Angels manager Joe Maddon has been preaching all season long that his team will only be as competitive as his pitching allows.
For yet another yet, the Angels hurlers never really gave their team a chance Thursday night. The San Francisco Giants teed off on Angel pitchers for 12 hits and a pair of homers in an easy 10-5 victory over the visitors at Oracle Park in San Francisco.
Because of another poor pitching performance, the worst start to a season in Angels franchise history at 8-18 continued through 26 games. The fact that this is a very short 60-game season isn’t lost on Maddon.
Before Thursday’s game, Maddon noted: “As we pitch, we win. We definitely have the ability to get on a hot streak, but you just can’t do that unless you pitch well enough to do that.”
On Thursday, the Angels had a 1-0 lead courtesy of an RBI single by red-hot third baseman Anthony Rendon. But no thanks to the pitching, that was the last time the Halos saw the lead.
Young Angels left-hander Jose Suarez was making his first start of 2020 and he didn’t last long.
Suarez gave up five runs on five hits and only lasted 48 pitchers, getting just four outs. Second baseman Wilmer Flores put the Giants on top with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first and San Francisco never looked back.
Right-hander Matt Andriese relieved Suarez and allowed another run for a 6-1 Giants lead.
Then Julio Teheran, the durable right-hander who was demoted to the bullpen this week as he tries to overcome a late start to the season due to a bout with coronavirus, entered the game and the Giants piled on. He gave up four runs over five innings.
Rendon, without criticizing the pitchers directly, got to the point.
“If our pitching is amazing and they only give up one or two runs, then our hitting goes stagnant,” Rendon said. “And if our hitting scores about seven or eight runs, unfortunately our pitching will give up eight or nine runs.
“So it’s just about finding where we are all on the same page.”
That hasn’t happened often enough.
In their eight wins, the Angels have seen their pitchers log an ERA of 2.96 this season.
In losses, however, the reverse in true. In those 18 losses, the staff ERA is 6.09.
Said Maddon: “I don’t want to bang on my pitching staff; I love these guys. But we have to pitch better. You don’t quit, you don’t cry, you don’t complain and you don’t point fingers. You just keep working. This is us together not going so well, and it’ll be us together when it does go well.”
Rendon had an RBI single in the fifth and after snapping an 0-for-21 streak on August 10, Rendon has been scorching hot, raising his average to .289 with six homers and 15 RBI.
Stassi had X-rays immediately on his knee and was diagnosed with a contusion.