The Los Angeles Angels lost in extremely disappointing fashion on Friday to the Houston Astros. They blew two-run leads twice, once in the seventh inning and once in the 10th, completely disregarding a lights out performance from starting pitcher Andrew Heaney.
After a rough first outing against the Chicago White Sox in the season’s opening series, Heaney has quietly put together three great starts, the best of them coming against the Astros. In 6.1 innings of work, Heaney struck out 10, walked zero, and allowed only two hits.
He was pulled from the game after allowing a double in the seventh inning, but hadn’t yet allowed a run. His lone earned run came from a two-run home run allowed by Aaron Slegers on the very next batter.
Heaney said after the game that he feels great in all facets of pitching right now, saying things have only gotten better since his first start, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“I feel really good,” Heaney said. “It felt like I was commanding all three pitches. Keeping guys off the bases. It felt good. My first one didn’t go well, my second one was nice to get to alleviate a little pressure and get some confidence and now I’m just rolling with it. I like where I’m at physically, mechanically and mentally.”
Joe Maddon also made it a point to compliment Heaney’s fastball, praising its effectiveness despite not being in the upper 90’s in velocity.
“It’s such a good pitch,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “It doesn’t light up the gun with a large number, although I did see 95 [mph] one time. But it just reacts differently. It looks like it’s a 97-mph fastball from the side. I think the hitters will tell you it looks that way, also.”
Sadly, the Angels bullpen was unable to give Heaney any support after 6.1 lights out innings. Slegers two-run home run on the first batter he faced tied the game at two. Then, after scoring two more runs in the top of the 10th to make it 4-2, Raisel Iglesias gave up three in the bottom of the inning to lose the game 5-4.
Heaney has now allowed just three earned runs in his last 17.2 innings of work. This has come via just seven hits and five walks, but perhaps most impressive is his strikeout totals, sending 25 batters to the dugout with the punch-out.
Iglesias hoping to find the solution after second blown save
Angels closer Iglesias has now blown two saves this season, this time receiving a two-run cushion against the Astros. Of all the Angels inconsistency problems in the bullpen, Iglesias has been one of the biggest offenders. His outings range from lights out all the way to unable to get outs.
He said he feels confidence in his pitches, but needs to find the solution to this issue quickly.