The Angels looked to expand upon their success in yesterday’s game, but came up short this evening.
In the first inning nobody reached base except Jose Altuve. David Fletcher and Mike Trout both struck out. The Angels held the Astros scoreless.
In the second inning Jared Walsh reached on an error, but did not score. Upton struck out setting up Rojas to ground into a double play. Kyle Tucker reached on a two out walk, but also did not score.
In the third inning Taylor Ward reached on a single but was thrown out trying to steal. Phil Gosselin walked but Kurt Suzuki and David Fletcher were both out on fly balls to end the top of inning. Shohei Ohtani retired the Astros in order to end the third inning.
In the fourth inning the pitcher’s duel continued. The Angels went down in order with strikeouts by Ohtani and Walsh framing a Mike Trout groundout to Yuli Gurriel. Michael Brantley got a single on Ohtani’s first pitch this inning. Ohtani proceeded to strike out the next three batters ending the inning.
The Angels went down in order in the fifth inning, although at least Justin Upton and Jose Rojas made contact. Taylor Ward threw in a strikeout. When the Astros came up, Kyle Tucker ruined the scoreless game with a solo home run, but Ohtani retired the next three batters in a row.
The Angels struck out in order to start the sixth inning. Lance McCullers had nine strikeouts through six. Yordan Alvarez hit a two out infield single. Shohei Ohtani then struck out Yuli Gurriel to bring his strikeout total to nine through six innings. The score was still 1-0 Astros.
Shohei Ohtani singled to lead off the seventh inning. Mike Trout walked on five pitches to make it first and second with no outs for Jared Walsh who grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Shohei Ohtani was at third base with two outs when Justin Upton hit into the third out. This was a very frustrating inning for the Angels. Nobody struck out and men got on base. Unfortunately, they could not drive in those runs. Ohtani came out in the seventh and retired the Astros in order, picking up his tenth strikeout. He had walked only one at this point.
In the eighth inning, Jose Rojas grounded out to Jose Altuve on the first pitch, Taylor Ward hit a homer on the second pitch to right center field, Phil Gosselin saw a number of pitches before also grounding out to Altuve, and finally Kurt Suzuki grounded out to Altuve to end the top of the frame. It was still a nail-biter, but at least Shohei was no longer on the hook for the loss. It was a 1-1 ball game.
The Angels brought in Aaron Slegers to pitch and put Ohtani in right field to keep his bat in the lineup. Martin Maldonado walked for the Astros. Jose Altuve hit a foul ball to right that a regular right fielder might have caught and eventually reached on a fielder’s choice (Maldonado was retired at second). Aledmys Diaz singled to right field to place runners at first and second with one out whereupon Aaron Slegers was pulled from the game and Alex Claudio got a chance. Michael Brantley singled on the fourth pitch he saw to drive in Altuve. The Angels caught Diaz in a rundown between third and home after a ball hit by Yordan Alvarez. There are now two outs, but the Astros go up 2-1. Naturally, Yuli Gurriel hit a 3 run home run to blow the game wide open. Buh bye, Claudio. Enter Noe Ramirez who proceeded to walk Carlos Correa and allow a hit to Kyle Tucker. Finally, Myles Straw lined out to Fletcher to end the inning. 5-1 Astros.
Coming up in the ninth were David Fletcher, Shohei Ohtani, and Mike Trout. Ryan Pressly replaced Lance McCullers on the mound. David Fletcher popped out to Jose Altuve. Shohei Ohtani struck out looking. Mike Trout hit a fly ball to center field for the final out of the game. This was clearly not the outcome we had hoped for.
Photo credit: Rex Fregosi
The Angels are consistently pulling the SP early. Oddly enough this wasn’t really a Scioscia thing, but started with Ausmus and continues with Maddon. Granted, we don’t have the best SP (understatement), but go to baseball reference, team pitching, and sort by GS/IP. The angels are near the bottom or the bottom the last several years.
This year we’re at 4.6 IP/GS. Last year was 4.5. Under Ausmus 4.2.
That’s why our BP is inconsistent, bordering on okay and terrible, in my opinion.
