Los Angeles Angels use 8 pitchers to combine for A No-No

Aug 3, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Cam Bedrosian (68) pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 3, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Cam Bedrosian (68) pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Los Angeles Angels took the field at Tempe Diablo Stadium Friday night it was a rarity.  It was the first Spring  Training home night game in 20 years.  By the end of the game though we had another rarity. A no hitter.

When Los Angeles Angels non-roster invitee Bud Norris took the mound in the first inning of the Angels Cactus league contest Friday night he had no idea he would be a part of history. Norris, who is battling for a spot on the opening day roster and possibly a 5th starter spot, was just trying to solidify his chances of making the team.

Norris was very very impressive in his to in his two innings of work striking out two batters and allowing no base runners.  Norris lowered his Spring Training ERA to 3.48 and his bid to make the roster is looking better each time out.  Before the game started the Angels sent down four players to Triple-A including incumbent 5th starter Alex Meyer. This was good news for Norris and the eight-year major league veteran looks to take advantage of it.

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Meyer has not fared well this Spring in his five starts posting a 0-1 record with a 7.20 ERA giving up eight runs in 10 innings and also walking 10 batters. Meyer pitched in five games for the Angels last September going 1-2 with a 4.57 ERA and looked to be anointed as the Angels fifth starter as the 2017 season began.  However, inconsistent location and wildness derailed the 27-year old’s bid for the 5th starter spot.

After Norris’s strong start seven Angels relievers followed and were just as effective. Jose Alvarez, who is vying to reclaim his role as the Angels left-handed specialist out of the bullpen pitched a perfect third inning striking out one batter in lowering his ERA to 1.80.  With the other two contenders for the left-handed specialist role Greg Mahle and Cody Ege being sent to Triple-A, Alvarez looks to have won himself a spot in the bullpen.

Mahle had an atrocious Spring posting a 11.57 ERA in a limited amount of innings (2.1). Ege on the other hand had a stellar Spring not giving up a run in nine appearances.  Ege posted a 0.00 ERA in 8.1 innings of work, walking no one and striking out eight batters.  His WHIP was a miniscule 0.96, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia and his staff decided to go with the Angel veteran Alvarez instead which will hopefully work out well for the Halos.

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In the fourth inning Angels closer hopeful Cam Bedrosian kept up his perfect Spring posting another scoreless inning striking out two batters. Bedrosian has been nothing short of amazing since an early Spring groin injury forced him to miss the first two weeks of games. Since then Bedrosian has been stellar pitching six innings of scoreless relief striking out eight batters and posting a microscopic 0.67 WHIP.

Bedrosian is battling veteran closer Andrew Bailey for the 9th inning role to start the season.  Incumbent closer Huston Street was injured in his first Spring appearance two weeks ago which opened up the closer battle for Bedrosian and Bailey.

Bailey pitched the fifth inning and was even more impressive than Bedrosian striking out the side while lowering his Spring ERA to 5.40. Bailey was rocked early on this Spring posting a 10+ ERA over the first two weeks, but has righted his ship and lowered his ERA over five points in the last two weeks.  Bailey was hurt by control issues in his early Spring appearances  (walking seven batters in his first four appearances ).  However he hasn’t waked a batter in his last three outings and has struck out five batters in that span to keep his hopes of being named the Angels closer alive.

Los Angeles Angels
Andrew Bailey has pitched well as of late this Spring. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Newcomer Austin Adams, who was acquired from the Cleveland Indians just before Spring Training started allowed the only Mariners base runner walking Mariners Zach Shank, but Adams recovered to strike out the next two batters and finished the inning with a ground out. Adams has not been super impressive this Spring and is a longshot to make the Opening Day roster with a 9.00 ERA in eight innings of work.

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Drew Gagnon, another player trying to impress the Angels brass continued his scoreless inning streak pitching a perfect seventh inning striking out one batter and keeping his ERA spotless at 0.00.  Gagnon has six strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.55 this Spring.  Gagnon has already been told he will not be on the Opening Day roster, but that has not stopped the 26-year old from competing.

To finish off the masterpiece the Angels turned to young pitching prospect Justin Anderson. Like Gagnon, Anderson has already been assigned to the Angels minor league camp, but he is still allowed to pitch in Spring Training games despite the demotion. Anderson has a 4.50 ERA with a 1-0 record this Spring.  He also has a 0.75 WHIP and has shown some great promise.

The final inning was thrown by Abel De Los Santos and despite some hard hit balls that Shane Robinson and C.J. Cron made stellar plays on to preserve the no-hitter, De Los Santos did close the door on the no-hitter for the Angels getting Rayder Ascanio  to ground out to third baseman Sherman Johnson for the final out.

It was the Angels first Spring Training no-hitter since March of 1996 against the San Francisco Giants. On the offensive side the Angels scored four runs in the game with the first two coming on a Danny Espinosa two-run double in the second inning.  Then in the third inning Kole Calhoun doubled in Yunel Escobar which was followed by an RBI double by Mike Trout to give the Angels pitcher a little cushion to work with.

Next: Cron and Marte get new life

All in all it was a special night in Tempe for the Angels and their pitching staff.  Hopefully we will see this happen again in the regular season for the Angels staff.  Stay tuned.