For probably the first time all season, almost every Angels fan’s eyes were glued to their screens during the defensive side, as top Angels pitching prospect Griffin Canning made his major league debut. Compounding the interest in the top half of each inning was the presence of Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., who is worth tuning in for even if he was playing against someone like the Kansas City Royals.
The question on everyone’s minds was who of the two incredibly exciting prospects would win the day. As Vladito stepped up to the plate, he was greeted by an ovation as loud as if he was there in Angel red. Each pitch, whether in favor of Canning or Vlad, came with raucous cheers. And at the end of the day, Canning would sit down Guerrero swinging. It looked like this.
Griffin Canning blew a fastball past Vlad Guerrero Jr. for a strikeout.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) May 1, 2019
All the prospect buzz. pic.twitter.com/niumKiql9E
In fact, for much of the first 3 innings, Canning looked not just good, but stellar. His breaks were tight, his fastball was well-placed, and his line (sporting 5 consecutive strikeouts) looked sweet.
Here are some looks at the best of his debut.
First swinging strike of Griffin Canning's MLB career. pic.twitter.com/Dn3BgVsnCh— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) May 1, 2019
Griffin Canning’s got feel for his slider tonight. pic.twitter.com/lKjD0YTMle— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) May 1, 2019
Griffin Canning's filthy 89 mph slider to Vlad Jr. pic.twitter.com/uqpAU7Gzp2— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) May 1, 2019
While he would get knocked around a little bit his second time through the order, this was fun. He looked as good as any 22-year old out there for a while, and this game lived up to the hype.
However, the Angels have a player who refuses to be upstaged. Brian Goodwin was playing today. The son of the only Angels Hall of Famer could not take away the spotlight. The first ever start of many for Griffin “Red Dragon” Canning was unable to steal the show. Even a Jonathan Lucroy redemption shot to pull ahead was not enough. Brian Goodwin is what baseball is all about. Here he is making the game fun— in Spanish to make sure Senior would read it.
Credit to the Angels bullpen as well, pitching 4.2 innings with 1 hit, 2 walks, and 0 runs allowed to easily close out the game. Bedrosian continued to be solid, Anderson recovered perfectly, Buttrey looked downright nasty, and Robles quickly worked around a walk to Guerrero Pequeño to shut it down.
This was probably one of the first close games that we’ve won handily in spirit this season. I know this pun gets old, but it actually did feel like a “goodwin” this time.