Last night’s pulling of Ohtani at 88 pitches was indicative. It is the one extra inning/1-2 extra outs per game that they are consistently being pulled.
Please don’t tell me that Ohtani couldn’t have gone 12 more pitches. It would have been the difference between allowing 4 more runs or not.
We/Maddon needs to focus VERY hard on getting every ounce out of the SP he can. Because these innings don’t present themselves often, and every inning we can extend them counts. Never pull a healthy pitcher early who is dealing, and we’re in the game would be a great start.
..yaadda yadda saving arms yadda yadda …
I agree with a lot of this, BUT, the piece you are leaving out is the Angels recent injury history with SP, needing TJ surgeries etc..
I don’t think there is any question that our large number of SP arm problems has colored our philosophy with pitch counts, extending starters etc..
I agree injuries/players sucking is indeed part of these numbers.
My problem with that is, yes guys have been getting hurt, but that’s not anything unique to our team.
And we have perenially been replacing one guy who goes 4.6 innings with another guy who goes 4.5 innings, injured or not. Some of that is they suck, but some of that is pulling pitchers before they need to be.
I know it’s difficult, but 28 or 29 other teams seem to always do better at it than the Angels.
Hey, no argument there. Ultimately, to be your best you’ll need starters to go longer — if not it just taxes the bullpen too much and that will come back to haunt you rather quickly..,
The one proviso I would make is that IF you are going with an OPENER fairly consistently (the Angels have not deceided to do that yet) then that changes everything. This means you set up your pen and stream of pitchers differently; essentially you have to be much more flexible in approach.
But overall I agree with your point; you can’t over-extend your pen just to protect your starters….
Hmmm, the Angels are 27th in starter IP with 160.8, well behind the Dodgers, Giants, As and Phillies with 200+.Looking at the top half (15 teams) in starter IPs, there are only 3 teams with losing records (Texas, Arizona, Baltimore) and 1 at .500 (Seattle).
There does indeed appear to be a correlation between having starters that go deep in games and winning.
Moving on from the obvious, while hindsight says Shohei should have pitched another inning, that was a tough call to make. It was a 1-1 game, if Shohei gives up a walk or hit, you’ve got to pull him and the bullpen’s job just got harder. The Angels bullpen needs all the help it can get.
Of course we’re Monday-morning QB’ing here, but to my eyes it looked like Shohei was even better in the 7th than he was in the first inning. In fact I believe he through his fastest pitch 99mph in the 7th.
Some of the low Starter innings pitched is due to the Angels starters’ excessively high pitches per inning. Looking at it through last week the Angels were around an Average pitches per inning of 17.8 versus other teams like the Doyers and Rays that were in the low 15’s. Obviously alot of long counts by the starters is leading to increased strikeouts but also contributing alot of early shower visits for the Starters.
BBB seemed to be more obsessed with how many times around the lineup. if I recall very rarely did he allow his starters to see a third time around pulling them before that . Which if your starter is running a WHIP around 1.50 its kind of hard to get to the 5th.
Not sure what criterion Maddon is using for starting pitching changes. But to date, I think he has only let 2 to 3 starting pitchers get over 100 pitches . Not sure if this will change as the season wears on , but with long counts and short leashes the blowpen will probably continue to Blow
With the likes of Claudio, Slegers, Cisheks, Guerras, etc in the bullpen the decent relievers have to do that anyway. How many times have these dudes opened the inning and shit the bed only to have to trot out CRod, Mayers, or Watson in a high-pressure situation?
Soggy Joe should be able to look at the starter and realize he’s got another inning or two in the tank based on how they’re pitching. Otherwise, what’s he even doing out there?
Trout gonna get back in Boston
Add this date to the calendar as another that doesn’t exist.
we’re gonna run out of dates
That’s called “marriage”
This easily could have been the last two games as well, I will take this loss just to know that Ohtani has the ace stuff and brought it. Rendon will be back soon, we got this.
You’re not one to sugarcoat things or bite your tongue, Rev. I’m curious to know your thoughts about Maddon’s managerial chops so far?
Not even a hundred games managed total and the shittiest bullpen in baseball along with Albatross Pujols up until last week, he’s still got plenty of rope with me.
