The Angels revealed who they truly are in the bottom of the eighth inning of their 4-3 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night at Angel Stadium.
The Angels put pressure on the defense and ultimately it was Daniel Robertson’s safety squeeze that forced the Astros into the mistake that allowed Erick Aybar to score the game-winning run.
Considering how they got there, blowing a 3-1 lead in the top half of the inning, it wasn’t the most conventional way to a win for the Halos, but the results speak to the fabric of the organization during Mike Scioscia’s tenure.
"It’s our mantra," Scioscia said. "I think that you have to combine batter’s box offense of just raw, hitting ability with the situational game and baserunning to create offense. We did that last night and that’s what we’ve practiced for 16 years here. Some of the guys that have the ability to do some of the things in the situational game need to bring that in on a consistent basis.
"We saw it from Daniel Robertson (in the win Monday night). We saw it show up in a couple of games and we need to continue that."
The key component to it all was Aybar’s aggressiveness on the base paths. He led off the inning with a single to center, advanced to second on a wild pitch and stole third.
It’s a small resemblance to the scrappiness that has most times defined Scioscia-led teams. Robertson’s perfectly executed safety squeeze was the cherry on top.
"Give Houston some credit," Scioscia said. "They came back. But the fact of us, the way we scratched, especially in the bottom of the eighth inning for a run, we executed in a situational game that we haven’t been as proficient as we need to be. That was a good sign for sure."