The Los Angeles Angels have enjoyed some success from their starting pitching early in 2022, and that continued with a spectacular performance from Michael Lorenzen on Sunday.
On April 18, Lorenzen only lasted 3.1 innings against the Houston Astros but bounced back with six shutout innings against the Cleveland Guardians in his next start. His most recent outing against the Chicago White Sox yielded ace-like results after 8.1 innings of three-run ball.
He almost went the distance, but at around the 100 pitch mark, he got into some trouble that ended the day for the right-hander.
Lorenzen said that he felt great and didn’t have to strain too hard on Sunday, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“I didn’t throw too many stressful pitches.” Lorenzen said. “I was trying to get them to get themselves out on the on the ground and a lot of weak contact. I felt good. I didn’t really reach back, maybe reached back three
After agreeing to a one-year contract with the Angels in the offseason, manager Joe Maddon reaffirmed Lorenzen’s statement about feeling his best as a starting pitcher instead of the bullpen, where he’s spent most of his time in the big-leagues:
“Lorenzen was outstanding, and I really felt strongly about him finishing that thing up,” Maddon said. “and of course it went away.
That would have been Lorenzen’s first complete game of his career and would have been a nice feather in the cap for a big piece to the Angels’ rotation going forward.
“That last inning kind of motivated me for the next start,” Lorenzen said. “It’s a nice little punch in the face to keep me motivated for my next start.”
Lorenzen has posted a 3.04 ERA with a 3-1 record in four starts this year and has limited opponents to a .212 batting average in 23.2 innings.
Starting is a ‘Dream Come True’ for Lorenzen
The Angels were focused on upgrading their rotation this offseason and signed Lorenzen, along with Noah Syndergaard, as part of their reworked rotation that also includes Shohei Ohtani and a trio of young southpaws in Reid Detmers, Patrick Sandoval, and José Suarez.
While Lorenzen has pitched in 295 career games, only 26 of them have come as a starting pitcher, with 21 of those coming in 2015. However, Lorenzen was determined to start and believed he made improvements that will help him meet his goal.
The rotation has been a consistent problem for L.A. over the past few seasons, and they are already showing their importance early in the season. If the team is able to get back to the playoffs this season, there is a good chance Lorenzen and will be a big part of their success.
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