Joe Maddon was facing his old team again, with old Cubs this time as well. The Angels managed to tie in a low scoring game. It was a game with regulars and here is how everyone did.
Bald Bundy was using his hydrodynamics to pitch even faster than normal. It got results as he got 3 quick outs. Only 11 pitches in an inning is just so satisfying.
Another 1-2-3 inning for Bundy for the 2nd. It was just as fast, with only 11 pitches needed to get through it. It wasn’t just pitch to contact either as he struck out Anthony Rizzo with a nasty pitch back to back in sequence, as if daring him to hit it.
No perfect game for Dylan, as he walked the second batter in the third. A pitch in the dirt moved him to 2nd, and a flyout put a runner at 3rd with 2 outs. He got out of it, with some help from Jose Iglesias.
Dylan Bundy went against the shift and hit a infield hit. But Bundy picked him off. A quick flyout and a strikeout and again another inning with only 11 pitches. 49 through 4 innings.
It felt like a real game as Dylan Bundy made it to the 5th inning. He was slated to go 4, but he wanted to stay in. A groundball single was followed up by a GIDP with another nice play by Jose Iglesias. 53 pitches, 4 and 2/3 innings, Joe Maddon saw that he did well and brought in someone else. He was so not done that he went back to the bullpen to pitch more!
A quick strikeout by Buttrey was so fast that even he was confused and he finished the 5th, reliving Bundy. His second inning of work was not quite as easy. After a popup, he allowed a walk, but got a double play to get out of it.
The other Iglesias came in for the 7th, looking to keep the game tied. Unfortunately, Gosselin allowed the ball to go through him at first base, making this endeavor harder as the first batter ended up on second on an error. He kept his cool, however, as he struck out the next batter.
But he was unable to keep the runner from scoring as Anthony Rizzo beat the shift and drove in the run anyway. 1-0 Cubs. He only allowed that one earned run, but he lost the lead and had to watch as the offense had a last chance to tie the game.
Mike Mayers pitched the bottom of the 8th against the Cubs. He was able to strike out the first batter, got a groundout, and finished his 1-2-3 8th inning with a flyout. The offense had one last chance to win this and all he could do is watch.
Our starting 2B popped up in his first at bat. His second time up he lined it softly to the firs baseman. The third time, he made contact again, and ground out.
Mike Trout struck out in his first AB. Not ideal. He has been doing that a lot recently, stop it. His second AB was a flyout to center after he got praised by Gubi and Jose. But for his third plate appearance, he walked, getting on base finally today.
Walsh singled the other way in his first AB. Very Howie like swing too. He ground out in his second AB, which was enough pitches for their pitcher as he threw too many pitches and was pulled. Walsh flew out to LF in his third at bat, sending it rather far, but it was still an out.
He had a long first AB, but eventually ground out. Second AB he got an odd Ground rule double, hitting a ball that bounced so high in front of Joc Pederson that it went over his head and over the wall. For his third time up, he struck out with Trout at 1st, stranding him.
Hot Pocket was warm today, gaining an infield base hit in his first AB but ground out in his second AB. In the 7th, after the starters were leaving, Upton got his 3rd plate appearance and struck out.
Old Man Pujols in his first AB did what he does better than anyone else in MB history, GIDP. Right after being praised by Jose Mota as well. Pujols did better in his next AB, getting a single to RF. He continued to do well with a walk in his 3rd plate appearance.
The former Cub popped up to the infield in his first AB. He swung on the first pitch and flew out to RF in his second AB. For his third and final at bat, he lined out to RF, ending his day at 0-3 and not even advancing the runner.
Jose Mota really tried to jinx Max in his first AB. He hit a ball up the middle that was “through” according to Mota, but it wasn’t and the fielder got to it and threw it to first. The ball beat the runner, but the 1B dropped it. Infield hit. He struck out in his second AB, and was a bit annoyed about the strikezone.
The shortstop Iglesias pulled a Pujols and GIDP right at the pitcher. His second at bat was more exciting as he drilled one to RF, but only to the warning track.
Luis Rengifo, Scott Schebler, Phil Gosselin, Jose Rojas, Jack Kruger, and Franklin Barreto took over in the bottom of the 6th. Brandon Marsh pinch ran for Albert Pujols in the top of the 7th and Taylor Ward took over for Upton in LF in the bottom of the 7th.
Jack Kruger got a plate appearance with Brandon Marsh pinch running for Pujols, and he did excellent, executing a nice hit and run to put runners at the corners.
Franklin Barreto had his chance with two on and two out while trying to make the team, so of course he struck out and left both on base. With a rough competition for bench infielder, it is not guaranteed he will make it.
Luis Rengifo had his chance to impress in the top of the 8th. Instead, he struck out on only four pitches. It is not an at bat to make or break the team, but every chance counts.
Scott Schebler was up next, and has had an impressive spring thus far. Although, this time he struck out. With the 4th outfield spot also a tight race, he needed every chance he could get to impress.
Phil Gosselin, who had a 2 base error in the 7th, which eventually scored, looked to redeem himself. However, instead of doing that, he too struck out, all three striking out in the half inning.
Jose Rojas led off the 9th and got himself a leadoff walk on 5 pitches. A 4th OF candidate, he is another impressive one out there this spring.
Taylor Ward was up next with a chance to do something. Instead, he flew out to LF, one out.
Brandon Marsh got a chance to hit now. As he came in to pinch run for Pujols, he did not manage to score in his opportunity, now, with one on and one out, he had a chance to win the game. Instead, he struck out.
Brennon Lund came in for Fowler and was the last chance for the Angels. And unlike the others, he delivered, smoking a triple and tying the game! The 26 year old from Bees territory came through!
Kruger had a chance to win it, but struck out to end the game in an unsatisfying tie as the Cubs refused to bat in the 9th.
The Angels are now 7-5-2 on the Cactus League season and face the Reds tomorrow on the Ides of March. Eat some pie and get ready for some Caesar stabbing tomorrow.