By Michael Hllywa

This is now beyond embarrassing. Even though the Athletics are a perfect 9-0 against the Astros, it isn’t fair to presume that a team is going to be perfect against an opponent all season long. However, it is fair to expect that, when your team is facing one of the bottom three teams in the Majors, that they will be better than 3-6 against them.

The Angels came into tonight’s game looking to save face, and avoid a sweep at the hands of the lowly Astros. Their mission tonight, beat Erik Bedard, a pitcher that had not won a game in 10 months. In the third inning, the Angels struck first when Mike Trout lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, bringing home J.B. Shuck. But the scoring started and stopped at that point for the Angels. Bedard kept the Angels off balance for the rest of the night. They mounted nothing resembling a serious threat until they had two outs in the ninth inning.

Angels fans’ hopes rested on the right arm of Joe Blanton. Blanton has looked better of late, but for the majority of the season, he has been less then trustworthy. But then, something weird happened, Blanton came out and pitched well above expectations. He was perfect through three, and had a shut out through four. But then came the fifth, and that damn Chris Carter. Carter (who seems to hit one out in each game against the Angels) lined a home run to left field, ending the shutout, and tying the game up at one apiece. In the sixth, it was Brandon Barnes who lifted a sacrifice fly to center, bringing home Matt Dominguez.

And that was all that the Astros pitching would need. Bedard lasted seven innings, turning it over to what is normally a shaky Astros bullpen. But they’ve been lights out this series. Poor Joe Blanton had his best start as an Angel going eight innings, walking none, giving up only three hits and matching a career high with 11 punch outs. A sparkling performance, wasted.

The Angels move forward (hopefully after a closed door meeting tonight where Mike Scioscia flips over the meal table), and head into a series with the Chicago Cubs starting tomorrow. Jered Weaver takes the mound looking to halt this four-game losing streak. He’ll be opposed by Scott Feldman who comes into the game with a 5-4 record and a 2.82 ERA. I would like to say: “Yippee, here comes another terrible team for the Angels to beat up on.” But after getting swept by the Astros, I fear that this team is the terrible team on the schedule. Light up the fail-o, Angels lose, again.