The first two weeks of the season for the Angels in 2018, were crazy. Many, were in awe of how good Shohei Ohtani was and in those two weeks featured what was likely the best comeback of the season for the Angels.
The season started out hectic with Ohtani hitting a home run in his first at-bat at home, Ohtani dominating in his first career pitching start in Oakland, and the offense was scoring like crazy. I didn’t even mention in the game before the biggest comeback was,that Shohei Ohtani hit a 2-run home run off of reigning CY Young award winner Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians and INF Zack Cozart hit a walk-off home run in the 13th inning. That walk-off home run gave them a record of 5-2 and winning both series to start off the season against, the Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians. They were set to have a 3 game series against the Oakland Athletics.
April 4, 2018 against the Oakland Athletics is the day the offense showed what they were capable of. The Angels called up right handed pitcher Parker Bridwell to start the Friday night game due to right hander Matt Shoemaker being placed on the disabled list. Parker Bridwell earned respect from many Angels fan’s due to how good he was in 2017, after coming out of nowhere. The Angels were 17-3 in games he started and he pitched to 3.64 ERA through 121 innings and he was very deserving of getting a chance to pitch for the Angels in 2018. The chance also came against the Athletics whom, he struggled against in 2017 and in two starts, gave up 13 runs through 6 innings.
Parker Bridwell was set to go up against right handed pitcher Daniel Gossett, who the Angels scored 4 runs off him in 4 innings, 5 days prior. The game was underway and Bridwell got two quick outs to start the game, but then gave up a home run to 2B Jed Lowrie making it 1-0 Oakland. Fast forward to the top of the 2nd inning and with 1 out Bridwell gives up back to back hits and a passed ball by C Martin Maldonado to make it a 2-0 game. OF Stephen Piscotty hits a sac fly and to make it 3-0 Oakland.OF Boog Powell hits a single that is deflected by SS Andrelton Simmons and the next batter is OF Matt Joyce, he hits a 2 run shot to right field to make it 5-0 Oakland.
The next batter is SS Marcus Semien and he hits a home run to center field to make it 6-0 Oakland. This game felt out of reach already in the 2nd inning. Pitching coach Charles Nagy comes out for a mound visit, the next batter hits a single and Bridwell’s night is over. Right handed pitcher Noe Ramirez comes in to take over and gives up a single then, ends up striking out 1B Matt Olson to end the inning. Heading to the bottom of the 2nd inning it was 6-0 Oakland.
The Athletics pitcher Daniel Gossett gets two quick outs and with DH Shohei Ohtani up, Ohtani hits a home run to center field to get the Angels on the board. That solo shot got the fans up and it looked like the Angels had some momentum. Fast forward to the bottom of the 4th inning and the Angels get two hits to lead off the inning. Andrelton Simmons is up and he hits a ground rule double to left field, scoring Albert Pujols with two runners now in scoring position. 3B Luis Valbuena is up, he singles up the middle to score both runners to make it 6-4 Oakland.
The Athletics make a pitching change after getting the next batter out and bring in right handed pitcher former Angel Yusmeiro Petit. He gives up a single to C Martin Maldonado to score Luis Valbuena to make it 6-5 Oakland. Fast Foward to the top of the 5th, the Angels are on their 4th pitcher of the night, Cam Bedrosian. Bedrosian gets two quick outs, gives up a single to Matt Olson and then gives up a two run shot to 3B Matt Chapman to center field to make it 8-5 Oakland. The Angels were so close to tying this game and two runs go back on the board for Oakland.
The bottom of the 5th inning starts out great for the Angels by Petit surrendering back to back singles to OF Justin Upton and 1B Albert Pujols, but Calhoun lines out to right field to make the first out. Andrelton Simmons comes up again and delivers with an RBI single to make it 8-6 Oakland. Luis Valbuena is up next, he hits a single to the load the bases to knock Petit out of the game. The Athletics bring in right handed pitcher Liam Hendricks to face Shohei Ohtani with the bases loaded. Hendricks throws 4 straight balls to walk Ohtani and a run scores to make it 8-7 Oakland. There is still only 1 out and Martin Maldonado is up and he grounds into a double play to end the inning.
The top of the 7th, it is still 8-7 Oakland and with left handed pitcher Jose Alvarez in, he gets a quick out. The Angels bring in right hander Jim Johnson, he gets a quick out and surrenders a home run to 1B Matt Olson on a fly ball to right center field. The game was now 9-7 Oakland. The bottom of the 7th, the A’s bring in lefty Ryan Buchter and he gives up two straight hits to Andrelton Simmons and new 3B Jefry Marte (who pinched-hit for Luis Valbuena). Buchter gets two outs and the A’s bring in their closer, right hander Blake Treinen to face 2B Zack Cozart. Cozart would end up reaching base after hitting a chopper to 3B Matt Chapman, but Chapman’s throw was low and the 1B Matt Olson could not dig it out and both runners on base would score to make it 9-9 a tie ball game.
The A’s would eventually walk the next man up OF Mike Trout intentionally to face OF Justin Upton. The count was full 3-2 and Upton is delivered a pitch in the zone and he hits a 3 run home run to right center field to make it 12-9 Angels. That was the eventual game winning home run and the Angels would later add 1 more run in the 9th via a wild pitch. Jim Johnson got the Win, while Blake Treinen got the Loss.
This game featured a combined 14 pitchers, 27 hits, and 22 runs. The game also featured Ohtani’s third game in a row in which he hit a home run to start off his career at Angels Stadium and Blake Treinen, who was one of the most dominant closers in 2018, gave up 1 home run in a season in which he gave up only 2.
Featured Image: AP Photo/Kyusung Gong