Rumors of Mike Trout’s death are greatly exaggerated. The really cool thing is that instead of a BA or .000, he now has a BA of .100. Instead of a SLG% of .000, he now has a SLG% of .400. He also did this today:
In a game starved for offense, this blast was the only run on the board through the first eight innings.
But however much I wish it to be so, this isn’t a story about Mike Trout. It’s a story about Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs rolled through spring, not so much mowing down hitters as getting mowed down by hitters. His command was off, he didn’t locate, and he didn’t seem ready to be the Angels’ No. 2 starter in the 2018 season.
And then, something funny happened. He took the mound and started dealing. There were the usual nibbles, but he got through one clean inning. Then another. And soon enough, before you could even blink, Skaggs had dealt 6.1 scoreless innings, the whipped cream whipped and the cherry placed on top by Kole Calhoun.
He didn’t walk anybody. That’s an incredible step forward for Skaggs, and we’ll see if he can carry it forward over his next couple of starts.
Blake Wood and Keynan Middleton navigated through the 7th and 8th innings, and in the 9th, Mike Trout scored on a Justin Upton single, courtesy of a Matt Joyce error.
Blake Parker made things really interesting in the 9th, allowing the first two runners to reach and allowing a run in his inning of work, but the baseball gods weren’t going to let Tyler Skaggs’ outing go to waste, and Matt Joyce rolled over to second to end the game.
Sean Manaea pitched 8 innings of 1-run ball, and he’s someone to watch this season (even if Mike Trout has his number).
Ian Kinsler left in the 9th inning after he slid awkwardly into second. He’s expected to get the day off tomorrow, and Luis Valbuena will probably slide in at third.
All in all, offense stagnant, starting pitching dealing, defense gold gloving, and bullpen inducing heart attacks. Your typical Angels win!
Panther of the Game?
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Mike Scioscia (for...managing, I guess)