Don’t get me wrong, Mike Fiers has been good since May began. No one is denying that. You can’t take away a man’s 2.74 ERA over his last ten starts. Has he been “holding the Angels to 4 runs over 18.2 innings pitched in 2019” good? Maybe. I will admit that I don’t care enough to be certain. Again though, Mike Fiers has been good.
That being said, Mike Fiers is not a lefty. He is not a strikeout king. He is not excellent at home run prevention. He is not altogether opposed to walking and hitting a few guys. Mike Fiers should not be taking 3 consecutive W’s from the Angels’ offense.
Yet here we are.
It’s hard to imagine what the Angels could have done differently, but it felt like they just laid down and died. When Matt Olson swatted his second dinger of the game, driving in his 5th run of the night, the Angels didn’t even roll over in their grave. And they at least had a bit of elbow room to do so for a while there before the earth collapsed in on them.
The Angels had a leadoff hitter get on first in the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 9th innings while tacking on two more 1-out singles in the 6th and 7th innings. It isn’t too much to work with, but the guys trying to start these rallies were consistently David Fletcher and Shohei Ohtani, with Tommy La Stella and Rengifo sprinkled in. Of course, no attempted steals followed, no attempts to move runners over. There were multiple secondary leads not even taken. The dichotomy between last night’s aggressiveness and this was beyond extreme.
If it sounds like I’m jumbled and confused and don’t know where to take it from here, it’s because you are not wrong. The team is a confusing, streaking pile of garbage/legitimate contender showing the fire and talent of the best teams the franchise has ever had juxtaposed with the most unaffected, boring, and just overall bad play the fans have seen since the 2016 dumpster fire.
What else transpired that we can feel decidedly mixed about?
Felix Peña allowed 2 hits over 5 innings with 7 strikeouts! He also gave up 4 walks and a backbreaking 3-run homer.
Jonathan Lucroy had an RBI. We don’t know what he’s doing behind the plate and/or if he’s directly responsible for the terrible pitching performances we’ve seen all season, but he scored a run.
Ohtani also had a leadoff double in the 8th. He would make a baserunning error (that probably didn’t matter anyway) on a Pujols grounder to 3rd. At least he looked funny running into the left field grass to get away from the tag.
Luke Bard came in to mop up which is the perfect role for him. He gave up a 2-run shot that really put dreams of a comeback to rest.
The Pechanga Resort sign is no longer an issue! Maybe we need to move the rock pile now though so batters can see the ball come out of Mike Fiers’ hand. Speaking of handedness, the Angels face off against another dreaded soft-tosser tomorrow, the lefty Brett Anderson. Tyler Skaggs will get the start. Until then.