For the first time in eight years, the Angels are 1-0, and they’ll send Andrew Heaney to the mound to try to make it two wins in a row against the White Sox on Friday night in Anaheim.
Sure it was just one game, but Thursday looked an awful lot like the formula the Angels are looking for this year. They got a quality start from Dylan Bundy, and three scoreless innings of relief to close it out, including a spotless ninth inning from new closer Raisel Iglesias.
The relief trio of Aaron Slegers, Mike Mayers, and Iglesias struck out four in their three innings, allowing only a walk and a single. Again it was only one game, but after a year with more blown saves (14, most in MLB) than saves (12) as a team, Thursday provided a welcome sight for the Angels.
Last year the Angels had 15 quality starts — at least six runs, no more than three earned runs allowed, exactly what Bundy allowed Thursday — which tied for 19th in MLB. Six of those were by Bundy in 2020, most on the team. Andrew Heaney was next on the team with four such starts, and he gets the ball on Friday night.
In the last three years, Heaney had a 3.67 ERA in 29 starts at home, compared to a 5.21 mark on the road.
The last time the Angels won their first two games was in 2007, when they started 3-0. The club record for best winning streak to open a year is 5-0, set in 1970.
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel starts for Chicago on Friday. The Angels had a 102 wRC+ against southpaws in 2020, compared to 112 against righties. They had a 9-10 record in games against left-handed starting pitchers, compared to 17-24 against righties.
Daron Sutton will call play-by-play Friday, as well as every game on Bally Sports West through the end of the homestand. Matt Vasgersian’s Angels debut — aside from calling Sunday’s national game for ESPN — will come on the team’s road trip next week.
Teams: Angels vs. White Sox
Location: Angel Stadium
Time: 6:38 p.m. PT
TV: Bally Sports West