Freeway Series, Freeway Series, yadda yadda yadda. Of course there are those who wonder if this is the year we will see a Freeway Series World Series considering both teams are playing well. We call these people “fools”.
Since the Angels started play in 1961, only three times have both the Dodgers and Angels made the playoffs in the same season: 2004, 2008 and 2009. And only in 2009 did both teams make their respective League Championship Series. So excuse me if I’m not brimming with anticipation for the Freeway World Series.
What is giving me a hardon, however, is the centerfielder duel between Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig. Hell, if a porn showed up in my mailbox with the two of them going at it all nasty, that would indeed give me a hardon and then some.
Too bad all of that pent up anticipation amounted to a whole bunch of nothing thanks to the top of the first inning. Zack Greinke made 21 pitches in that dubious half-inning giving up a single and two doubles to Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols that scored two. Then Hanley Ramirez made a horrific throw to first base on Howie Kendrick’s grounder that allowed Erick Aybar to score the third run. A David Freese single brought in Kendrick, and there it was: a 4-0 Angels lead.
After a bottom second when Angels starter Garrett Richards got out of a bases-loaded jam unscathed, the game got back on the rails to what everyone expected it to be: a well-pitched game. Well, except for the hanging changeup Greinke grooved to Josh Hamilton in the sixth inning to give the Angels the 5-0 lead.
Garrett Richards tossed his first career complete game shutout making it still baffling that he did not make the All Star Game.
So the showdown between the two centerfielders? Trout got the double in the first inning. Neither player had to make any superlative play in the field although Trout was lustfully booed after tracking down fly balls from A.J. Ellis and Greinke in the fifth inning. But the duelling Mutombo fingerwags were the real payoff.
In the sixth inning with Erick Aybar on first base, David Freese hit a fly ball to center for the second out. Puig caught the ball and threw over to first base to make sure Aybar didn’t tag up then did the Mutombo fingerwag at Aybar.
In the seventh inning Pujols took second base after Josh Hamilton flied out to center. Trout, in the dugout, returned the Mutombo fingerwag. See? A little bit of fun to break the monotony of this 5-0 game.
With a Hector Santiago-Clayton Kershaw duel tomorrow, we can only hope for a more compelling game. Please.