Well, the LA Angels lost for the sixth straight Opening Day, and I just got queasy writing that. This is obviously isn’t how we want to start our season, but nonetheless, here are three takeaways from Game 1.
LA Angels Quick Hits:
Luke Bard threw one inning of relief. After a rough Spring Training, he allowed one hits while striking out one batter and allowing no runs.
Mike Trout seemed to hurt himself after a slide to second, but later told reporters he had a “raspberry” and that there’s no need for future concern.
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Upton, Shohei Are Needed ASAP
In today’s the Halos only collected three hits. None of those came with runners in scoring position however, to be fair, there weren’t many opportunities for that as the entire Halo lineup seemed a little off today.
What was relevant was how much they missed the duo of Justin Upton and Shohei Ohtani in this lineup. Their ability to hit for power and drive in runs was severely missed today. Trout and Kole Calhoun each got on base twice, but neither was able to come around and score due to the collective 0-7 from Bour and Simmons.
When you have Justin Bour and Andrelton Simmons in your third and fourth spot, respectively, that isn’t going to bode well for your offense. Even if Bour does mash against right-handed pitchers, he’s much better suited in the sixth spot with a guy like Simmons in front of him.
I’m not saying the Angels win this game with those two in the lineup, but a Calhoun-Trout-Upton-Ohtani combination to start games is a very good top half of the lineup. Follow that by Simmons and Albert Pujols hitting fifth and sixth, and the entire lineup becomes much more complete.
I Was So Right About Trevor Cahill
Nine (9) million dollars. I am a huge fan of Billy Eppler. Without him this team doesn’t have Ohtani and there is no Trout extension. The farm system is in phenomenal shape because of Eppler.
But this signing was weird from the beginning. Anyone who looked at Cahill could see the horrid home/road splits from his year in Oakland last season. But he just pitched IN OAKLAND. The same place he had a 1.84 ERA last season.
This was not a very inspiring start to the season from Cahill. While you don’t expect your backend starter to be solid every start, four runs in a stadium he dominated in last year is not expected either. Especially when he’s paid $9 million. That’s only half of a million dollars less than second baseman Josh Harrison, outfielder Adam Jones, and starting pitcher Wade Miley all signed for this offseason…combined.
Obviously there’s still time for Cahill to earn his money. And, to be fair, going six innings into a game is a plus for any starter the Halos put out this season.
The Pitch That Could Lead a Cam Bedrosian Comeback
The best and most positive part of the game yesterday was the seventh inning. Cam Bedrosian took the mound for his first appearance of the season, and Angels fans everywhere let out a collective groan.
Bedrosian is a player fans tend to have no faith in. He had a terrible season in 2017, but that is sandwiched by an elite 2016 season (1.12 ERA) and a solid 2018 (3.80 ERA). Bedrosian had problems with his velocity in the past, but spent the offseason regaining it.
In the past, Bedrosian has relied heavily on a 1-2 punch of his fastball and slider. However, he is adding one more pitch, a splitter, in 2019. Bedrosian only threw one splitter on Thursday, for a strike , but it could be something he brings into the equation even more in the near future. A good splitter is devastating for batters, and can make him more useful against left-handed hitting (where his slider has been more ineffective.
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Luckily for the Angels, theres 161 more games left in the season. They play their first night game of the season in Oakland tonight with Matt Harvey making his Angels’ debut.