The Angels are going to be facing a difficult climb to the Wild Card with the Astros standing in the way for most of this week. The Angels aren’t the worst when it comes to hitting against the Astros so I don’t expect it to be a struggle for the Angels, the problem here is inconsistent pitching that doesn’t go deep into games and allows the bullpen to become overexposed and fatigued. That specific problem seems to be magnified whenever the Angels play Houston, but if by some way the Angels can avoid burning out their pitching in this series there will be a decent chance at success.
It all starts with Griffin Canning, as outstanding as his season has been he still hasn’t had any “lights out” moments. He’s done a great job in many spots, don’t get me wrong, but he hasn’t faced and overcome such a hostile situation as the first game of this set. Canning is in need of a bounce-back start after his emotional outing against the Rangers which saw him give up six runs over 3.2 IP. Asking Canning to fill-in for Tyler Skaggs scheduled start is a tough responsibility to hand to anyone, let alone a fresh-faced young rookie, but he took the assignment like a champion and did his best to push through the game. Even if the results weren’t the best he still showed the gumption of an ace and the heart of a champion.
Everyone on the Angels seems to be sliding into as normal of a baseball mentality as they can at this point in time. The team is playing good baseball and I fully expect Canning to fall into the groove that the Angels are on and play to the best of his ability. I wouldn’t be shocked if Canning has his best game of his young career tonight.