Rangers 7, Angels 1
Lance Lynn wasn’t moved at the trade deadline, but perhaps the Angels wish he had been. Lynn, 33, is putting up what may be his finest statistical season, and the Angels were victims Tuesday evening.
It was his wildness that hurt the Angels the most. Lynn led the Majors in wild pitches in 2019, and he uncorked three stray ones that hit Los Angeles hitters early, including Justin Upton twice. The second one forced Upton, the team’s hottest hitter, out of the game early.
Matt Thaiss was recalled before the game and slotted into the lineup in the second spot and at second base. Considering Thaiss hadn’t previously shown much offensive prowess and had never played a professional game at second, this was a bold move. He arrived with a revamped swing:
Matt Thaiss’ swing/setup looks…different. pic.twitter.com/DHz0YuMS7b— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) September 9, 2020
(I do happen to like the new swing, as it looks like he has more uppercut and bat speed. It didn’t translate to success Tuesday.)
Thaiss didn’t have a good game defensively either. An Elvis Andrus solo shot put the Rangers up early, and Max Stassi failed to cash in a runner on third with less than two outs shortly thereafter. Then, this happened:
It turns out that it’s pretty difficult to learn an entirely new position for the first time at the MLB level. pic.twitter.com/m3YDz9CWq9— Brent Maguire (@bmags94) September 9, 2020
The Angels never really recovered after this moment, and although Andrew Heaney pitched decently well, with the scoreline 5-1 after five, he was pulled for the vaunted Angels bullpen.
Jared Walsh added a nice opposite-field home run, but other than that, the offense was not alive.
Awfully impressive opposite-field power from Jared Walsh pic.twitter.com/nYJvAl3Mbt— Brent Maguire (@bmags94) September 9, 2020
It was a missed opportunity to pick up a game on the New York Yankees and (possibly, as the Astros have another game) the Houston Astros, who both lost earlier.