The Angels lost the rubber match against the Astros 8-6, dropping the Halos to only a half-game out of last place in the AL West. Nick Tropeano had his worst start since early May, allowing four runs and tying a season-high in walks at five. Although that might not have mattered if Johnny Giavotella was batting fifth for a team with nominal playoff aspirations.
Run Expectancy Rundown
Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout provided most of the offensive opportunity on the day, largely due to the six combined walks between the two of them. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Calhoun hit a one-out triple and it looked like the Angels were about to steal the series. Then Pat Neshek intentionally walked Trout and Albert Pujols to load the bases, bringing up feared middle-of-the-order bats Johnny Giavotella and Rafael Ortega. Giavotella struck out, Ortega popped out, and that was the Angels’ last good chance at victory.
And since this was an Angel game, we were treated to another injury. Yunel Escobar left the game with a wrist injury he sustained fielding a grounder in the third inning, so we were treated to six plate appearances of C.J. Cron: Lead Off Man.
Starting Pitcher Scores
Tropeano didn’t have his best outing even before the fifth inning, but that Astros rally turned a relatively low-scoring affair into a 1990s game. Doug Fister was similarly unimpressive, but two of the three runs he allowed were unearned.
Huston Street can’t come back soon enough for the overworked bullpen.. The Angels’ pen acquitted themselves nicely Correa ruined Mike Morin‘s weekend in the 13th inning, but Fernando Salas earned a blown save in the eighth. After Ken Giles allowed two runs* the Astros’ relievers slammed the door until Luke Gregerson allowed a run in garbage time.
* By the way, how horrific does that trade look? That’s like three Vernon Wells trades in one.
Long games are the best on lazy holiday weekends.
Johnny G has been the Halo Hero many times in this space, but yesterday’s 1-for-6 performance with three strikeouts and six left on base has him here.