Bad luck sucks to have. When you are in the midst of it, it feels like nothing you can do works, every hope is false, and disappointment always comes. This Angel team has felt unlucky, blowing close games left and right, having runs scored and outs not recorded by the thinnest of margins and losing those 50/50 calls more than 50% of the time.
Yes, it wasn’t all luck, choices are constantly being made, bad ones. Brining Loup in, not taking out Suarez, entrusting a rookie for a save, and boneheaded decisions on the field and on the base paths. Yet, it was bad luck as well, as many of these games were close, with leads in 21/24 games coming into tonight.
Patrick Sandoval knows bad luck. He has had very little run support in his Angels career, and facing a rookie, he knew there was a large possibility that he would have little, if any tonight. Going 7 innings, giving of 3 runs, (2 earned) was pretty good, but against the worst team, it may not have been enough.
But tonight, luck finally landed his way. The Rookie everyone in an Angel uniform fears year after year, was throwing strikes yes, but ONLY strikes. Which means that, despite how hard they were going, they were hittable. So the Angels hitters hit those strikes, hard. Not Trout or Ohtani, they took way too many pitches, but almost everyone else jumped on them.
Which meant that, for the first time in a long time, Patrick Sandoval felt lucky. he didn’t need to be perfect to have a chance to win, he just needed to go deep. Sure, there was always a chance that the bullpen could blow a 6 run lead with 6 outs to go, but he felt lucky tonight, for the first time in a long time.
The game started on a bad foot, with the A’s getting the first run of the game.
However, as I said, this was a lucky night tonight, and Drury tied it up in the 2nd.
And then Thaiss gave the Angels the lead with a 2 run double.
Neto then made it 5-1.
An Ohtani groundout made that 5 runs in one inning.
With a 5-1 lead, Sandy was relaxed, maybe a bit too relaxed as he allowed a home run in the 3rd.
But, again, luck was on his side as Renfroe got that run right back.
Sandy confidently pitched, but a run did score in the 5th.
Well, Drury responded in the bottom half, hitting another home run.
The Angels extended the lead with another run in the 6th thanks to a fielding error by the A’s this time.
Silseth got the final 2 innings, letting the rest of the bullpen rest. With a 6 run lead, it would be easy. Sandy pitched well, his lead was safe.
Ohtani pitches tomorrow, so he should rest and let someone else bat. But he said no, and hit a 2 run home run instead.
The Angels face the A’s again tomorrow for the series win, Ohtani will be on the mound during the day, so take some time to peek at the box score. At 13-12, the Angels are still in 3rd place in the AL West but at least are above .500 again.