It’s saying something when the most exciting part of the broadcast was probably the lone fan standing outside the stadium, banging a trash can.
This game was “close” and technically the team always did have a shot at winning it, but it never felt that way. It also dragged on forever, with a four-plus hour run-time, with a franchise record for a nine-inning contest, featuring 19 walks.
Matt Andriese got the start but faltered early, failing to get out of the second inning. Houston did it without a home run, as Kyle Tucker drove in two with a double, and a walk and force out each forced in an additional run. When Andriese left the game after hitting Alex Bregman (the pitch only slightly grazing him), the Astros had a four-spot.
It seems relevant to bring up the fact that the Angels bullpen seems to have no rhyme or reason to its usage. We know that Hansel Robles is going to come in during save situations, but at any other moment, we must play whack-a-mole—any of the merry band of men may appear to toy with our hearts. Today, Cam Bedrosian, in my opinion one of the better relievers out of the pen, came in the second inning in this erstwhile 4-0 game despite not getting work in much higher leverage situations. Go figure. The Angels ended up using nine pitchers. I wasn’t confident in any one of them.
The Angels performed admirably offensively, but they left so many runs on the board. In the third inning, after success from David Fletcher, Brian Goodwin, and Anthony Rendon, the trio of Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton, and Luis Rengifo failed to cash in any more runs than the one already earned.
After Michael Hermosillo demonstrated that he cannot get behind a fly ball in order to prevent runners from advancing (this happened twice on sacrifice flies), Jason Castro and Fletcher doubled in the fourth inning, before Goodwin smacked a home run. Goodwin currently has a 1.472 OPS.
Keynan Middleton, coming off some interesting Twitter spats, allowed one run in his inning of work, but the Angels were still in it, only down 6-4 at this point. Joe Maddon had the intriguing idea to bring in Jared Walsh for the aforementioned Hermosillo, moving Goodwin to center, Fletcher to right, Rengifo to short, and La Stella to second. After this point, Rengifo and La Stella committed errors, and Fletcher had a “single” bounce off his glove and fall to the field. Fun!
Jose Altuve was hit by Noé Ramirez, and he was caught stealing right after that.
The combination of Hoby Milner and Mike Mayers was worth a solid two runs for the Astros in the seventh. It was the beginning of the end.
The Angels had runners on the corners with one out in both the seventh and eighth innings but grounded into double plays to kill both rallies. After Houston added another run in the ninth, the Angels mustered up a false rally but failed to score, and the long, long disaster finally ended.
Meanwhile, the Angels have the worst record in baseball. Kumar Rocker, anyone?