Stassi homers, Angels unable to muster more offense in loss to Mariners

Before tonight’s game, the Angels had lost every game started by Jason Castro and won every game started by Max Stassi. With Mike Trout out of the lineup due to paternity leave, Joe Maddon needed all the help he could get. And he carded Stassi in the lineup for that help.

It didn’t work. The Angels are now 2-5, which is basically the equivalent of 6-14 in a 162-game schedule.

The game didn’t start prettily, as José Marmolejos took a Dylan Bundy fastball (read: his worst pitch) deep in the first inning for his first career home run. It wasn’t much, but the Trout-less offense was unable to muster much in response. Bundy actually pitched well for the most part, but it’s these types of pitches that may prevent him from taking the next step. Bundy finished six whole innings, allowing just those three runs on four hits and two walks, striking out eight. His offspeed stuff was working once again, which is a bright sign for the future, if less so for the present.

The Angels got their first hit in the fourth inning on a Brian Goodwin infield single. In the fifth, Shed Long Jr. misplayed a sinking Taylor Ward liner, allowing the utility man to reach base. And Max Stassi, trying to prove the prophecy, crushed the baseball. His team-leading second homer of the season gave the Angels hope, as Angel-killer Marco Gonzales continued to cruise on the mound.

Los Angeles got close, and there was a sense that the Angels could come back against this erstwhile cellar-dwelling team. Shohei Ohtani reached second with one out in the seventh, but Albert Pujols struck out and Ward grounded out.

In the ninth, the Mariners blew the game wide open (scoring five runs) against Hansel Robles and Kyle Keller, and the Stassi prophecy was over. The Angels made a dent with Shohei Ohtani’s oppo-taco, but it wouldn’t matter in the end.

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Senator_John_Blutarsky
Super Member

The situation is still the same, the only difference is the date. In Arte’s operating model, Eppler is not capable of building a complete roster that can consistently complete. The results don’t lie.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Super Member
1 year ago

So we’re in last place and host the Astros while Mike Trout sits out for a bit. Great.

JakeTaylor
Member
1 year ago

Eppler really didn’t do much to improve the pitching in the offseason but you really can’t pin all the blame on him because Arte wanted Rendon. I think Bundy and Teheran were solid acquisitions and are starting 5 is just good enough to be competitive if our offense does its thing. Problem is our Bullpen is a mess and we don’t have anyone that can come in on a consistent basis and shutdown the opponent. We’ve lost 3 games now thanks to the pen and I don’t think it’s going to get any better.

Eric_in_Portland
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  JakeTaylor

Arte wanted Cole but couldn’t get him and pivoted to Rendon just like he pivoted to Cokehead when Greinke signed elsewhere

At least Rendon will be good for us.

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago

Arte raged the trade with the Dodgers away. One starter missing.

JackFrost
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  eyespy

Yep. Good point. And Stripling can go deep in games. He does not appear to be a delicate arm. He definitely would have helped.

hockey_duckie
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  eyespy

And another veteran bat in Pederson.

::: sighs ::: oh Artie!

2002heaven
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  JakeTaylor

How do we know if Teheran is gonna be any good? He hasn’t pitched yet and was in decline the last two seasons for a very good Atlanta Braves playoff team. Eppler needs to go he’s been here far too long and is still dumpster diving for contaminated arms in now his 5th year with us! AND YES JEDI WAS BETTER……

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago

Pulling starters too soon. Using trash pitchers when there is a lead to protect. Bringing out your closer in a non save situation.

Yes, it is the GM’s job to go get affordable talent, and it the owner’s job to support the GM in building an affordable team with the talent available. It’s the job of the manager to understand what the talent is able to do and use it in a way to give the team the best chance at winning. But it really comes down to what is the goal of the owner, and if the GM really knows what he is doing or if he is apart of the owner’s goal, to begin with.

