The Los Angeles Angels dropped the first of a three-game set against the Texas Rangers on Monday, with almost all of the damage against them coming in one inning. Joe Maddon rewarded ace Dylan Bundy for a solid five innings by allowing him to stay in the game after things got shaky in the sixth.
All in all, Bundy gave up five earned runs in 5.0 innings pitched in a 6-4 loss. Beyond the pitching, the offense struggled to get things going, as Rangers starter Kohei Arihara pitched 5.2 shutout innings. All four of the Angels runs came in the seventh, but by that time it was simply too late.
Maddon credited the Angels for fighting until the very last pitch, saying that they had some tough at-bats that just didn’t go their way, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“A lot of guys put up some really tough at bats,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “Some did not end up being a hit but they were great at-bats. We’ve been doing it all year. When your team fights till the last out there’s not a whole lot to lament.”
Maddon also placed some blame on the loss of two games due to COVID-19 related postponements for the Angels lack of rhythm at the beginning of the night.
“We didn’t need those days,” Maddon said. “It took us a little while to get the engine started up.”
The heart of the Angels order on Monday — Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, Justin Upton, and Jared Walsh — went a combined 2-for-15 with six strikeouts, one walk, and one RBI. This is hardly the production one would hope to see from one of the better two through five hitting groups in all of baseball.
After an unexpected two-game break, Maddon may have a point about struggling to find rhythm. However, using that as a potential scapegoat means that the bats must be more lively on Tuesday. The Angels face Rangers starter Jordan Lyles, who has a 4.7 ERA in 15.1 innings pitched this season.
Ohtani to pitch Tuesday
Ohtani will make his long anticipated return to the mound on Tuesday against the Rangers. The Angels have lost only one of the five series they’ve played this season, making Ohtani’s start a must-win if they want to continue that trend.