Angels Opening Day: Three takeaways from extra-innings loss to A’s

Jason Castro, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Jason Castro, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Angels, David Fletcher
David Fletcher, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Angels Opening Day: David Fletcher didn’t look like David Fletcher

Alright, raise your hand if you had David Fletcher striking out twice on your Opening Day bingo card!

After being one of the toughest strikeouts in all of baseball, David Fletcher went down via strikes twice last night.

The first time was leading off the game when he uncharacteristically swung at a 1-2 splitter well outside of the strike zone. In 2019, he swung at just 25.3% of the pitches he saw outside of the strike zone, making contact on 82.6% of those swings.

The second time came in the ninth when Fletcher had the go-ahead run at second base. After working a seven-pitch at-bat versus Liam Hendricks, Fletch took a 3-2 fastball over the outside corner.

To put this all into perspective, Fletcher stuck out multiple times in a single game just 11 times in 154 contests. After doing it for the first time on April 18 of last year, he waited until June 4th to be set down twice on strikes. That’s a span of 40 games between the two instances.

Now to be fair, having done so 11 times last season would indicate that it isn’t unprecedented for Fletcher to strike out twice in the same game. Doing so in 7% of his games last season, that would mean Fletcher stands to do so in 4.28 games in 2020. He’s just getting it out of the way early.

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Here’s to hoping he puts together a 40-game stretch in 2020, as his spark will be needed in the sprint to the postseason.