Pujols not running to first when it was available for him on the dropped third strike, was very sad.

jcstein
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  eyespy

Why wouldn’t you use Robles in that position? It’s the heart of the Ms lineup.

2002heaven
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  jcstein

Robles probably turned back into a pumpkin again. Eppler took a risky gamble on relying on a journeyman reliever to be his main closer and it blew up in his face again. Billy Beane’s smart enough to know not to do such a stupid thing………..EVERY YEAR THERE’S SOMEONE LIKE THIS IN MLB. Eppler should’ve traded him to the Braves last season since they had the worst BP of all the playoff teams last season. Robles was a 2019 fluke, everybody but Billy knew he was gonna revert back to his usual old self again.

Turk's Teeth
Editor
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  eyespy

I disagreed with Maddon’s bullpen management last night, but saw little wrong with his choices tonight.

Bundy had one bad inning, but otherwise delivered a quality start. The rest of the bullpen delivered until Robles melted down in the ninth, but there was nothing particularly wrong with the logic of bringing him in in a one-run affair. He just blew it.

This loss is almost exclusively on the moribund offense and the Robles garbage fire in the ninth.

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

I didn’t see the first few innings. What was the mound visit about in the first inning? Bundy just had two strikeouts, the second on three pitches, then what I would think was a stolen base when Bundy was concentrating on the batter.

It is known, but he has no choice in the matter, that Robels prefers to be used in save situations. If there were other options in the pen at the moment, why not use them? Or does Maddon feel that there would be no save tonight, and Robels hasn’t pitched in a few days, and was just getting some game time reps in. Soggy Joe was shaking his head quite a bit after that disaster of an outing. Know your team.

Pujols pulled a sad by not running.

Turk's Teeth
Editor
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  eyespy

Robles hadn’t pitched since Game 2 in Oakland. You can’t sit your closer for five days and avoid using him in Game 7 because the vibes are off.

We also don’t have typical extra innings in this short season, with a man by default on second in the tenth, so it’s not unreasonable to manage a one-run game in the ninth as if it were a close situation. Robles had a solid outing last time, so it seemed sensible to bring him in to face the heart of the order.

Robles doesn’t have the tenure or track record to insist on being used in exclusively traditional save situations, in any case, not least in this unusual environment. If he can’t work a scoreless ninth because, uh, the symbolism ain’t right, then the dude is simply wrong for high leverage contexts and he should STFD.

I’m sure a five day layoff this early in the season didn’t help his crispness at all.

JackFrost
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

While I agree with your comment that Robles doesn’t have the tenure to say how he is used overall I agree with spy on this. Look., ALOT of closers have this idiosyncrasy if you will. The record and performance shows that top of the line closers don’t perform as well in non-save situations. It is just a fact. We can say it is stupid but it is real.

The other part about being used and not sitting for games on end could have been addressed on Wednesday night IF Maddon had played that game like it was as important as it really was. In this short season all these early games are like playoff games. With that in mind it would not have been unusual to bring in Buttrey for 4 outs in the 6th and 7th and then use Robles to get 6 outs and end the game. Problem solved.

There was no reason to put that game in the hands of Mayers or Barnes. At least get a few wins under your belt before we throw those guys in the fire.

Mia
Super Member
Mia
1 year ago

canwepanicnow.gif

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Mia

How did you post that image?

Mia
Super Member
Mia
1 year ago
Reply to  eyespy

magic.gif

DowningDude
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Mia

oh what the heck .gif

John Henry Weitzel
Editor
Super Member
1 year ago

The weakest link is the bullpen.

Offense puts up 7.14 runs per game

SP gives up 2.14 runs per game in 30 innings

Bullpen 3.14 runs per game in 30 innings

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago

The innings pitched being equal like that seems to be the problem.

admkir
Trusted Member
1 year ago

And that starting pitching total does include Ohtani’s 0 innings right

Rick Souddress
Editor
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Friendship with actual major league quality baseball players over. Stassi is new best friend.

