LA Angels News

Three Takeaways From LA Angels Series vs. Cubs

By Vincent Page
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 12: Starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 12: Starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 12: Starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 12: Starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Skaggs, Stratton Still Can’t Find Their Rhythm

Tyler Skaggs found out just why Chicago is the Windy City during his start, as he allowed three long (really long) home runs over his four innings pitched. All three were leaving the playing field without the extra push from the wind, but the wind sent them out of the stadium.

It was not a good outing for Skaggs. Four earned runs on seven hits is not what you want from your ace. However, seven strikeouts is a great number for Skaggs, especially when paired with the zero walks he had on Friday.

Nevertheless, this is not the kind of outing you want from your ace. Skaggs can still hold that role in the Angels’ rotation, and this was a tough start given the cold weather and talent in the Cubs’ lineup, but he needs to be better than four runs. Skaggs also only threw four innings, but that was largely due to playing in a National League ballpark and it being his turn in the order.

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As for Chris Stratton, while his start was similar to his prior outings, he did see better results this time around. He pitched 4.2 innings, as the game went to the bullpen after that. As always, Stratton relied heavily on his breaking balls and elite spin rate to strike batters out, and this game he actually succeeded in doing so. His five strikeouts was a good thing to see after only one in each of his first two starts.

On the downside, Stratton allowed four walks in this outing, the second straight start he has done so. While walks are going to come with being a pitcher who relies on his breaking ball and swinging strikes to get outs, one per inning is a tad excessive.

I would have liked to see Stratton go deeper into the game, but Brad Ausmus had a lot of relievers available, so it’s hard to blame him for turning to what has been an elite bullpen this year in favor of Stratton. He was also at 81 pitches, which is the usual range he has gotten to this year.

Next. Ranking the Angels' Three Biggest Needs After 15 Games

Both Skaggs’ and Stratton’s next start will come against the Seattle Mariners, who have had the best offense in baseball thus far. It will be a big test for both of them.

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