LA Angels News

What a first week from Shohei Ohtani mania to walk-offs…

By David Rice
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 03: Shohei Ohtani
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 03: Shohei Ohtani /
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It has been quite a ride this first week of the Angels season. Shohei Ohtani has shown to be quite a find despite a poor Spring Training.  The starters have been decent & the bullpen superb, now on to week two.

The 2018 season is off to a roaring start for the Angels led by Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, and a great bullpen the Angels have managed to win two series and check in with a 5-2 record.  So now what?

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Week two will start out with a three-game home series with the Oakland A’s. The series is highlighted by Albert Pujols 3,000 hit figurine give away on Friday. On Saturday it will be the first Big Bang Fireworks show followed by a movie on the new jumbo scoreboard.  The movie is a baseball classic, Sandlot.  The weekend is capped off with Shohei Sunday featuring our favorite Japanese Phenom Shohei Ohtani making his first start on the mound at Angel Stadium.

The Angels will then hit the road for seven games against Texas and Kansas City where we will probably see Andrew Heaney pitch for the team for the first time.  This is provided that his rehab start goes tonight for the Inland Empire 66’ers.

So let’s look back at the first week of the season.  The Angels started their season in Oakland for four games against the A’s.  In the first inning the Angels started out well going up 4-0, Garrett Richards was touched for two homers and four-runs with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning.  The Angels took the lead on an Albert Pujols homer in the 6th inning gave the Angels a short-lived 5-4 lead before Oakland tied it in the seventh. The Angels ended up losing 6-5 in 11 innings on a walk-off single by Marcus Semien.

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The Halos would come back to win game two behind great pitching from Tyler Skaggs who went 6.1 innings as he pitched a shutout allowing only three hits and striking out five batters.  The bullpen took it from there making a Mike Trout homer stand up for a 2-1 victory.

In the third game of the series the Angels got another strong start this time from Matt Shoemaker as the veteran pitched 5.2 scoreless innings before giving up three runs with two outs in the sixth inning.  Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Zack Cozart had two hits and two RBIs a piece to pace the Halos to an 8-3 victory.

In the series finale Shohei Ohtani made his major league debut on the mound and despite some early troubles, Ohtani got the victory pitching six solid innings allowing three runs on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts.  The Angels bullpen made it stand up for a 7-4 victory.

Jefry Marte and Andrelton Simmons had three hits each and Simmons drove in two runs.  Mike Trout also went two for five with a run scored and an RBI.  The Angels took three of four games with the A’s.

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In the home opener Monday against Cleveland, the Angels offense fell flat on their face mustering only six hits and no runs.  The Angels bounced back in the second game scoring 13 runs on five homers to give the Angels a 13-2 victory.

Garrett Richards pitched five strong innings striking out nine batters allowing only one hit, a first inning two-run homer by Jose Ramirez.  Shohei Ohtani hit his first big league home run in the first inning that capped a six-run outburst that put the Angels in control. Luis Valbuena, Mike Trout, Justin Upton, and Rene Rivera also joined Ohtani by going deep. The victory broke a 12-game losing streak to the Indians for the Halos.

Finally on Wednesday, it was a low-scoring affair as the Angels and Indians battled into the 13th inning tied at two.  Zack Cozart sent the home crowd home happy by hitting a walk-off solo homer to left field to give thee Angels a 3-2 victory. Shohei Ohtani hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning his second of the season that tied the game at 2.  The Angel bullpen pitched 8.1 scoreless innings to help the score remain tied.

Next: Angels vs A's Preview

The upcoming series starting tonight will feature Parker Bridwell on the mound in place of Matt Shoemaker who is on the disabled list with a forearm strain. J.C. Ramirez will pitch Saturday night and Shohei Ohtani will wrap up the homestand pitching on Sunday.

Come out and see your new and improved Angels this weekend before they head out on the road.

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