The first inning was defined by two plays Enrique Hernández did not make. The first was an admittedly difficult but definitely achievable catch against Shohei Ohtani in left center field that ended up going for a double. The second was a home run from Mike Trout that was in and out of his glove and is a 1-in-10 proposition that went in the 90 percent direction, and it was 2-0 Angels
Trevor Story led off with a double in the second, which was cool. Then Alex Verdugo squibbed it to “Squid,” Andrew Velazquez, who booted it to put two men on with no outs. The Christian Vázquez walked with a full count. Which means, you know, bases loaded with no outs. The Other Christian then grounded into a fielder’s choice to make it 2-1, Angels. Until Bobby Dalbec guided (hopefully1) through the hole on the right side to even it up on a seeing-eye single. Then Hernández did the same thing on in a weird spot on the right side and made it 3-2. That was fast! When it rains, it pours, I guess. As Dave O’Brien said, “If you stood at home plate and rolled it underhand, you couldn’t do better.” Then Rafael Devers grounded into a double play. Weird, but we’ll take it.
Then the Angels got runners on the corners with 1 out with some singles that, like Boston’s, just hit the weird spots. And next... Bobby Dalbec booted what should have been an out on a chopper and it was 3-3 again. By this time Garrett Whitlock was above 40 pitches and, wouldn’t you know it, they got lucky: Tyler Wade was caught stealing going to third, and a strikeout after that ended the inning sort of shockingly abruptly.
In the top of the third, Xander Bogaerts grounded to third but Squid botched the throw, and X was on first with one out in what was oddly ruled as a hit. Nothing came of it. Then, with one out in the bottom of the inning, Trout doubled on a pitch he had no business doubling on, a 96 MPH low and outside fastball that was nearly, but not entirely perfect, and Trout bounced. And then he bounced — he left the game with an injury. On replay, it’s clear he could’ve had a triple but pulled up before he even reached first. Then Max Stassi hit a ground rule double into right, scoring Jo Adell-as-Trout and it was 4-3 Angels.
Vázquez led off the fourth with a double, and was moved over on an Arroyo fielder’s choice. Dalbec popped it to Jo Adell, having replaced Trout and moved to right, and Vázqy didn’t even bother trying. Neither did Enrique, who struck out looking. The inning ended soon thereafter, as did LA’s. Then the Sox got the lead man on and blew it. Booties.
Garrett Whitlock’s outing ended after 4 innings, then Jake Diekmann came on to walk Luis Rengifo and throw a wild pitch to Ohtani to put Rengifo on second. Then Diekamann—who seemed uniquely anathema to Ohtani—K’ed the MVP. But... Adell blasted a double to left-center to make it 5-3. After what felt like an hour, Diekmann got the last out. With one out in the top of the sixth, Dalbec (!?) singled to left to score Verdugo, so, 5-4. Then Bobby stole second, and the fact it didn’t amount to anything shouldn’t matter. Good for him (and us).
The Angels went 1-2-3 in the sixth. Devers led off the seventh with a double just inside the third base line, made it to second easy. J.D. then dinked into to left for a single, to bring our prophecy to life:
This is a "buncha singles in the dead zones" game huh— OverTheMonster (@OverTheMonster) June 8, 2022
With runners on first and third and no outs, Bogey... struck out. Which was not ideal. But Trevor Story pinballed it off the pitcher, and the ball bounced to third, the throw wasn’t in time, and it was tied a 5-5 with one out and two on. The Verdugo popped out on one pitch, and Vázqy struck out on more than one pitch, and the stretch was had.
Austin Davis got two outs before walking Jo Adell, but he fixed that pretty quickly with a K to finish the seventh. The Sox did nothing in the eighth and ninth, but in the 10th, long after this author fell asleep, Vázquez brought home Story with a single and that was that. Yay!