On June 21 against the Kansas City Royals, Reid Detmers allowed five runs on five hits and two walks over five innings pitched in what wound up being a 12-11 loss for the Los Angeles Angels. Shortly after, Detmers was demoted to Triple-A, and was skipped over in the rotation twice.
He then returned on July 8 against the Baltimore Orioles, and has since been a completely different pitcher. He continued that trend on Saturday night in the second game of a doubleheader with the Seattle Mariners. Detmers tossed 7.0 innings, giving up just one run on six hits and a walk, striking out seven in the process.
It was Detmers’ second consecutive start of seven innings and only one earned run allowed. Interim manager Phil Nevin expressed pride in the young pitcher, who has taken significant leaps in recent weeks, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“He was awesome,” said interim manager Phil Nevin. “You’re seeing a really good one growing before our eyes. He’s making the adjustments on the mound. Today he was able to lay in changeups behind in the count and his slider was what it’s been his last few times out.”
Perhaps his most impressive moment came at the end of the seventh inning. After allowing singles to J.P. Crawford and Luis Torrens — and reaching the century milestone on his pitch count — he took Sam Haggerty to a full count before striking him out with a slider.
“That was huge,” Detmers said. “I wanted to finish the seventh. I didn’t know if the pitch count was going to let me. But I got out of it and got some swings-and-misses, so it felt good.”
Detmers has put up staggering numbers in his last five starts since returning from Triple-A. He has pitched 31.0 innings in that time, and has posted a 1.16 ERA, a 0.935 WHIP, and 38 strikeouts to just 10 walks. As Nevin says, it’s the sign of a pitcher growing up in front of our eyes.
Of course, everyone remembers Detmers’ no-hitter from earlier this season. It takes a great pitcher to throw a no-hitter, but it was clear from the starts on either side of that outing that Detmers still had plenty to learn about his own game.
He is now making the necessary adjustments and the results are following. It also helped, on Saturday night, for Detmers to get run support in the form of five runs. The Angels ultimately wound up winning 7-1, and hold a 2-1 series lead heading into Sunday’s finale.
Patrick Sandoval battles in winning effort
It wasn’t among Patrick Sandoval’s best performances, but he was proud of the way he managed traffic on the base paths against the Mariners on Friday night. Of course, there were times he felt he got lucky with the Angels defense bailing him out.
But regardless, Sandoval managed to toss 5.1 scoreless innings despite allowing four hits and two walks and the Angels got the victory.