Prior to the Los Angeles Angels’ three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, the home team had not won a game in 18 tries. They put their best effort forward in the first game, forcing Joe Maddon to exhaust some key bullpen options, but still lost 14-8.
Injuries and COVID-related issues completely depleted what was already a thinned pitching staff, and it caught up to them on Wednesday. Shohei Ohtani was expected to give significant innings, but could only go five. The bullpen allowed six runs and lost the game, the Orioles first win in 20 tries.
Then on Thursday, Jaime Barria only mustered 3.1 innings of work, meaning the bullpen was again tasked with getting through a close game. Elvis Peguero — making his MLB debut — allowed five runs in 0.2 innings. Jake Petricka struggled for the second night in a row, and the bullpen allowed a total of 12 runs over 5.2 innings.
Maddon did not sugarcoat what went wrong for the Angels during Thursday’s embarrassing loss or over the whole series, according to Savannah McCann of MLB.com:
“Tough last day,” manager Joe Maddon said after the 13-1 loss to the Orioles. “We got to get our bullpen straight. Our pitching, our starting pitching, everything about our pitching needs to get straightened out again.”
“That’s why I talk about the interconnectivity of everything,” said Maddon. “You just can’t look at today and just say, ‘Well, that’s really bad.’ It was connected to yesterday, which was connected to the first game here. And that’s my perspective.”
The Angels have had bullpen problems all year long. However, the starters have actually been okay, and have at the very least done a decent job of eating innings. However, with Patrick Sandoval, Alex Cobb, Dylan Bundy, and Reid Detmers all on IL for various reasons, the Angels don’t have many places to turn for innings.
Jose Marte and Austin Warren are also on the IL for COVID-related reasons, taking two of the better options away from the bullpen for the time being. All of this leads to a bad combo of starters not making it far into games and the bullpen having to give more than it’s capable of.
The Orioles took advantage in a big way, winning their first series in a very long time.
Brandon Marsh seeing progression
Perhaps the only saving grace of a dismal Orioles series was Brandon Marsh, who capped off a remarkable road trip with some great individual performances.
For the series, Marsh went 7-for-13 with a home run, seven RBIs, and an OPS of 1.308.