Brandon Marsh and Tyler Wade snuck up behind Anthony Rendon, Powerade bucket in hand, and were about to dunk their Angels teammate during a post-match interview when Rendon spotted them out of the corner of his eye.
Rendon rushed to his right as a few gallons of green liquid hit the ground in front of the bench. Marsh tripped over the bucket, fell to the ground and rolled onto his back, laughing all the way through. A video of his face plant went viral, with nearly 250,000 views by Saturday.
“If this is our biggest stumbling block of the week,” Marsh said, “then we’re in good shape.”
And what. The Angels they pissed off even better after Marsh Madness, a series of magical moments that produced one of the most exciting and fun baseball weeks of recent years for a franchise looking to land a seven-year playoff.
It started with last Sunday’s three-run and ninth inning rally for a 5-4, winning exit about the Washington Nationals and the celebration of the blooper-reel. On Monday night, Shohei Ohtani hit two homers, including his first career Grand Slam, in a 11-3 wins above the Tampa Bay.
Left-handed rookie Reid Detmers launched the 12th no-hitter in franchise history on Tuesday night, a 12-0 wins over the Rays in which Mike Trout hit two homers and right-footed Rendon scored from the left side against a soft-pitched winger, a feat as comical as it was impressive.
The Angels staged another late comeback in their final homestand game Wednesday, when Taylor Ward clubbed a two-point homer to score and draw in the eighth inning of a possible 4-2, 10 innings lost to the Rays.
Chase Silseth added another chapter to storybook week on Friday night when the 21-year-old right-handed, an eleventh-round pick in last summer’s draft who was making his major league debut, gave up a heist and knocked it out. four out of six innings of a 2-0 win in Oakland.
Another rookie, southpaw Jhonathan Diaz, also landed a single shot on Saturday in opening a doubleheader, and the Angels were only one shot from completing a three-stroke when Oakland’s Luis Barrera hit a three-point home run. closer Raisel Iglesias.
“During the season, it’s kind of a groundhog day, so it gets closer to … I don’t mean monotonous, we’re all happy to be here, but it’s, you know, kind of the same routine every day,” she said. Jared Walsh, first base of the Angels. “But last week was crazy, and even more so for the fans.
“I think this is an exciting time to be an Angels fan. I think we’re playing fun baseball. I know all the guys in this clubhouse are pulling the same rope. Everyone gets along well. So, if I were a fan of the Angels, I’d be really excited about what’s going to happen this summer and fall. “
It may take a tense and hard-fought playoff streak before the Angels rival the drama they’ve been putting together over the past week.
They only managed five singles – one to bloop, one to bunt – in the first eight innings against the Nationals last Sunday, and they were 4-2 behind in the ninth when their bats animated against tough rescuer Tanner Rainey.
Luis Rengifo, called back that morning by the triple A, equalized a walk. Single ward on the right. Trout hit a 97mph fastball. Ohtani led in two runs with a brace from the left center court wall. Rendon, the former Nationals star, fielded a 97 mph fastball to hit a single RBI and a 5-4 win.
The angels poured out of their lair to attack Rendon. Starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval, who gave up three runs and seven strokes in 5-2 / 3 innings, couldn’t even jump for joy. The southpaw was in the coach’s room when the game was over, receiving acupuncture treatment.
“I had a bunch of needles in my arm and I couldn’t move,” Sandoval said. “It was incredible. Rengifo takes a walk. Ward gets a hit. Shohei makes a double, then Tony gets the winning shot against his old team. Ridiculous.”
The Angels were just warming up.
Left-handed Walsh, benched in four of the team’s first five games against left-handed holders, dunked a 427-foot, three-point home run to center Ray Jeffrey Springs’ southpaw for a 3-1 lead in Monday’s fourth inning.
Trout and Ohtani hit two consecutive homers in the sixth, a two-run shot from Trout that sent the American League’s three-time most valuable player past Tim Salmon for the franchise advantage with 161 homers at Angel Stadium.
“It’s special,” Trout said. “Every time you pass Tim Salmon, it’s a big deal.”
