The King has moved to a new city
King Felix, say goodbye to your crown! It’s now time for the real King Felix to take the throne.
That may have been a bit of an oversell, but the point still stands that Felix Pena will need to put on a royal performance to drive the Mariners to submission. The way to do that is by channeling the Felix Pena from April 5th vs the Rangers, a game which saw him strike out 7 across 4.2 IP while allowing just one run.
Los Angeles Angels
The problem here is, once more, game-time longevity. We need more than 4.2 innings from Pena and depending on how the Stratton start goes we may need far, far more than just 5 innings of work. The dominance he showed in that start needs to be channeled if he wants a chance at humbling this Mariners ballclub.
Another issue, as it is with this Angels team again, is pitch efficiency. In that start against the Rangers we saw Pena throw 90 pitches, 32 for balls, in those 4.2 innings of work. He was a little better in his last start out against the Brewers as he threw just 72 pitches through 4 IP which bodes well for his stamina and his opportunity to pitch deeper in this outing.
There’s also the extra days of rest that he has as his last outing was 8 days ago. Unless Pena gets absolutely shelled early on I don’t see any reason as to why the Angels shouldn’t see a deep start out of him.
I’m not asking for 7 innings out of Pena, but 7 innings would be nice. If Pena is living off the strikeout in this outing then we’ll likely be seeing an early bullpen affair. I know I keep repeating this and so does every Angel fan out there, but it would be nice to see one of these starters taking command of the game. We’ve seen Tyler Skaggs do it once, but for the most part there hasn’t been an overly dominant start by any of these guys, none of them have gone up and “owned” their start.
Felix Pena has been improving in bits and pieces, but if can show up and take ownership of this start there just might be a fighting chance for these Angels.