Saturday, August 5, 2017

Angels Storm Back, Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

The Angels beat the Athletics last night, 8-6 at Anaheim Stadium. They were down 6-2 in the sixth inning, and I thought there for a minute the team would lose. It'd have been the first time they lost while I was in attendance for the last five years or so. Really, when I go to the park, they always win. And they did it again last night. I was pretty magical.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Angels mount comeback to beat A's, stretch winning streak to four and improve to .500":
The Angels are still not healthy, still receiving lackluster seasons from an array of hitters, still struggling to capture the public’s interest, still unlikely to actually qualify for the postseason.

But they are undeniably making this thing interesting. They secured their fourth straight victory and sixth in seven tries Friday, scoring six unanswered runs to come back to beat Oakland 8-6 at Angel Stadium. They are 55-55, and only two games separate them from playoff position.

“Better late than never,” said Ben Revere, who scored Friday’s winning run.

It has become the team’s refrain this summer, enjoyed because of its duality: “We’re still in it.”

Applicable to their 32 comeback victories and to their playoff odds, the Angels cite it in interviews and tell it to their pregame visitors during batting practice, a subtle reminder to one another that they can yet contend in 2017. With each passing week, the idea appears more plausible. They do not have to play particularly good games, especially while hosting Philadelphia, Oakland and Baltimore on this homestand. They can always come back, as they did Friday.

After Mike Trout hit an infield single to short in the first inning, Albert Pujols tapped into an inning-ending double play. It was the 351st double-play groundout of his career, which holds grand significance. It broke Pujols’ tie with Cal Ripken and staked him alone to the all-time record.

Making the first start of his career, the Angels’ Troy Scribner did not give up a hit until the second inning. It was a three-run home run to Matt Chapman — a walk and an error preceded it — that gave the Athletics an early lead. The Angels made it 3-2 with three singles, two errors, a sacrifice fly, and a hit by pitch in their half of the second. With the bases loaded and two out, Trout flied out to left field.

Over the next three innings, they mustered two baserunners — both on doubles, by Trout and Kole Calhoun. Neither man advanced...

The rally monkey did the trick last night. I love that, heh.