11 hits and six runs? That’ll do.
Two runs allowed and seven strikeouts from Justus Sheffield, who teetered on the precipice of a six-inning start? Not too shabby.
After the last two games against the A’s, where the M’s demonstrated the exceptional breadth of their ability to play grotesque baseball, tonight’s game was a palate cleanser that even the Princess of Genovia could appreciate.
In keeping with a Classic Sheff Start, Justus gave up two solo homers in the second, but otherwise held the Trout-less Halos scoreless. Two of his three walks came to Max Stassi, which felt a little like heaping globs of mayo onto pasta salad, and command and consistency remain Sheffield’s watchwords.
A Mitch Haniger RBI single, J.P. Crawford ground-rule double and home runs from Kyle Seager and Jake Fraley rounded out the M’s scoring for the night. In addition to what was his first major league homer, Fraley continued his season-long tribute to Johnny Cash. It’s the tiniest of sample sizes (nine games), but Fraley has walked at least once in all but one game he’s appeared in this year - the lone exception being April 6, when he was replaced by Dylan Moore after two ABs.
I maintain that this 2021 bullpen - actually good or not - is unpleasant to watch, but tonight they were efficient and no-nonsense in their dispatching of the Angels, and even I could appreciate that. JT Chargois, Paul Sewald, Keynan Middleton and Rafael Montero combined to allow no hits or walks in their three and a third innings of work.
And yes, yes, now that I’ve done my recapping due diligence, here’s what you all came for: