The Los Angeles Angels had an extremely frustrating Opening Day experience, falling to the lowly Oakland Athletics 2-1. Shohei Ohtani pitched brilliantly only for the bullpen to blow it and the offense to not score enough. If there was a carbon copy of a game from the 2022 season, that was it.
The 2023 Angels were supposed to have a better bullpen but more importantly a much better offense. They were 25th in runs scored in 2022 but should be much better in 2023. Their one-run performance wasn't great, but they showed their potentail in this blowout win.
LA Angels have 11-run inning, score 13 runs overall in blowout victory
Believe it or not, the Angels got off to another slow start in this game facing Shintaro Fujinami. The Angels had the benefit of facing Fujinami once in Spring Training but that's the only time the team, with the exception of Shohei Ohtani, had ever faced him. This showed as the Halos struck out four times in the first six batters of the game. Fujinami and his triple digit fastball along with a really good splitter was getting the best of this Angels lineup.
Fortunately for the Angels, the third inning happened to be the best inning the club has had in a half-decade. They scored 11 runs in the frame capped by a Taylor Ward two-run homer. Their 11-run frame was the first since 2016 when they scored 11 runs in an inning at Fenway Park.
The first run of the inning was driven in by none other than Logan O'Hoppe, the man responsible for the only run the Angels scored in the first game of the season. Taylor Ward hit an RBI single to extend the lead, Mike Trout then walked to load the bases for Shohei Ohtani who nearly hit a grand slam. It would've gone out at Angel Stadium.
Jake Lamb and Gio Urshela both had two-run singles in the inning, and Taylor Ward had the biggest blow, a two-run homer to extend the lead to 11-0. Ward would allow the Angels to bust out their new home run hat.
The Angels wound up scoring 13 runs in this offensive outburst and won the game 13-1. It was quite the statement from the team that really needed it following the disappointing loss on Opening Day.
Do I expect 11-run innings? No, not at all. But this game and that inning showed the kind of offense this unit is capable of being. They can go from. being completely shut down to dominant at the snap of a finger. They can score runs without hitting for power, showed by their 13 runs on just one home run. They also can score runs by hitting for power as most of the lineup is made up with players who have hit 20+ homers in the majors at least at some point.
I don't expect 11-run innings or games very often but I expect crooked numbers fairly often. I expect this team to be among the league leaders in both home runs and runs scored. Yesterday was a great start, but consistency is key. Let's see if the Angels can keep it up.