Ohtani, the reigning AL MVP who battled for the pot for the first five weeks of the season, then finished seventh with five runs in his first grand slam, in Japan or the United States.
“This is definitely the funniest I’ve had since I’ve been here,” said Ohtani, the two-way star in his fifth season with the Angels, through an interpreter. “I’m not having the best offensive year right now, but the team is winning, and that’s the most important thing.”
No one, not even Detmers, could have predicted what would happen on Tuesday. Detmers, the tenth overall pick in the 2020 draft, was making his 11th big league start.
He had never pitched more than six innings in major leagues or nine innings at any level. He entered on Tuesday with a 1-1 record and an average of 5.32 points earned in five starts. The things of him – 92 mph fastball, 73 mph cornering, 84 mph shift, 83 mph slider – aren’t overwhelming at all.
Yet Detmers shuffled and located his shots so effectively that the Rays rarely had direct contact. He had a perfect match for five innings before knocking out a hitter to start the sixth. He felt something special was brewing when his teammates, out of baseball superstition, started ignoring him on the bench.
“Later in the game, I’d probably say around sixth or seventh, I looked at the scoreboard and realized what was going on,” Detmers said. “I kept the same routine between innings just to distract myself. Nobody was really talking to me. I was in my own little world. “
Detmers needed 108 shots to complete his masterpiece, the Angels rushing off their bench to assault a teammate for the second time in three days.
“I mean, 22, on The Show, and throwing a no-hitter? It’s great, “Walsh said.” That was one of the best games I’ve ever been in. “
The Angels backed Detmers with a 12-point, 18-shot barrage that included two homers from Trout, a three-point shot from catcher Chad Wallach and a two-point job from Rendon that nearly overshadowed the no-hitter.
With Brett Phillips, the Rays’ service man, throwing “quick balls” at the plate between 50 and 55 mph, Rendon entered the box as a left-handed hitter and crushed a 411-foot homer on the right center court seats.
“It was a great theater,” said manager Joe Maddon. “I mean, baseball is looking for moments like that.”
Wednesday’s series finale looked like Sunday’s game against the Nationals. The Angels had three singles out of seven innings before Jack Mayfield scored in the eighth and Ward, who missed two games due to hamstring strain, went off the bench to score a two-point homer for the 2- 2.
The Angels lost in extra innings, but their mojo was intact.
“Oh yeah,” Trout said when asked if he sensed another dramatic ending after Ward’s homer. “Every game, we feel we can win. It’s a different feeling, sure. We are really confident in each other. This is the most important thing. Everyone believes in each other. We never feel like we’re out of a game. “
Double-A squad Silseth joined the party on Friday as the former University of Arizona star became the first 2021 draft player to reach the major leagues.
He opened the game with a 97 mph fast ball for a called strike. He was dominant for six innings, mixing his heater with an 86 mph split-finger change.
“It’s not a fluke,” Maddon said. “That boy is good.”
Half of the team’s offense was provided by Andrew Velazquez, the 5-foot-9, 170-pound shortstop who lined up his second career homer right in the fifth. Velazquez, the 27-year-old from the Bronx, came in on Saturday with an average of .178 and a rate of .530 based on more hits, but provided a defense of the caliber of Gold Glove in place of the injured David Fletcher.
He closed the game on Monday evening with a spectacular backhand plunge of a line drive. He made a diving catch of a Grounder in the middle and a pass behind his back in second place for a knockout in a May 8 game against the Nationals.
“If this guy starts hitting, no one will be able to afford it,” Maddon said. “He’s so good at shortstop.”
Clutch hits, dramatic comebacks, hard throws, long throws from the last week – all mixed in with their usual stout defense – can only bolster the confidence of a team that has spent much of the last month in first place. and seems to be gaining momentum.
“Honestly, it’s just showing what we’re capable of,” Marsh said. “And, you know, it won’t always be like this. Things will go wrong and we will have to remember this feeling to get back on track. There will be difficult times. We just have to remember these good times. “