J.C. Ramirez comes through in a big way for LA Angels helping them to stay in the race.
The LA Angels are managing to stay in the wild-card race despite all the injuries they have faced this season. Every time it seems like they are going to fade, they come up with a big win like tonight’s 7-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
The LA Angels pitching staff has been the hardest hit this season, specifically their starting rotation. Three-fifths of the Angels Opening Day rotation is on the disabled list. Manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Billy Eppler have had to work hard to piece one together throughout the season.
Tonight reliever turned starter J.C. Ramirez put together another a solid performance bouncing back from a horrid first two innings that saw him give up three runs (only one being earned) on four hits and two walks.
The Angels picked Ramirez up in the bottom of the third scoring four times. Albert Pujols slashed a two-run double and Andrelton Simmons followed with a two-run homer to give the Angels a 4-3 lead. Ramirez made it stand up until turning it over to the bullpen in the seventh.
Ramirez got a big assist from Mike Trout in the top of the sixth inning. Ramirez got in a jam allowing two runners to reach base with two outs. Christian Vazquez came up with a chance to do some damage, however his sinking line drive was tracked down by Trout to help Ramirez close out the inning. Blake Parker, David Hernandez, and Bud Norris pitched three scoreless innings to help even the series with a 7-3 victory.
Ramirez picked up his second home win of the season, but it was a big one for the Angels. The Angels gained a game on both the wild-card leaders the Tampa Bay Rays and the Yankees. It marks the second time in a month that Ramirez has beaten the Red Sox and lefty David Price.
Ramirez has been one of the most reliable starters for the Angels in 2017. Ramirez (9-8, 4.38 ERA) and Parker Bridwell (3-1, 3.18 ERA) have both lessened the blow of losing three starters.
“Getting behind 3-0 with a guy like David Price on the mound, it was really important to put up some zeroes and he did,” Scioscia said during his post-game press conference. “He found his release point and his ball was moving very well tonight. He got a lot of ground balls and went a strong six innings.”
The Angels will attempt take the series Sunday with Bridwell matching up against Rick Porcello. If the Angels can win Sunday afternoon they could creep even closer in the wild-card race.
The question that is still looming is whether the Angels will be buyers or sellers or just stand pat before next Monday’s trade deadline. The club’s upcoming seven-game road trip may be the deciding factor. If the Angels could move closer in the wild-card race with a strong road trip you may see them make a move to bolster their wild-card chances. However, if the Angels start to fall off you will probably see the team make some moves with the future in mind. We will just have to wait and see.