On Friday night, the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Baltimore Orioles using their bats. Specifically, the bats of Shohei Ohtani and Jared Walsh. However, when the Orioles took those bats away on Saturday, it was up to Alex Cobb and the rest of Joe Maddon’s offense to make up for it.
Cobb responded beyond any reasonable expectation. The Angels starter allowed just four hits — all singles — to go along with one walk and one earned run. He struck out six en route to a 7.2-inning complete performance. Offensively, Juan Lagares, Phil Gosselin, and Walsh combined for four RBI’s in a 4-1 Angels win. Ohtani was walked three times.
This was a welcome sign from Cobb, who has uncharacteristically struggled with consistency this season. He spoke about what he needs to do to string together better starts such as Saturday’s moving forward, according to J.P. Hoornstra of The O.C. Register:
“I had this feeling of defeat after the game, not being able to string 3, 4, 5 quality starts together, which is what in the past I’ve prided my game on: being consistent and giving my team a chance to win every time I’m on the mound,” Cobb said. “There’s been a few games this year where I didn’t give my team a chance, came out early and burned the bullpen. You have to string together a month of these types of outings to put your team in a good position.”
Maddon praised Cobb by saying that he wants to see this type of outing from all of the Angels starters on a more routine basis.
“We need to get more starts like we saw today to get where we want to be,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “If we’re able to do that, we’ll be able to take some emphasis off the bullpen. Then you’re able to slot them like you like to.”
Cobb was the first Angels starter to pitch in the seventh inning of a game since Ohtani over two weeks ago. He was also the first Angels starter to pitch in the eighth inning since Dylan Bundy did it in September of 2020.
With this performance, the Angels got themselves back to .500 at 41-41. While they’d certainly like to be closer to a playoff spot, sporting an even record despite not having Mike Trout and a mightily struggling Anthony Rendon has to be a good sign moving forward.
Trout progressing steadily
While he won’t be back until at least the Angels’ second game after the All-Star Break, Trout assured fans that he was progressing well and beginning light baseball activity. He spoke about his rehab process and what it will take before he can be back in the lineup.