Sunday’s game did not start as planned.
In his first start on the mound since 2018, Shohei Ohtani failed to record a single out. He faced six batters, allowing three hits, walking three batters, and allowing five runs. In his first start post-Tommy John surgery, Ohtani failed to generate a single swinging-strike in the 30 pitches he threw. Given that he posted an elite 34.9 percent whiff rate in 2018, that is remarkable. Ohtani’s stuff was noticeably down (92.9 mph fastball) and he had essentially no feel for the strike zone. The outing was an all-around disaster but it’s important to remember that he hadn’t been on an MLB mound in 693 days and didn’t have the luxury of a normal spring training to get himself ready.
Luckily, the Angels were able to stay in the game despite trailing 5-0 after the first inning. In the third inning with two runners on, Mike Trout uncharacteristically swung at a 3-0 pitch and belted it 393 feet for a three-run home run, his first homer of the season. In case you were wondering, it was indeed the first time in his remarkable career that he homered on a 3-0 pitch.
Trout wasn’t the only one who helped keep the club in the game. Matt Andriese, the SoCal native (Redlands) debuting in his first Angels appearance, absolutely shut down the Oakland lineup. He pitched 5 2/3 innings, striking out five batters, walking one, and allowing no runs. Andriese heavily utilized his change-up, throwing it 30 times, 11 of which were swinging-strikes or called strikes. Without Andriese coming in to shut the door, the Angels likely weren’t staying in this game.
David Fletcher also pitched in his third career four-hit game, setting up the top of the lineup nicely. Still, these individual performances were not enough to erase the disastrous start to the game. Oakland only scored one run after the first inning (a 455-foot bomb by Sean Murphy) but the early damage was enough to hold off the Angels from completing a comeback win.
Well – obviously what we saw from Ohtani was a huge bummer, but Andriese showed well, which is promising – 3 good showings from SPs (and one dud).
But I agree with the prevailing sentiment – this lineup definitely needs Rendon in it. Glad to hear they’ll (likely) use Ohtani at DH today, too. This is a fairly formidable lineup WITH both Ohtani and Rendon. Without either of them, or even both, and well – the quality drops off very quickly, as we saw his weekend.
I’m thinking we’ll see Adell in the near future (service time and all), and once we do, this lineup becomes something like:
2B Fletcher, CF Trout, 3B Rendon, DH Ohtani, LF Upton, 1B LaStella, RF Adell, C Castro, SS Simba. Pujols on the IL, or well, somewhere else other than the starting lineup 🙂 (yes, hopeless optimism, but oh well haha)
Pujols can play Sat, Sun, Monday when Ohtani is out.
on the plus side there’s Fletch, Trout and Goody too.
Love the Fletch singles but Trout….he now leads the team with 4 RBIs. On a pace to finish with 80!! 20 HRs!!! Yes, we know he’ll miss time for Babe Trout. But still, that HR today was a thrill.
It may be a long, short, season without any scouting staff. Who are the ones watching the other games, looking over film and live games?
Andriese, a pleasant surprise and excited to see Fletch sticked to lead-off and performing.
Of course we were also notified another Troutian.year is coming.
Turn the page…
Mathis would’ve helped Ohtani out.
Its early but Maddon’s lineups and bullpen usage already giving me bad vibes of things I didn’t like about the Cubs. Also if we’re going to be playing and starting guys like Hermosillo/Ward/Walsh regularly why not just have Adell up here to get some development in?
Curious what Ohtani’s leash is as a starter this season if he looks just as lost next weekend. He clearly needed the length of a traditional Spring and long season to figure mechanics out.
I think with Adell there is an issue with starting his service time in a shortened season.
If that’s the case then he should be up before next weekend and I’m just not sure if I see that happening. Hope I’m wrong though because seeing Hermosillo and Ward get OF starts with Rendon out is just baffling.
Billy told Adell to “Make him make the call”. Not sure how that works when he’s playing B games against their own people and no real competition.
“Who shaid anything about shabotage?”
He’s trying to figure out which three get dropped next week without leaving to many hard feelings on the field. But yes, Maddon kind of abuses players.
Bullpen usage has been fine, imo. There’s not a whole lot with which to work. Same with lineups, tbh. Upton is too high, but that’s the only gripe for me.
At least Ohtani sounds upbeat. Not too worried.
AFTER THREE GAMES
Record is 2.7 — 5.4
5% of the season is finished.
so a 2-5 record is almost equivalent to 6-14
After 3 games it is obvious we desperately need Rendon and Ohtani’s bat in the lineup. I’m not worried about Ohtani’s start today. First time pitching in almost 2 years will do that to you. He’ll come back next Sunday and be the Ohtani of old.
I hope Billy calls up Adell immediately once the game threshold is met for his service time to not start this season. In this season the best way to develop him is get him actual at bats in live games not in Long Beach.
Let’s split the series tomorrow and head back home.
(As can probably be seen from the Bold Predictions page) 😀
I feel that Upton is an overlooked issue on the team sometimes. He’s expected to thump, but I don’t feel he provides much protection in the lineup. If he’s hitting 6th in the lineup, it might be more palatable.
He needs glasses, and where do we place Pujols on them dreaded days?
Was pleasantly surprised that he got benched today. Not that the replacements did better…
Was expecting Ohtani to be a bit rough, but that was worse than I imagined. I have full confidence that he’ll get it figured out though.
Andriese was a delightful surprise. Shame we couldn’t overcome the initial deficit.
Well that was not ideal.
Let’s be real, Herm, Ward, and Thaiss don’t belong in an MLB lineup. Walsh probably doesn’t.
The second that 4th run scored this lineup should’ve been toast.
Fortunately Andriese, Fletcher, and Trout performed like stars today.
Absolutely correct. Ward, Herm and Thais are really weak. Add in Walsh and then Upton having meaningless at bats, and there was almost no chance of coming back. Fletch and Trout tried to do whatever they could do. As I said, need Rendon.
Yeah it’s almost like Maddon is unfamiliar with the system and thinks these are post-hype prospects that can blossom and not busted minor leaguers that never really did anything outside of Salt Lake.
If we’re playing guys expected to struggle, we should be using Adell and Marsh and others that actually give us long term value by taking their lumps.
He’s trying not to kill any confidence remaining in them. We will need their help this season.
Give em some Thunder Sticks, that’ll help.
They don’t belong in a MLB lineup. But this season isn’t really the MLB. It’s more like advanced spring training. Under these circumstances, it makes more sense to evaluate a team’s longshots than to push the top prospects you expect to be good but might not quite be ready.
None of the guys have even half a season of PAs. Thaiss, in particular deserves a chance. His 53-game (.208/.311/.399) career is better than Trout’s 2011 showcase (40 games .220/.281/.390) and includes a 14-game stretch last Sep/Oct in which Thaiss hit a respectable .282/.364/.513.
Thaiss only needs to be better than Pujols to deserve to be on this team, and I could see him matching Scott Spiezio’s 12-year career.
3 through 8 were O’fer except for the pinch hit by Hermosillo.
Well, not ideal. Hopefully Ohtani bats tomorrow
Sounded like he would be available to bat, given he only threw 30 pitches.
That’s an unfortunate rec. I’m all for Ohtani hitting every day while he works on his control, say 2 weeks, to be ready for the (lol) PLAYOFFS. Hope Teheran is ready soon.