Oh boy, what a start to the season! A game full of ups and downs was ended with one swing of the bat by our golden first baseman Matt Olson.
It’s not exaggerating to say this game had it all: joy and frustration, with a bit of extra-innings history thrown in for good measure. Whilst Liam Hendriks won’t agree, in some ways the top of the ninth home run by Jason Castro only made the final victory all the sweeter.
Where not to pitch Matt Olson …
Angels manager Joe Maddon went for the lefty-on-lefty match-up, yet we’ve seen in the past that Oly is more than up for the challenge. He stated in his post-match interview that he had seen the video of Hoby Milner and was looking for the slider. He got it with the very first pitch and didn’t miss it.
A few notes
Frankie Montas wasn’t at his sharpest, but he showed his electric stuff all the same. No need to dampen down the hopes that he can repeat his first-half 2019 form. Frankie Says Relax!
Frankie, like the rest of the pitchers, had to battle with a tight strike-zone called by home plate umpire Brian Knight. The Angels’ pitchers had cause for frustration with it too, so it was consistent in that sense, I guess.
Despite putting up seven runs in the end, there were various points during the game when it looked like the batting line-up struggles of August-September last year were still there. Hopefully the walk-off win can provide some belief and extra energy for the rest of the hitters.
Game Two is a day-game at the Coliseum, so a very convenient 21:10 start for us in the UK (1.10pm Oakland time). We’ll be tweeting along and hope to do a pre-game live stream on our Twitter and YouTube channels from approximately 8.15pm (12.15 Oakland time).