3 Things We Learned From The Angels’ 7-6 Loss To Houston

Updated: May 5, 2017

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim came into tonight’s ballgame looking to get back on track. Despite it being a wild, seesaw-ish type game the Halos did not have enough magic in them. As a result, the Houston Astros obtained their 20th win of the year.

Right-handed hurler Jesse Chavez was on the mound for the Angels in this one in what marked his sixth start of the season. He squared off against one of the game’s very best in ace Dallas Keuchel. Chavez put up quite a fight in 6.1 innings of work and only surrendered four hits in the process. Three earned runs went against him tonight, yet he only had one prior to being removed from the action.

In this one slugger Albert Pujols obliterated the 595th home run of his career to deep center. In the ninth the Angels made a ferocious comeback and knotted up things at six apiece. A comeback so ferocious to the extent that it led to Keuchel being taken out. Later in the inning the lefty was handed the no-decision.

The tenth inning proved to be the difference maker when all was said and done. A two out RBI single off the bat of Carlos Correa was just enough for the Astros in the end.

Below are three more takeaways from tonight’s thrilling extra inning affair:

1. Jesse Chavez Shows He Is More Than A Pitcher

When pitchers are thought about, many may think their only responsibility is to pitch. After all, the term is literally within the title. However, it is important to bear in mind that they have to use the leather now and again. It is a very underrated part of their game, but that does not mean it should be totally forgotten about. In this evening’s game, Jesse Chavez put on display his above average ability to field. On three different occasions tonight, he fielded the ball cleanly on grounders back to the mound. The third time around he even helped induce an inning ending double play. It may seem like an insignificant, petty matter to focus on. The little things can sometimes make quite a difference, though.

2. Martín Maldonado Has Pop In His Bat After All

When Halos’ catcher Martín Maldonado is examined, what leaps out at one generally is his ridiculous throwing arm. It makes a plethora of sense because going into this contest his caught stealing percentage was at 40%. This number resides well above the league average. However, fans got a small taste of another aspect of his game tonight (even though it is surely not his best skill). In the bottom of the sixth the catcher hit a towering shot that found its way into the shrubbery in center. At that point in the game it gave the Angels a 2-1 edge on the Astros. It may have only been Maldonado’s first blast this year. At least it is known that it can be done. It is encouraging to see because the bottom of the order has been topsy-turvy most of the year.

3. Danny Espinosa Needs To Step It Up

Danny Espinosa has had his moments for the ball club this year. Most of the positive snapshots have often come in high leverage scenarios. In spite of that truth, Espinosa has been pretty disappointing in the batter’s box. Tonight was yet another example of how low he has stooped. In his last thirteen games, he has gone hitless in eleven of them. Eleven. Consequently, the second baseman’s batting average has dipped to an abysmal .150. Baseball is a game of streaks and that element will never change. But eventually something has got to give. Since April 13, he only has 1 RBI as well. He is flat out unproductive nearly every time he comes up. It is becoming tougher and tougher to bear.

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