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Taxed Angels bullpen faces test with doubleheader

Angels relievers averaging 4.47 innings per game, 5th-most in MLB

MLB: AUG 24 Angels at Astros Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to doubleheader day in Houston, with Hurricane Laura set to wreak havoc in the area this week. As such, the Angels and Astros will attempt to play three games in roughly a 24-hour period.

Wednesday’s doubleheader begins at 1 p.m. PT, and Thursday’s now series finale was moved up to a 10 a.m. PT start. So get ready for tons and tons of baseball in a short span.

UPDATE: On Tuesday morning, MLB postponed Wednesday’s game too. Instead, the Angels and Astros will play a doubleheader on Saturday, September 5 in Anaheim, with the Angels the home team in Game 1 and the Astros the home team in Game 2.

One red flag of a doubleheader is that the Angels bullpen might get overworked yet again. Halos relievers average 4.47 innings per game this year, fifth-most in the majors. Five Angels relievers threw 4⅓ innings in Monday’s series opener, a total that doesn’t count the scoreless inning thrown by catcher Anthony Bemboom in the eighth.

Hansel Robles, Noe Ramirez, and Mike Mayers have each pitched the last two days. So far this season for the Angels, only Hoby Milner has pitched three straight days, doing so July 29-31.

The saving grace is that doubleheaders this season consist of two seven-inning games, so perhaps that will lessen the burden on the bullpen.

Jose Suarez starts the first game for the Angels, looking to rebound from recording only four outs while allowing five runs in San Francisco on Thursday. The left-hander has allowed 24 home runs in 82⅓ major league innings, including three against the Astros in four outings last year, allowing eight runs in 15 innings.

Julio Teheran gets pressed into starting duty in Game 2, somehow pitching even more innings after he got demoted to the bullpen. He pitched five innings in relief after that short Suarez start Thursday, longer than any of his first three starts this season. Home runs have been the bugaboo for Teheran as well, allowing five in 13 innings this season, along with 15 runs, seven walks, and eight strikeouts.

This is the first doubleheader for the Angels in a little more than a year. On August 20, 2019, they played two games against the Rangers in Arlington, including the makeup game from when Tyler Skaggs died in July.

Game 1 info

Time: 1:05 p.m. PT

TV: Fox Sports West