Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jose Suarez was under immense pressure as the Halos were looking to avoid the sweep in Milwaukee. The Angels lost the first two games of this weekend series and were turning to their worst starting pitcher to try and get them one win against the Brewers.
I and a majority of Angels fans had no idea why Phil Nevin even kept Jose Suarez in the rotation after the embarrassing first four starts of the season. Suarez had gotten lit up in every way imaginable, and I thought giving up five home runs at home against the Oakland Athletics would be the last straw. It wasn't and I'm not ashamed to admit to be thankful for that.
The Angels likely don't win yesterday's game without Jose Suarez. He was brilliant. I have very little confidence in him long-term, but he's absolutely earned another start for the Angels.
Jose Suarez pitches well to get the Angels the win and earn another start
The Angels left-hander entered this game with a 10.26 ERA. He was set to face an 18-9 Brewers team on the road that hadn't done much damage against lefties, but 18-9 is 18-9. That's an outstanding record and the Brewers are consistently solid. Suarez and the bullpen weren't going to let the team get swept for the first time this series.
Suarez tossed five scoreless innings. He allowed just two hits. He did walk three, but struck out a season-high six batters. Only one man reached second base for Milwaukee in the five innings of work.
The big difference for Suarez yesterday was the effectiveness of his changeup. Brewers batters swung at 12 changeups he threw and whiffed at seven of them. The batting average against that pitch went down to .391. It was an awful pitch for Jose through his first four starts, but was really good yesterday. Milwaukee batters looked off-balance against it all afternoon.
Suarez pitched really well through five, and the bullpen did the rest to help the Angels salvage one game in Milwaukee. As I mentioned prior, one start doesn't change his long-term outlook in my mind. He has a lot of work to do to earn that kind of trust. However, it does make me comfortable enough to give him one more start with an open mind.