Yesterday's game was an important one for Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jose Suarez. He was set to pitch in a very tough environment against a good team, the New York Yankees. He had a chance to prove he belonged in this Angels rotation but in my opinion, failed miserably.
After Jose Suarez's third straight poor start, he should be removed from the Angels rotation
The Los Angeles Angels earned a hard-fought victory in the Bronx, beating the Yankees 5-2. Shohei Ohtani went deep, Anthony Rendon had two RBI, and the bullpen was lights out. Even with the positives, all I keep thinking about is Jose Suarez.
The Angels southpaw had a good finish to last season, posting a 2.81 ERA in 11 second-half starts. He had his issues against formidable opponents and pitching deep into games, but that second half earned him a spot in the Angels rotation to begin the 2023 season. Unfortunately, Suarez has been a shell of that pitcher.
In his first start of the season against the Mariners, Suarez allowed seven runs (six earned) in 4.1 innings pitched. This start felt eerily similar to many of his starts from last season as he got off to a good start but fell apart as he faced batters for the second and third time.
His second start came against Washington, and while the numbers were bad, I think he was the victim of some poor luck. The Angels played horrible defense behind him, and the contact he allowed was soft. He wasn't good, but he wasn't quite as bad as the numbers suggested. Because of that, I was willing to see what he'd do against the Yankees.
In this game, Suarez was incredibly lucky to only allow two runs in his 3.1 innings of work. Suarez had two out and nobody on (after striking out Aaron Judge) in the first inning before giving up a double and two walks to load the bases. Suarez was bailed out of that inning on an unbelievable heads-up play made by Zach Neto to throw to third base and get Suarez out of trouble.
In the second inning, after getting the seven and eight hitters, Suarez walked Aaron Hicks (.125 average) and Anthony Volpe (.180 average) to face Aaron Judge. Fortunately Judge lined out, but walking two weak hitters with two outs and a four-run lead to face Aaron Judge is very inexcusable.
After a good third inning, Suarez faced the bottom of the Yankees order. He'd walk Oswald Peraza, allow a single to Kyle Higashioka, and walk Hicks for a second time to end his night.
Suarez was pitching around the weak hitters in the Yankees lineup and was fully responsible for the damage done against him. He walked six batters overall while striking out just one. He had just one walk over his first two starts. He found a different way for the opponent to beat him.
The Angels need some sort of length out of a starter not named Shohei Ohtani and Suarez has thrown just 11.2 innings in his three starts. Unacceptable.
With the way Tucker Davidson has looked in the bullpen, I'd look his way to take the ball in Suarez's turn. Even Chase Silseth who has pitched well in AAA should get a look before Suarez does again. I don't think the Angels will end up removing Suarez from the rotation, but it absolutely should happen after yesterday's debacle. After throwing games away in Boston the Angels were lucky to win that one.