I’ve been saying if we can get through May at .500 and then stay healthy, I like the team’s chances. All in all, I’ll take 2-1 in those last 3 games. Easily could have been 0-3 or 1-2.
If somehow the team can manage a series win tomorrow it will build momentum going into Boston
I’d buy stock in this team. Get healthy, stay healthy, starting pitching improving. Still think this offense hasn’t come close to showing what it’s capable of. Could see them getting in a grove and carry them, give the pitching staff some room to breathe, pitch more frequently with a lead would go along way.
Overall I agree. IF we can stay healthy…And Heaney has to establish some consistency and be someone we can rely on in the rotation..
But I think the main thing is we have to right the ship defensively. We’ve had 5 games with 3 or more errors. That has to end.
Most of this is ridiculous… We still have and will have Arte. Nothing we can do about that. We’ll have to win in spite of Arte — it sure won’t be because of him…
That said, the Reds did win a World Series with Marge Schott as owner so anything is possible.
You might want to check Marcus Semien’s stats this season. Mediocre hitting, subpar fielding.
Jose Iglesias defense is overrated I don’t get a orgasm over a few good plays. SS is a offensive position now and not a Pee Wee Reese or Phil Rizzuto position like the 1950’s. Get with the times, SS is one of the most important positions in MLB now why do you think the Mets paid a steep price for Lindor and the Dodgers did 3 yrs ago for Machado?
You didn’t look at Semien’s stats, did you? Would have been a huge, Albert-like overpay.
Would have been better off keeping Simmons, if that was possible. (I know, big surprise I’d have that opinion).
All of us need to have a deep discussion about the NY Mets parable, “Rat vs Raccoon”.
Some of us are seeing Rats, others, Raccoons.
We all could benefit from a little deep breathing and seeking the seldom seen “Double Rainbow all the way”.
It is a rattoon.
I thought Semien was now only a second baseman ?
We don’t need Billy Beane (can you say “overrated?”) or Jeff Luhnow (lying, cheating scum).
We need a competent GM who is smart but not necessarily a genius.
Apparently we will never get that. The current guy has made a series of dreadful FA acquisitions and trades.
Exactly like Billy Eppler…..LMFAO!! just kidding
What has Perry Minissian ever won? Luhnow won the 2017, 2018, and 2019 AL West. Don’t be a hater, be a admirer. BTW they didn’t cheat against us so why should I hate them for that? Are you a Dodger or Yankee fan? Why should a zebra or wildebeest hate the winner of a fight between lions and hyenas ( they both wanna kill and eat you! ).
From what I understood they cheated at home against everyone, regular season too….
Not that they needed to cheat against us. They possibly would schedule maintenance when we came to town….clean the trash cans, a bass drum does need to be tuned.
Of course they cheated against us, as they cheated against everyone. Cheaters are cheaters. It is what they do. A thief is a thief, a liar is a liar…..
I think 2002 will get the picture…
Oh shoot, Mike Tyson would need brass knuckles and steel toe shoes to kick my ass! 😆
NOT a good analogy. The difference between Mike Tyson and you is MUCH greater than the difference between the Astros and ANY other MLB team. 🤣
You don’t think the Trashtros cheated during the regular season in 2017? Or 2018?
Of course they did!
That means they cheated against us.!! It is just that the NYY and LAD lost to them in the playoffs so it is amplified…
And I would not want Luhnow for similar reasons to why most of us here would not want Osuna as a bullpen piece.
That does not make me a “hater” but someone who is discerning and has standards.
I don’t know if they did. But did they cheat to draft George Springer, Carlos Corea, Alex Bregman or to trade for Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke?
Tanking with multiple 100 loss season makes the draft both fun and easy.
Excellent point !!!
Listen to MarineLayer!
So far Perry Minassian’s player moves all suck and that kinda matters to me more than the 2017 Houston Astros. Raisel Iglesias is on his way to leading the AL in blown saves and ( Quintana will be a bigger loss leader than a Walmart item….LOL!! ). Don’t be fooled by his last performance vs the Dodgers. AJ Hinch is managing the Detroit Tigers…….get over it PLZ!!
