The first game of the Freeway series with the Angels drawing first blood.
The first career complete game shutout for Garrett Richards.
The game was functionally won via a first inning offensive explosion.
The Angels first baseman getting into a weird hand-waving dispute with Yasiel Puig.
The only first the Angels didn’t come to realize was grabbing a share of first place in the AL West thanks to the Rays blowing their chance to beat the A’s in extra innings last night. Stupid Rays.
Run Expectancy Rundown
Albert Pujols led the team in RE24 and also led the team in bizarre spats with the opposing team. It is funny to see Pujols be the one to laughingly douse Richards with the Gatorade cooler but be so utterly humorless when Yasiel Puig gestured for him to try and tag up again. I know Puig is a brash figure, but relax, Albert. Oh, and Josh Hamilton homered again! I told you his power was going to rebound. Of course, I also told you it would only rebound so much, but let’s focus on the former rather than the latter.
Just one single Dodger was in the positive, as you might imagine in a shutout. Matt Kemp fanned three times but somehow was that lone positive. The bottom was reserved for Yasiel Puig. Carl Crawford was in the middle of the pack. Remember when we were all so upset that the Angels missed out on signing Carl Crawford? Good times.
Starting Pitcher Scores
Ace-like Garrett Richards was back after a brief hiatus away. He was truly terrific but he did need to throw a career-high 122 pitches in the effort which is a red flag if you subscribe to the theory that Richards had started to falter because he, as of this game, has set a new career-high in innings pitched already. Zack Greinke was pretty good himself, especially if you ignore that first inning, but he wasn’t as good as Richards and that was all the difference.
Obviously the Angels didn’t use their bullpen in this game, which was sorely needed after how hard they had been worked in the last week. The Dodgers only needed one reliever and got solid work out of him in his first ever MLB game. Due to the lack of relief usage, I’m dispensing with the graph.
For the second straight day, the Angels jumped out to an early advantage and did not relinquish it. Unlike the Rays game though, there was nary even a wobble after the second inning. It was just a smooth ride to victory for the Halos.
A truly proud moment for guys named Garrett.