The Los Angeles Angels called up Austin Warren to join their MLB bullpen as a part of the youth movement they started following the trade deadline. At just 25 years old, Warren had worked for four years in the Minors to get a chance at the big league level, and he’s certainly made the most of it so far.
His first three appearances out of the bullpen were solid. He gave up just one earned run and two hits over 3.2 innings of work, striking out five in the process. However, his fourth appearance on Friday against the L.A. Dodgers perhaps cemented his place among big league pitchers.
Warren came in with two outs in the seventh inning and a runner on first base. He forced a groundout to Albert Pujols to end the inning, then came back out for the eighth. In the eighth, he allowed one hit but no runs to keep the game at a 2-2 standstill. Given that he had already thrown 17 pitches, it was assumed he wouldn’t be back out for the ninth.
Then, all of a sudden, there Warren was back on the mound for the ninth inning. There, he faced the likes of Trea Turner, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner, putting together a 1-2-3 ninth in just 11 pitches to force extra innings.
The Angels won in the 10th, giving Warren a well-deserved first MLB win. After the game, Warren couldn’t contain his excitement over his best major league outing of his early career, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“It was awesome,” Warren said. “The fans were insane but it boosted my confidence a little bit more. I was ready to go. I wanted that ball in the ninth inning. I went out there and got the job done.”
“It was amazing,” Warren said. “Iglesias got in there and shut the door. I knew I had the win in my back pocket at the time. I came in and was named player of the game. And I went right into the cart and into the bathroom for a beer shower.”
Angels manager Joe Maddon was proud of Warren as well, as it was fairly obvious that the Angels don’t get that win without his 2.1 scoreless innings of work.
“Warren was the difference-maker in the game tonight,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “He comes out there and he’s emotionally under control. He has good stuff. It’s not like he’s been lucky right now.”
Warren has now thrown just six MLB innings. In that time, he’s allowed a total of one earned run, four hits, no walks, and five strikeouts. His contributions have been vital for an Angels team that is on a respectable four-game win streak.
Moving forward, performances like this not only guarantee his spot on the roster, but also his place as a high-leverage reliever. The Angels have spent all season searching for guys they can trust beyond Raisel Iglesias, and they may have found one in Warren.
Maddon credits Iglesias for close game success
The Angels are 20-9 in one-run games this season, the best win percentage in all of baseball. Maddon spoke about why they’ve been so good in those situations, and he went straight to Iglesias, who has been the Angels’ rock out of the bullpen. He now has 24 saves on the year, several of which spanned more than one inning.