I’m not sure Beane is overrated. He would apply the same principles with a low payroll as a high one, and be more successful for it. Look what Friedman has done.
Well, I would not compare Beane with Friedman. Andrew Friedman is great, I agree. Beane, not so much.
Friedman has taken two separate teams to the World Series, the Rays and Dodgers. He won with the big budget team loaded with talent. The Rays of course lost to the Phillies, but to me that was his bigger achievement; to win an AL Pennant with a team full of marginal talent. BTW, he has to share that credit with Maddon, who was an innovator in his own right.
Beane on the other hand has not even made it to the World Series ONCE.
In my book Friedman is truly great but Beane IS overrated.
Why does making it to the World Series matter though?
Beane went all in in 2014 and truly built a good squad, but the Angels ragtag bullpen managed to put it together and beat him out for the division title. Then he went to retool, and he managed to squeeze playoff teams from 18-20 (and probably this year too).
Hard to say he’s not a top 5 decision-maker in the game, IMO.
I didn’t say he was bad, just said he is overrated. Actually, I think he could both be overrated and a top five GM. That is possible.
But he couldn’t be both Overrated and the top GM now could he?
If people talk about him like he’s No. 1 but he’s actually 4 or 5 then yes, he could be…
Not “the” top. But that is not what I said…
true true true
but is the consensus that he is the best GM in the league, that would warrant tagging him with the overrated label if he truly is a top 5 GM?
Dayton Moore is a genius ( Royal’s GM…..he got the Kansas City Royals to back to back World Series appearances in 2014 & 2015, winning it all in 2015. Then followed that up with some really bad years after that, especially 2018 and 2019 ( 100 losses both yrs ). Is he better than Billy Beane? What about Fred Claire ( former Dodger GM in 1988 who built the last WS Championship team the Dodgers had until last year ) he also was there in 1992 ( 63-99 that year )
Methinks your anger outstrips your memory. Do the years 2004-2008 ring a bell? Hint. Arte owned the team then.
He inherited K-Rod and Troy Percival from Disney and Donny Rowland ( GM before Bill Stoneman ). The team has never come close to developing a good closer since. Kevin Jepson was a home run launching machine and bust. Remember his quote about overpaying K-Rod? The man is a stingy ass miser when it comes to Scouting, Player Development, and Pitching.
It was Bill Bavasi moron not Donny Rowland. Donny Rowland was the scouting director working under Stone before before Saint Eddie Bane took over.
BTW Percival & KRod were signed under Autry’s regime. Percival made his ML debut in 1995. If you knew anything about Angel history you would know that our current Manager, Joe Maddon was part of the decision makers that converted Percy from a no hit catcher and helped develop him into an elite closer.
I would think you would also have to give the Autrys props for developing Bryan Harvey and Roberto Hernandez ( even though we dumped him in a trade) both of those guys became effective closers.
Stoneman, just like his successors, did not have much success in signing & developing closers except maybe for Bobby Jenks who was a shooting star hot mess.
Christmas didn’t happen because I said December 24?
How about the fact that this team hasn’t developed a good closer since K-Rod which is going on 20 yrs!!! Yes that also means the entire last decade of the 2010’s. Nobody cares about the 1990’s anymore which BTW we never made the playoffs either. Bill Bavasi was a good scout and player guy, but he totally sucked at wheeling and dealing remember he got his ass kicked by John Hart ( Texas Ranger’s GM in the late 90’s ).
I don’t see how blame could be directed at Maddon. Many of the players on the roster (esp in the BP) just aren’t that good, esp with injuries thinning the depth. The good that we’ve seen, esp Ohtani being near unhittablen yesterday, are great. Even optimistically, we have reckoned the team as being maybe a little bit better than .500 (and realistically, not that good) and we are not too far off the course to that end. Unsatisfied? Sure. But angry I am not.
Roster construction always trumps managerial competence.
All the Scioscia hate was misdirected too. Many posters wished we had Maddon instead of Scioscia … now we do.
Maddon also has not had a full season yet, lol.
Scioscia had what, 17 years? And the last 5 or 6 were characterized by gross incompetence. So, Maddon and Soth are NOT comparable.
