With the Los Angeles Angels on the road to face the playoff-bound Chicago White Sox, losses had to be expected. This is especially true considering the amount of inexperience that was going to be pitching for the team throughout the series.
On Tuesday night, Packy Naughton, Andrew Wantz, Oliver Ortega, and Kyle Tyler covered the nine innings. Between them — prior to Tuesday — they had made a total of 23 MLB appearances in their careers. Tyler was the only one that pitched well against the White Sox.
Naughton starting things out by allowing four earned runs on six hits and a walk over 2.2 innings. Then, Wantz allowed three runs on four hits and a walk over the next 1.0 inning. Finally, Ortega came in for 1.1 innings and allowed two runs on two hits, leading to a 9-3 loss.
This was Naughton’s first really bad start of his career, and he had a simple explanation for what went wrong against a high-powered offense, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“Just execution,” Naughton said. “It all comes down to execution. I wasn’t executing. Those fastballs were a little too in or a little too middle. You’ve got to try to limit that to limit the damage, which I didn’t do a good job of tonight, but on to the next one.”
Joe Maddon was happy with Tyler, who pitched three scoreless innings to close the game out, giving up just one hit and one walk.
“He really pitched efficiently, really composed out there,” Maddon said. “He’s thrown well to righties and lefties. He’s a strike-thrower. It would be more fun next time to put him in a tighter game.”
With young pitchers, some volatility is to be expected, especially when going up against one of the league’s better teams. It also didn’t help that the offense was completely silent outside of two swings from Jared Walsh and Phil Gosselin.
With two games left in the series, the Angels have more chances to play some competitive baseball against the AL Central leaders and put together stronger pitching performances.
Jaime Barria uneven in loss to Astros
He, like Naughton, is fighting for a spot in the 2022 rotation as the Angels have significant openings at the position currently.