Final Score: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2, Houston Astros 1
Halos Daily Player of the Game: Ernesto Frieri (2 IP, 4 Ks, 1 fire put out)
The Angels kept up their winning ways on Sunday by beating the Houston Astros, 2-1. The victory gave the Halos a 2-1 series victory over the Astros. It was also their 17th win in their last 23 games.
It starts with good starting pitching: Jerome Williams was on his game on Sunday, as his 15:3 ground ball to fly ball ratio will attest. He had his command, throwing almost every pitch right to catcher Hank Conger‘s target over seven innings in which he gave up just one earned run, a four-bagger to left fielder Marc Krauss in the second inning.
The offense squeaked by this time: The Halos could only muster six hits against Astros pitching, the two most potent being Josh Hamilton‘s RBI-triple in the first inning and web-gemmer Andrew Romine‘s sacrifice fly to deep left field.
Romine makes another good defensive play: In the third inning, with one on and no outs, Astros lead-off man Jonathan Villar squared away to bunt, but Romine was able to charge the ball and make a quick throw to second base to force out the lead runner.
Frieri puts out another fire: Manager Mike Scioscia picked Dane De La Rosa to pitch the eighth inning, but he was completely ineffective, giving up a single and a walk to the first two batters he faced. Sciocia promptly replaced De La Rosa with Frieri who had to face the 2-3-4 hitters with no outs and two on with the Angels leading by only one run. A Jose Altuve bunt served as the first out of the inning, and then Frieri blew away the next two batters by way of the K. In the ninth, Frieri got a foul out and two strikeouts to nail down his 34th save of the season.
Where have all the hits gone, Mike Trout?: The Angels’ superstar was hitless again, going 0-for-8 in this series against the Astros, yet, Trout being Trout, he was able to score a run in all three games, thanks in part to the six walks he accrued.
It hurt to watch Hank Conger play: The Angels’ catcher appeared to be playing in pain the whole game. He grimaced or hunched over with his hands on his knees every time he ran, made a throw on a ball in play, or got tagged while on the base paths. And if that wasn’t enough, he got nailed by a Frieri fastball to the head in the ninth inning that knocked his mask clean off his head and had the trainer checking him out for several minutes before play could resume.
Baseball is a game of inconsistencies: The Halos won their season series against the St. Louis Cardinals and swept the Detroit Tigers 6-0, but went 9-10 against the Houston Astros.
Not the son of infamous Texan pitcher: In case you were wondering, Astros starting pitcher Paul Clemens is not the son of former Astros pitcher Roger Clemens. You can tell because the Rocket only gives his offspring names that start with the letter K (get it — a K), like Koby, Kory, Kacy, and Kody.
Let’s grow that championship beard already: Out of all the Halo beards growing these days, my favorite is Howie Kendrick‘s. It’s starting to get a little long and gnarly. Now if all of the dirtbags on the Angels’ roster would keep their beards growing over the off-season, the team could have some fierce, bushy beards ready to punish the 2014 baseball season.