Jaime Barria has looked like a new pitcher since rejoining the Los Angeles Angels rotation on July 25. He was brought in as a stopgap starter to get the rotation back to six, but stuck around when he pitched extremely well. In his first start, he allowed two home runs to his first two batters, then proceeded to throw seven shutout innings.
He continued the streak in his next outing by throwing 6.2 scoreless, making it 13.2 innings without allowing a run. That streak ended on Saturday against the L.A. Dodgers, when he gave up two first inning runs on RBIs by Max Muncy and Corey Seager. Barria was a no-decision on Saturday after allowing three runs over six-plus innings of work.
In Barria’s three starts, he’s allowed a total of five runs. Outside of a Cody Bellinger solo home run in the seventh inning against the Dodgers, all of his earned runs have come in the first inning. That’s something he plans to work on before he takes the mound next, via Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“I felt good about the way I bounced back,” Barria said through an interpreter. “I really need to work in the bullpen, be more aggressive in the bullpen so it can translate in the first inning and not come out to a slow start.”
While it is a small sample size of just three starts, the numbers are staggering. In first innings this season, Barria has a 12.0 ERA, allowing four earned runs, four hits, and two walks.
All of that is over just three first innings. In 17.2 non-first-innings of work, Barria has a 0.51 ERA, allowing one earned run, 10 hits, and four walks. In latter innings, he has been far more effective, and almost dominant.
If he wants to remain a part of the long-term rotation — which should be very attainable for him — he needs to work on not giving games away in the first inning. Starting a game with a deficit is a hard pill to swallow, and the Angels aren’t healthy enough offensively to muster up offensive production that easily.
Barria has shown he can be a big league starter, he just needs to survive the first inning.
Reid Detmers starting Sunday
As a part of the Angels youth movement, their 2020 first round pick, Reid Detmers, is on the mound against the Dodgers. After a difficult debut last weekend, Detmers will face one of baseball’s most talented lineups in what needs to be a bounce-back effort. Not only that, the Angels have a chance to win this series and the season series outright.