AnAngelsFan
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Rick Souddress

Even if he becomes the best catcher in Angels history, I just don’t think I can ever like a guy who played on the Trashtros in 2017.

Rick Souddress
Editor
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  AnAngelsFan

I think I’m more fickle than you give me credit for!

mhatter106
Newbie
1 year ago
Reply to  AnAngelsFan

He was the backup, backup backup catcher that season trying to get out of the minors and got 24 at bats. I’m not really sure what you expected him to do.

Anyways, I’m really happy for Max. It feels like a very good situation for him there with the Angels, partnered with Jason, who he knows, and with Jason being a left handed hitter, it leaves Max free to take the starts against LHP.

Rahul Setty
Admin
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  mhatter106

Yeah, dude got just a handful of PA’s in 2017. He would’ve been laughed out of the clubhouse and his career would’ve been over if he opened his mouth even a tad.

Rahul Setty
Admin
Trusted Member
1 year ago

The more even-keeled among us will say that it’s early, that it’s a small sample and we should wave it off. Well, in a 60-game season we’ve already played more than 10% of the year—this whole thing is a small sample. There’s no time to figure it out. It’s sink or swim, and for a couple days they won’t have Trout to do it.

jcstein
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Rahul Setty

It looks to me like the Mariners sneakily got a lot better this year. They have a solid amount of young talent on the team. Plus–>16 teams this year gives us a shot

Rahul Setty
Admin
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  jcstein

Eh, I think that’s being generous and overlooking the many flaws the Halos’ exhibited this series. How many very hittable, poorly located fastballs did Angels pitchers throw this series? How many hanging breaking balls? Too many to count, and any MLB-caliber team should be capitalizing on obvious mistakes like those.

jcstein
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Rahul Setty

Crawford, Dunn, Lopes, and Lewis look solid to me. They also have an incredibly deep, nearly ready set of farmhands.

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  jcstein

Cano did them good

Turk's Teeth
Editor
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  jcstein

It’s a hard truth for Angels fans, but Dipoto has actually built a compelling talent pipeline, and has prioritized advanced pitching while doing so. His rebuild isn’t whimsical or desperate – it follows a pattern of other successful teams. It’s coherent, and the Mariners are executing on it.

Meanwhile, the Angels remain the Mets of the west, collecting overpriced assets and inefficiently building chronically imbalanced teams.

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

They had Cano to trade, we have Pujols for life

losangel
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  eyespy

It’s not Cano vs Pujols. They have an owner who lets the GM do his job. Apparently we do not, which is why Dipo quit.

hockey_duckie
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

“Meanwhile, the Angels remain the Mets of the west, collecting overpriced assets and inefficiently building chronically imbalanced teams.”

And that’s by design too! ::: sighs :::

Rahul Setty
Admin
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  jcstein

I don’t disagree with you, jc! But the Angels as a squad are talented enough to beat the Mariners in a 3-game set, and they didn’t play to their capabilities. Overmanaging didn’t help, of course, but even still the entire relief pile was a raging tire fire (no offense intended to tire fires).

DowningDude
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Rahul Setty

and Trout can sure swim

Fansince1971
Super Member
1 year ago

Ug-Ly!! Can’t score when they pitch, can’t pitch when they score. Does this sound familiar? 2 terrible losses that = basically 6 losses due to the short season.

Will Trout return?

Bring up Adell.

Team is basically 6-15 with Houston next.

2002heaven
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

There’s always some damm excuse not to bring up Jo Adell.

losangel
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  2002heaven

Please remind me of all the excuses?

Charles Sutton
Editor
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  losangel

I think it was something like “He needs more tempering in his defense.” Whatever. I think they can bring him up next week without losing that year of service time.

DowningDude
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Sutton

*seasoning has typically been the Angel word for it. Add some Cayenne Pepper and he’s ready to roll!