LA Angels News

Return of the Jedi: LA Angels Look for New Hope Against Texas Rangers

By Ryan Falla
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 01: Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts to the slide of Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers despite turning a double play to end the game during the ninth inning at Angel Stadium on June 1, 2018 in Anaheim, California. Angels won 6-0. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 01: Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts to the slide of Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers despite turning a double play to end the game during the ninth inning at Angel Stadium on June 1, 2018 in Anaheim, California. Angels won 6-0. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TX – MARCH 30: Edinson Volquez #36 of the Texas Rangers throws in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Globe Life Park in Arlington on March 30, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX – MARCH 30: Edinson Volquez #36 of the Texas Rangers throws in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Globe Life Park in Arlington on March 30, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images) /

The pitching has been on top of itself in more ways than the Angels fan base expected. Trevor Cahill pitched decently enough in his first start against the A’s (6 IP, 4 ER) and continued forward with a vastly improved start against the Mariners (6 IP, 1 ER, 5 K’s). That’s impressive for a bottom-of-the-rotation starter.

Now we get to see the rest of the Angels squad follow suit with bounce backs of their own. Matt Harvey is the perfect starter for Opening Day given his killer outing against the Oakland A’s and his need to prove himself. With Harvey continuing his resurgence the rest of the Angels pitching staff will be handed fantastic momentum continuing into the rest of the series.

There’s really no reason for the Angels to miss capitalizing on such a meaty series. The Rangers starter in the 2nd game, Edinson Volquez, didn’t have the best debut this year with four runs off of six hits and four walks in four innings.

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Given his struggles in his debut it’s almost certain that the Angels will allow Volquez to have a bounce back start against them. That’s been the name of the Angels game not just this season but for a few years now. Quadruple A starters and struggling MLB pitchers are always hungry for the Angels offense, because for some reason they lose proper hitting approach when it comes to sputtering pitchers. Then again in Volquez’s last start against the Angels he allowed eight runs in five innings, though that was back in 2016.

If the Angels can’t get it together against Edinson Volquez they’ll have Lance Lynn next in line, though I don’t assume the Angels will knock anyone around anymore no matter how mediocre they are or how bad of a streak they’ve been on.

Lynn struggled hard in his season debut so there is no real reason for the Angels offense to sputter in the 2nd game of this series. Lynn allowed 7 runs across 5.2 IP while also allowing 10 hitsIf the Angels aren’t chomping at the bits to eat him alive there is something seriously wrong with this team.

Seriously wrong. Wrong enough that changes would need to be made to alter the chemistry and presence of the offense. Right now there is a blatant lack of presence in the offense with how bad some of these hitters have been lately and if they can’t pick it up against these two starters it will officially be time to hit the “rookie call-up” button.

Not just hit it, but smash it over and over again with brimming desperation. Of course it wouldn’t be so much a desperation move as the rookies the Angels have available to call up are very MLB ready and ear-marked as future franchise stars. The fact of the matter is that there is plenty of talent waiting to take over this offense and while they may be here sooner than later no matter the Angels success it would be better to see them much sooner at this point

This is also another great chance for a bounce back from Felix Pena. My biggest concern is that Pena will feel extra pressure if the Angels can’t score runs off Lynn and pitch to the same effect that he did against the A’s. If the Angels can rock Lynn around they would give Pena a very comfortable setting to pitch in which is something the starters seriously need.

I would love to see the Angels provide some early cushion because Pena has shown off incredible stuff and ability this past Spring and a solid comfort zone would be worth miles of gold for Pena.

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