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Halos Offense Never Reaches Home Plate against Houston

Despite a decent night of contact hitting by the Angels lineup, the offense remained scoreless while the Astros capitalized on every opportunity, scoring 10 runs throughout the night.

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Halos bats went cold against the Houston Astros on Monday night, and despite several solid attempts to escape the run deficit, the Angels offense never got hot enough to put them on the board and the bullpen faltered in the end, earning them a painful 10-0 loss for the first game in a 4-game series hosted at the Big A.

Much like their 3-1 loss on Saturday to the Oakland Athletics, the Angels lineup fell victim to a strong start from the opposing offense in the first inning. Jaime Barría (4.77 ERA) made his 10th start on the mound tonight, but before the defense had a chance to settle in, Astros center fielder, Jose Siri, hit his 4th HR of the season, and designated hitter Yordan Alvarez made it home off a line drive to center field hit by first baseman Yuli Gurriel.

The 2-run start put the Astros on the board, but the Halos lineup was not so lucky against Astros pitcher, Framber Valdez (3.07 ERA) who kept the Halos scoreless for 7 innings in his first start in 10 days. That is not to say that the bats were completely silent. The lineup made several attempts to reclaim the lead, but most of them ended with players stranded on base by Valdez.

Brandon Marsh (.254), David Fletcher (.272), Phil Gosselin (.264) and Luis Rengifo (.197) each made it on base with a hit, and Kurt Suzuki (.228) topped the hit counts with 2 total hits for the night, rounding out the Halot hit count to 6.

Unfortunately, the team was unable to follow through on a night of decent contact hitting as the Angels left 15 players on base.

Fletcher reclaimed his second place spot in the lineup tonight after spending yesterday in the number 9 spot, and the result was a night of more consistency at the plate than we’ve seen in previous games. Despite getting a late jump, the offense found themselves in a position to win the game several times, but they were unable to pull through. And while this might sound discouraging, the silver lining is that Joe Maddon’s changes to the lineup appear to be working in some capacity. As the season grinds to a close, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to fine tune the offense until he finds a formula that pushes the Halos past the plate to score more runs.

Despite the rough start, Barría did regain his control over the mound, and he put the Astros lineup to bed for four more innings before handing the game off to Jimmy Herget (3.68 ERA) after 5.1 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 0 BB and 1 HR. It appeared that the bullpen had everything under control from there with Mike Mayers (4.02 ERA) throwing a scoreless inning in the 7th. However, the power of the Astros lineup came full force in the top of the 8th with Carlos Correa, Marwin Gonzalez, Chas McCormick and Martin Maldonado (solo HR) crossing home plate to score 4 more runs against Angels pitcher Andrew Wantz (6.23 ERA).

Maddon called to the bullpen for the 9th inning, but Angels closer Jose Marte (9.82 ERA), who was recently activated from the injured list on Sept. 17, didn’t fare well against the first place lineup. The right-handed pitcher gave up a grand slam to Gonzalez which sealed the fate of the game with a 10-0 loss that the Angels offense was unable to compete with in the bottom of the 9th.

The Halos record now sits at 72-78. Your Angels will take the field tomorrow at 6:38 p.m. behind left-handed pitcher Packy Naughton (4.32 ERA) who is looking for his first win of the season.

Monday Night Notes & Notables

  • Joe Maddon said that Justin Upton is not likely to return for the rest of the season due a back injury.
  • Austin Warren was reinstated from the IL.
  • RHP Cooper Criswell was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake today after being recalled from the minors on Sept. 18.