You are missing the point. Managers have minimal effect as compared to roster construction.
Well, even though I agree that roster construction and the role of the GM (or now President of Baseball Ops) is generally more important than that of the manager, I think the disparity is played up a bit too much by the saber crew.
If you have a truly innovative manager and pioneer like Maddon the disparity is less great than with an average, run of the mill manager.
At this rate we run the risk of possibly not making the playoffs this year.
Someone is clearly asking for this GIF…
No happy dancing robot 😞
That was some good baseball. We all know our bullpen is tapped and not very good.
Seeing Ohtani pitch like that was a treat, then go to RF is just something awesome to watch.
I am through the years been happy with how this club was managed, I did not jump down Sosh’s managerial style, but if Joe is so good then why does he cost us games? Ohtani being moved to RF was smart in that his bat came into play earlier than if he replaced Upton. But his use of the BP can’t be worse, but I concede that his choices are limited.
Shohei pitched his best game ever. He is Shotime and worth paying to see. It is unbelievable that in so many games this season we are held to so few hits.
Your criticism of Maddon makes zero sense. You say in the same breath that “his use of the bullpen can’t be worse” but then admit that “his choices are limited.”
So how exactly is he to blame for Claudio hanging a breaking ball over the middle of the plate to Gurriel?
It is like you’ve handed Maddon a pack of old bologna, a can of Spam and a bottle of ketchup and yet you expect him to make a gourmet meal.
All of you (including Blutarsky)… just stop.
We need to have better 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th options out of the bullpen or our season is doomed
Thanks Jack for calling me out, I’ve come around to embracing the truth. The Spam analogy was brilliant in helping me see the error of my ways.
Maddon is the best in game strategist and tactician since Abner Doubleday invented the game. Perry is years ahead of his contemporaries in the identification of talent. He is a potter that takes formless lumps of clay and molds them into exquisite baseball players. Carpino is a great leader and business executive that makes everyone around him better. Lastly, Arte Moreno is the visionary who mentored this group of individuals into a highly functioning team that is the envy of not only baseball, but global business as well.
Angel fans expect too much. They focus on winning instead of the pure joy of seeing men try their best. We all should feel privileged to give Arte a few measly dollars so that the players can live their best life playing a game and having fun.
It’s only been 3 or 4 dog years since the Angels won the championship. We just need to be patient. With Joe, Perry, Arte and “Carpy” leading the way, we’re so close to regaining our rightful place at the top of the baseball world.
I believe. Yes we can.
You moved the goalposts there a bit, lol.
Not once did I defend Arte, Carpino or anyone else in the front office. My criticism of leadership at the top is as harsh or even more harsh than yours is.
My defense was of Maddon and Maddon only. And I do not lump him in with Arte and Carpino. Yes, he is playing in their house and is subject to their whims, but he is also trying to change the toxic culture they have created.
Joe is the one we should be rooting for, not attacking.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
I’ll own the following comments: Joe Maddon acts like he’s the “cool Uncle”. The guy who is trying too hard to be innovative and creative while not losing his Bohemian roots. IMHO, he out-thinks himself. He’s playing chess at a checkers tournament.
With that said, I’ll keep my Maddon opinions to myself.
Hmmm. How convenient for Theo Epstein. If Maddon is to blame for the Cubs decline that means he himself is off the hook.
…except Theo Epstien resigned with a year left on his contract.
Still, my commentary remains valid. In the court of public opinion Epstein doesn’t want to be assigned any blame. His resigning with a year left does not change that motivation…
Plus, it is very likely that ownership issued an ultimatum that “either you resign or we fire you.”
Finally, even if we split blame for the Cubs decline between Epstein and Maddon I would still take that scenario for us. Maddon will not be around so long with us that a post-championship decline concerns me.
I would gladly take one World Series win for Trout and these Angels even if it means the next few years are ones of underachieving.
Baseball managers don’t matter.
Front offices and scouting and player development matter.
No doubt, managers not as important, when much of the decision making is by a laptop.
Completely agree with your assessment of Arte and his friends in the FO.
