By all measures of good starting pitching, Patrick Sandoval should have had a quality outing in the Los Angeles Angels’ loss to the Seattle Mariners. He pitched seven innings for the second start in a row, while striking out an impressive nine batters. However, when he left the game at the top of the eighth, the Angels were losing 6-2.
Errors and other difficult defensive miscues haunted them in the first inning, leading to two unearned runs. Then, a solo home run by Luis Torrens made it a three-run game. Finally, the Mariners blew it wide open when Ty France hit a three-run home run with two outs in the fifth inning.
Sandoval was unhappy with the mistake pitches that resulted in four earned runs, saying that he paid for it with the loss, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“I felt like I didn’t make a couple good pitches and I paid for it,” Sandoval said. “I’m happy with the way I finished. The last couple innings were encouraging. I’m just bummed that six runs doesn’t really give us a chance to win.”
Sandoval did find a silver lining in retiring the last seven batters he faced, saying that it showed his ability to move past mistakes and still give quality innings to his team.
“I thought it was a good learning experience,” Sandoval said. “Stuff was not going my way this game. I didn’t have my best stuff in those middle innings. My velo was down. But I just found a way to get through it and the guys behind me were making great plays. I think it’s just the mentality of not giving in when things aren’t going your way, and I think that was the biggest thing today.”
Sandoval has been extremely reliable since being moved to the starting rotation midway through the first half of the season, and that absolutely shouldn’t change after one rocky start. The fact that Sandoval got through seven innings despite the home runs he gave up is impressive and shows the type of pitcher he is.
If the Angels want to make a push for the playoffs, they need their starting pitching to have the confidence to go out and give seven innings of work every night.
David Fletcher loses hit streak
After 26 games of getting at least one hit every night — and a historic eight-game stretch at the end — David Fletcher finally went hitless over the course of a game. He went 0-for-5 on Sunday against the Mariners, leaving him two shy of the longest hit streak in Angels history.