The LA Angels struggles continued into their series with Seattle, as they lost the game with a final score of 6-3. However, there were some positive take aways, including an improved game on the base paths.
LA Angels Quick Hits
- Mike Trout took a pitch off his left wrist. He stayed in the game but was in obvious physical pain. LA Angels fans can breathe deeply though.
- Andrew Heaney finally has a plan, as he received a cortisone shot in his elbow. After starting the year on the Injured List, Heaney is expected to begin throwing again in a week or so, and could be back relatively soon. This was the best possible outcome for Heaney and the team, as avoiding any type of surgery would have been demoralizing.
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- After making a crucial mistake in the Oakland series by cutting off a Kole Calhoun throw that had a good chance of beating the runner at second, Tommy La Stella made a very smart play in the field Monday night. He allowed an infield fly ball to drop to the ground in order to throw out the faster player at second base.
In the second inning, Albert Pujols blooped a single into left field. With the Mariners’ left fielder jogging over to the ball, The Machine hustled and turned the single into a double. After that, on a groundout to third base, Pujols took third once the ball was thrown to first.
With Pujols on third, Brian Goodwin sprinted to beat out an infield single, bringing Pujols in for the Angels’ first run. While this is a small sample size, good baserunning helps win games. With Justin Upton and Shohei Ohtani being absent and the offense being stagnant thus far, any advantage this team can take is much-needed.
And hey, if the corpse of Pujols can run the bases smart and hard, anyone on the roster can.
Jaime Barria Needs His Shot
After the Trevor Cahill disaster on Opening Day, Halo fans were already calling for Jaime Barria to rejoin the rotation after a dominating rookie season. Now, after watching Chris Stratton give up four runs in the first inning, who Barria was essentially sent down for, give up ***** in ** innings, it has become more obvious Barria needs to be in the rotation.
Sure, he doesn’t have elite stuff with his pitches, but Barria has proven himself on a big league mound. Obviously his poor Spring Training didn’t instill enough confidence from the coaching staff and front office. However, regular season results from Stratton, Cahill, and even Felix Pena should outweigh those concerns. With the team returning to Anaheim this weekend, it’d be smart to call up and pencil in Jaime Barria.
The Bullpen Is Really, Really Good
Yes, I’m sorry to report that the Angels’ bullpen was unable to hold their opponents scoreless for the entire season. That ended when Hansel Robles gave up a home run to Jay Bruce in the seventh inning.
However, this bullpen has still been the bright spot for this team over the first week of the season. The starting pitching has been inconsistent, and the offense has been abysmal. However, the bullpen has been phenomenal despite an unconventional set up.
The Angels don’t use traditional roles such as the set-up man and closer for the second and first best relievers, respectively. Instead, Ty Buttrey, arguably their best reliever, pitches the highest impact parts of a game. Cody Allen was signed to be the late-inning guy, but hasn’t had a save opportunity yet in the season.
No matter how this bullpen is deployed, they have eight solid arms in there, and it has been the strength of the team so far.
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The Angels will look to split the series tomorrow in Seattle, with Trevor Cahill (sigh) taking the mound in hopes of proving his first start was a fluke.