Angels 6, Rockies 2
Perhaps it was always going to end this way. After all, the Rockies are now 10-37 on the road, so maybe we fans didn’t need to go through the stress and the agony and the pain that we just witnessed.
Make no mistake, Shohei Ohtani is an ace. I still get nervous when he’s pitching, but not because I’m worried he won’t do well. I’m invested in him as an Angels pitcher for the first time since, well, since forever, it seems.
And on the pitching side, like he has so often this year, he delivered, pitching seven innings of one-run ball, striking out five and walking none. The lone blemish was a hanging slider that just got crushed to right.
No matter. Shohei sliced and diced, largely with some top-tier stuff, throwing 40 fastballs (average 95 mph), 27 sliders, and an assortment of other pitches, including 11 cutters (3 whiffs on 5 swings). That splitter is still nasty. Oh yeah, and he hit 100 on the gun (real, 99.7 mph 😉).
By the way, he hits, too. Ohtani snuck a ground ball through the infield in the first inning, scoring David Fletcher. He later stole second.
Walsh cashed in Ohtani, and the Angels were up 2-0 on Germán Márquez, everyone’s favorite trade target. Márquez pitched 6.1 innings, giving up three earned runs and getting quite a bit unlucky.
Walsh later suffered a side injury that caused him to be removed from the game.
Jack Mayfield, everyone’s newest favorite player, homered yet AGAIN, showing his penchant for hitting the ball hard enough to just sneak it over the fence. It was not barrelled.
But because these are the Angels and because things have to be interesting, Ohtani was pulled after seven innings in favor of José Quintana, who retired just one of three batters he faced and allowed a towering home run.
Steve Cishek came in with an inherited runner on first and did his best to let it score. With runners on second and third and two outs, Sam Hilliard drove a ball to the wall, but Brandon Marsh tracked it down. Hilliard’s ball had a 45% chance of dropping in for a hit.
The Angels tacked on two more insurance runs in the eighth, and Raisel Iglesias slammed the door in the ninth.
There was some consternation about the strike zone tonight, so I will post the marks here.