To me, that’s the biggest issue we have. We both know his not going anywhere. Just hope that our new found payroll solves a few problems. Maybe we will see Perry has a plan….maybe
More time is needed with Perry, that’s just reasonable, but so far, not looking ideal. Make Arte see he needs to fund the infrastructure needed to have a successful franchise. That fruit, if ever produced, will take years.
If managers don’t matter anymore, let’s keep Joe around for a while.
I’m in the dark tunnel with you, just further down the tracks, seeing some light.
Don’t agree that they “don’t matter.”
Bullpen pitched 2 good games but I doubt anyone here was fooled. Even the good games were filled with walks and hits.
This team has next to no pitching, a handful of good position players filled out by absolute trash and are poorly managed. Oh yeah, still not sold on their fielding. Another long year of watching a bad team.
Had more fun following those average teams from the 80’s.
This just in … we scored 1 run tonight
No doubt! Any run support for Ohtani and there’d be a dancing robot.
Where is this “poorly managed” stuff coming from???
Nobody was saying that three weeks ago and now it is like a choir of complaining voices. But it makes no sense. This team has been devastated by injuries and we all knew we had no starting pitching to speak of coming into the season, and yet you say “poorly managed.” Really?
Give some examples , because I don’t think you have good ones.
Yes its called “Losing”
So, are you agreeing with me or them?
you must not mean the teams that went to the playoffs or the teams that fought all year long with KC for the division.
Had him ready to go!
2 games……not 3. Dumb down the standards like everyone else does.
The natives are getting restless…
Well we won two days in a row thanks to the BP so can’t blame much here. The offense wasn’t there anyway.
At least it was good to see Sho having command and not walking a batter per inning which will allow more comfortable viewing of his pitching games.
And maybe one day in a game that really matters, he can START and play OF and come back to CLOSE.
If that happens, does he get credit for a W (given the decision is still intact) and a SV?
It seems that winning contradicts the eligibility to record a SV.
So the most exciting scenario would probably be he starts the game and leave with a non-decision or L responsibility and come back after a lead to record a SV. Which can happen if it’s a game that really matters.
I’m the first guy to blame Maddon or Suzuki or the bullpen for whatever. But let’s face it. Lance McCullers Jr. pitched a great game and we only managed 1 run across 9 innings. No matter how you look at it, 7/9 of the offense didn’t do anybody any favors.
Tip cap, turn page
I better read that Claudio has been DFA’d tomorrow.
Yep. Should have given up negative 3 runs dammit!
You come in and groove a pitch in the center of the plate to Gurriel in a pressure situation, you should be sent down to the minors to work on your pitching and mental game.
steel… you’re blinded by rage. I didn’t see this live, but went back into gameday and screencapped this for you. It was a 2-0 count in a dangerous situation where he inherited a really high leverage situation.
Look at the pitches … Gurriel is just a talented hitter. Tip cap, turn page.
Also 5.1 years of MLB service … DFA Alex Claudio and he’s picked up by the first team who can claim him.
Watching the game, and the rerun, it looked like Gurriel hit that pitch right over the middle of the plate. Maybe it was the camera angle but it looked like he served up a meatball and Gurriel sent it out.
Watching the video, it looked to me like a slider on the middle-outer edge that didn’t slide.
Checking the pitch graph, it is being described as the only changeup Claudio threw. It had the speed of his slider, the vertical movement of his slider, and the horizontal movement of his fastball. Aka, a slider that didn’t slide.https://www.fangraphs.com/players/alex-claudio/12890/game-charts?position=&season=2021&date=2021-05-11&dh=0&data=pi
It was either a command issue on the slider (Claudio’s fault) or a bad decision to throw the change-up there (Suzuki’s fault). Gurriel was looking for a pitch a right there.
Claudio and Chishek must be roomies?
We are wasting Shohei Ohtani!
I hear that Perry is thinking of signing this guy.?itemid=17899878
Yeah. Nice cutter if he can just work on his control
I’d would prefer he focus more on his virus control
Or, we should release him, like Albert.
100% fact…..Gurriel would not have hit his home run last night if “Lord Fauci”
was pitching instead of Claudio…he would have walked.