This game featured Michael Lorenzen facing off against Adam Oller (of the 11.17 ERA). So then, why did we sit the good team to face the good pitcher while rolling out the good team to face the bad pitcher? No batters on either team started out with much experience against the opposing starter in this game.
There had to be something going on here. What was going on is apparently that Joe Maddon thought he would guarantee a 50- 50 split of this doubleheader. Let’s see how that worked out. The As took the first game in hearbreaking fashion, robbing Raisel Iglesias of a save. So that part of thi scenario had a so-so outcome. We were still looking for that 50-50 split.
The Angels opened up in the second inning of thr game as follows: Anthony Rendon walk; Jared Walsh double; Luis Rengifo hit by pitch; Chad Wallach walks to score a run; Wade and Velasquez made out and Taylor Ward hit a grand salaaaam to make it 5-0 Angels. OK. That works.
In the 5th, Taylor Ward doubled to start things off. Mike Trout then doubled because he couldn’t let Ward get too far had in the doubles race. Ward scored, of course. Shohei Ohtani then homered to make it 8-1.(Somehow the hapless Athletics had managed to score a run somewhere in there.). In the sixth, Tyler Wade walked. Andrew Velasquez reached on a fielder’s choice and Wade reached second because of a throwing error. Taylor Ward singled and Wade scored. Speed kills. 9-1.
I guess the plan is working OK so far, except for the part about losing the first game. It was bilateral three up three down for the seventh inning. Hey! Who cares about the seventh inning anyway?
All right. That thing about Andrew Velasquez sucking in the batter’s box. I think we need to revisit that. He gets walks. He gets homers. He gets base hits. This may be a sample size problem. I’ll be the first to say it. What did he do in the eighth? He singled to give Taylor Ward a chance to walk and bring up Mike Trout. Yeah. Admittedly Trout struck out, but is that the fault of Velasquez? I think not.
Anyway, Bethancourt made it to third base on a double and a force out by Tony Kemp. Here are we are in the ninth. Shohei Ohtani hit a fly ball out. Anthony Rendon singled . ( I thought Rendon was supposed to suck.) Then Jared Walsh grounded into a double play to end the Angels part of the inning. Mike Mayers came in to get the non-save. Jed Lowrie singled. Christian Pache struck out. Sean Murphy grounded into a double play to end the game. I guess that’s cool. The Astros lost, so I guess the Angels didn’t lose ground.
Photo credit: Rex Fregosi