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Angels Week 1 review: An eventful opening weekend

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2 losses in 3 games so far in Oakland

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics
A perfect MLB photo for 2020
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The first week of the 2020 MLB season saw the Angels drop two of three games to the A’s in Oakland, a weekend full of firsts.

I know it’s weird to review a week that (a) was very short, having only started for the Angels on Friday; and (b) didn’t even include the entirety of the first series in Oakland, which stretches to Monday. Those are fair criticisms, but for sake of consistency we’re going to review each week ending Sunday, the usual end to the baseball week.

Sure, there’s nothing really normal about 2020, but consider this your weekly reminder that it’s Monday.

Batter of the week

David Fletcher had his third career four-hit game on Sunday against the A’s, and also stole the Angels’ first base of the season. Fletcher for the abbreviated week was 6-for-11 (.545) with a double and three RBI while filling in for the injured Anthony Rendon at third base.

Pitcher of the week

Dylan Bundy sparkled in his Angels debut, allowing a run while pitching into the seventh to beat Oakland on Saturday. He struck out seven, and walked none, and seemed in complete control all game. “He got up to 92-93 a couple of times, he maintained velocity, really utilized his changeup well, had the breaking ball strike,” Joe Maddon said after the game. “He had his fastball, curveball, slider change, all working. Great mound presence.”

Honorable mention goes to Matt Andriese, pressed into spot relief duty of Shohei Ohtani in the first inning Sunday. Andriese pitched 5⅔ scoreless innings, striking out five.

Week 1 results

1-2 record
11 runs scored (3.67 per game)
14 runs allowed (4.67 per game)
.391 pythagorean record

Miscellany

Rough opener: The Angels’ loss to the A’s on Friday night was their seventh consecutive Opening Day loss, the last four of which came in Oakland.

The 20-timers club: Albert Pujols started at first base on Friday, becoming the fifth player in major league history to make 20 Opening Day starts in his first 20 seasons, joining Carl Yastrzemski, Pete Rose, Frank Robinson, and Eddie Murray.

History: The Angels and A’s played the first extra-inning game of the 2020 MLB season on Friday, and as the road team the Angels were the first team to utilize the new rule, placing a runner on second base to start every half-inning after the ninth. Shohei Ohtani, who made the last out in the ninth inning, was the first player to be used in this role.

First time for everything: Mike Trout hit a three-run home run on Sunday for his first of the year, and 286th career blast. But amazingly, it was his first career home run hit on a 3-0 count. The reason? He very rarely swings in those counts.

Per Baseball-Reference, Sunday was Trout’s 16th swing in a 3-0 count in his career, in 211 such plate appearances. Removing the 96 intentional walks, that’s 16 swings in 115 opportunities in a 3-0 count, roughly 14 percent of the time. Trout in his career on a 3-0 count is 2-for-6 with a home run, a hit by pitch, and 206 walks, good for a line of .333/.976/.833.

A rough first time back: In his first start on the mound in nearly 23 months, Shohei Ohtani did not record an out on Sunday in Oakland. He allowed single, walk, walk, walk, single, single to his six batters faced, and allowed five runs. Amazingly, that’s not an Angels record for most batters faced in a start without recording an out. Joe Grahe (1991), Hilly Hathaway (1993) and Jason Grimsley (1996) each faced seven batters in ill-fated starts for the club before departing. All three allowed seven hits to their seven batters faced. Ohtani tied Rudy May, who had a pair of six-batter, no-out starts, one in 1972 and another in 1973.

Transactions

Tuesday: Jacob Rhame cleared waivers and was sent outright to the alternate training site in Long Beach, removing him from the 40-man roster.

Thursday: In setting the Opening Day roster, relief pitchers Jacob Barnes and Hoby Milner were added from their minor league deals, and pitcher Ryan Buchter, outfielder Michael Hermosillo, and infielder Jared Walsh were recalled. In addition, Justin Anderson was placed on the 45-day injured list after having Tommy John surgery.

Game results

Week 1 batting

Player AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB BA OBP SLG OPS
Player AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB BA OBP SLG OPS
Fletcher 11 1 6 1 0 3 1 1 0.545 0.538 0.636 1.175
Trout 10 1 3 0 1 4 0 1 0.300 0.385 0.600 0.985
Goodwin 7 2 3 0 0 1 0 1 0.429 0.500 0.429 0.929
Castro 7 1 1 0 1 1 0 2 0.143 0.333 0.571 0.905
La Stella 12 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 0.167 0.231 0.250 0.481
Upton 12 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0.083 0.083 0.333 0.417
Simmons 12 2 2 1 0 1 0 0 0.167 0.167 0.250 0.417
Ohtani 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.200 0.200 0.200 0.400
Pujols 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.111 0.000 0.111
Starters 84 9 19 3 3 11 1 7 0.226 0.287 0.369 0.656
Stassi 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.667
Hermosillo 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.500
Ward 6 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.167 0.167 0.167 0.333
Walsh 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Thaiss 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Bench 19 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.158 0.158 0.158 0.316
Offense 103 11 22 3 3 11 1 7 0.214 0.265 0.330 0.596

Week 1 pitching

Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Bundy 1 1-0 6.7 3 1 1 0 7 1.35 0.450
Heaney 1 0-0 4.7 2 1 1 0 6 1.93 0.429
Ohtani 1 0-1 0.0 3 5 5 3 0 inf inf
Starters 3 1-1 11.3 8 7 7 3 13 5.56 0.971
Andriese 1 0-0 5.7 3 0 0 1 5 0.00 0.706
Mayers 1 0-0 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.000
Bedrosian 1 0-0 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.000
Barnes 1 0-0 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0.00 1.000
Middleton 1 0-0 0.3 1 0 0 1 0 0.00 6.000
Buchter 1 0-0 0.3 0 0 0 1 1 0.00 3.000
Ramirez 2 0-0 1.7 1 1 1 2 0 5.40 1.800
Robles 2 0-1, SV 2.3 1 3 2 1 3 7.71 0.857
Buttrey 2 0-0 1.7 4 2 2 2 0 10.80 3.600
Milner 1 0-0 0.0 1 1 1 0 0 inf inf
Bullpen 13 0-1 15.0 12 7 6 10 11 3.60 1.467
Totals 16 1-2 26.3 20 14 13 13 24 4.44 1.253

The week ahead

The Angels finish off their series in Oakland on Monday afternoon, then return to Anaheim for their home opener on Tuesday night against the Mariners. The Astros come to town next weekend to finish off the homestand. Pitching matchups after Monday are mostly estimated.

Week 2 schedule

Mon, Jul 27 Tue, Jul 28 Wed, Jul 29 Thu, Jul 30 Fri, Jul 31 Sat, Aug 1 Sun, Aug 2
Mon, Jul 27 Tue, Jul 28 Wed, Jul 29 Thu, Jul 30 Fri, Jul 31 Sat, Aug 1 Sun, Aug 2
at A's vs. Mariners vs. Mariners vs. Mariners vs. Astros vs. Astros vs. Astros
12:40 pm. 6:40 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 6:40 p.m. 6:10 p.m. 4:07 p.m. 1:10 p.m.
Canning Sandoval v. Heaney v. Bundy v. Andriese v. Canning v. Ohtani v.
v. Bassitt Sheffield (L) Dunn Gonzales (L) Greinke James Valdéz (L)
FSW FSW FSW/ESPN FSW FSW Fox FSW