In a twist of matinee madness, the Angels offense and defense fell in sync beautifully on Thursday afternoon, with the Halos lineup supporting a strong performance by the bullpen led by Dylan Bundy. The final score of the game, 5-0, leaves the team with a .505 record and a solid 6 games back from the second AL Wild Card spot.
This game marked 3 out of 4 wins for the Halos against the Texas Rangers, and hopefully, the hype of the victory will follow the team back to Los Angeles as they prepare to take on the Dodgers in a three-game series on the Dodgers home turf.
Dylan Bundy pitched an impressive 6.1 innings, keeping the Rangers scoreless throughout his time on the mound. Bundy maintained a fastball-heavy approach throughout the game, exhibiting a sense of control and success that gave the batting lineup plenty of room to play, and the offense did not let Bundy down.
The bats came alive in the third inning with Adam Eaton recording his first home run in an Angels uniform. The right fielder put the Halos on the scoreboard, opening the door for Jack Mayfield and David Fletcher to get on base. While it was their competitive swings that put the ball in play, it was the Rangers’ errors that earned the Halos a few runs. A throwing error made by Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe allowed Captain Jack Mayfield to reach third base, and another error allowed him to score - a wild pitch by Spencer Howard. Catcher Max Stassi kept the scoring momentum going with a sacrifice fly that brought David Fletcher home, a fitting ending to a productive inning that left the Angels with a 3-0 lead.
Adam Eaton's first home run as an Angel! pic.twitter.com/C5Xg05EPQP— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) August 5, 2021
The Rangers pitching staff kept the Angels scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings when Taylor Hearn replaced DeMarcus Evans. Luckily for the lineup, the bullpen didn’t let up, and Bundy continued to pitch shutout innings to make up for the quiet offense.
Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh stepped up to the plate in the sixth inning with a perfect reminder of why the kids deserve to play. Adell’s single, followed by Brandon Marsh’s strategic bunt down the third-base line created a solid moment for José Iglesias, who seized the opportunity with a single that scored both Adell and Marsh.
Defensively, the field supported the bullpen with competitive outfield plays and solid infield work. Bundy made it to the sixth inning with a 6.14 ERA before handing the game over to Junior Guerra and Steve Cishek who kept the scoreboard blank. Originally, Maddon said that he didn’t have an exact pitch count or idea of when he would pull Bundy, but it would all be based on performance.
“With him, I’m just going to watch him and follow him and if he looks good at the delivery, if he’s still there, let him go,” Maddon said in a press conference before the game.
By the bottom of the 9th inning, a throwing error by Jack Mayfield threatened to throw the Halos into a downward spiral with runners on the corner and a Rangers lineup that was nearing its first batter. Joe Maddon made a quick call to the bullpen, bringing in A.L. Reliever of the Month, Raisel Iglesias, to save the inning with a clean strikeout against Rangers catcher Jose Trevino.
The Angels are now 55-54 with a .505 record as they head back to sunny Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium. The first game of that three-game series is tomorrow, Aug. 6 at 7:10 PM PST.
- Catcher Max Stassi increased his hitting streak to 9 games.
- Joe Maddon said in a pre-game press conference that he will be having a discussion with Jared Walsh about his injury, a right intercostal strain, to see if he will be ready to return to playing soon.