3 Things We Learned From The Angels’ 8-7 Loss To Toronto

Updated: April 22, 2017

After a head-shaking road trip the Angels came home with the goal of getting back into the swing of things. Alas, the goal was not fulfilled. Consequently, the Angels have now lost 9 of their last 10.

Righty Alex Meyer made his season debut for the Halos this evening. After a relatively inconsistent spring, Meyer attained the start in order to give the rest of the staff an extra days’ rest. At points in the contest his stuff looked spot on. On the other hand, he had other points where his command was way off target. It is why Meyer only made it through 3.2 innings of work.

Cleanup specialist Albert Pujols kicked off the scoring for the Halos after the bases were juiced in the third. On a 2-2 pitch from Mat Latos, Pujols quickly turned on the inside pitch and smacked it down the left field line for a huge bases clearing double. In the fifth, Mike Trout increased his team’s lead with a missile that cleared the wall in right center. It was Trout’s fifth round-tripper in 2017.

The next inning presented a scary-ish scenario for the Angels. Yunel Escobar departed the game after said inning after an at-bat in which he experienced a wild pitch. Escobar finished his plate appearance, but on that wild pitch Esky appeared to be in some kind of pain after he tried to get out of the way of it. Utility man Cliff Pennington replaced Escobar in the seventh.

In the eighth, Toronto took the lead again. After a shaky outing from Bud Norris, closer Cam Bedrosian gave up a sharp double down the right field line. The score converted to 5-4 Blue Jays at that point in time. Pinch hitter Jefry Marté knotted things up in the bottom half of the inning on a play that the Jays challenged. Their challenge was in vain.

Not a whole lot else happened until the thirteenth. With two men on base for Toronto, José Bautista slugged a three-run homer off Jesse Chavez. Chavez was initially scheduled to pitch in Sunday’s ball game. Needless to say, desperate times call for desperate measures. Bautista’s clutch hit was the nail in the coffin in this one.

The Angels did not give up, though. They did not go down without a fight. In the bottom portion of the 13th, Kole Calhoun lined a RBI single to left to get the Halos within two. Trout was hit by a pitch straight thereafter, leading to another run. That was as close as the Angels got. It was not enough in spite of their best efforts in what was quite a wild finish.

Three more tidbits that can be extracted from tonight’s ballgame are as follows:

1. The Two Sides Of Alex Meyer

Alex Meyer’s potential is not in question. It is precisely why he was of the guys in the fold for the last spot in the starting rotation in spring. His fastball is arguably his best, nastiest weapon and ranges from the mid-to-upper nineties. One of his strikeouts came via the fastball tonight, catching Russell Martin off guard on a check swing. However, that same pitch can sometimes be his biggest enemy as odd as that is to hear. This is why (for the most part) he did not make the Opening Day roster and only lasted so long tonight.

In the third inning tonight, the 27-year-old walked the first two batters he faced. What is slightly more concerning about the pair of sequences is that a total of 18 pitches were thrown. Those same two batters eventually scored later in the inning to give Toronto the early edge. The latter of the pair scored, though, on a wild pitch of his. It was yet another example of Meyer’s not so great side. The next inning presented similar issues for the right-handed hurler. It looked like his arm and body action kept getting out of sync. Due to this, Meyer’s pitch count skyrocketed in a short span of time. This inefficiency caused Scioscia to pull the plug.

2. Angels’ Defense Is Good, But Goofs Will Happen

In the sixth inning, the Angels’ defense was not up to par. This may seem like a typo to some provided that the squad carries so many excellent defenders. Even though this is true, the team did indeed make a couple silly blunders this evening. The defensive mishaps resulted in a run for the Blue Jays, bringing the score to 4-3 ultimately at that stage. With one out in the frame, Escobar misplayed a high pop off the bat of Troy Tulowitzki. Thus, what should have been a quick first two outs led to more trouble later in the stanza. The mistake definitely came back to haunt the Angels to some extent.

A pair of batters later Justin Smoak grounded into a force out. However, he reached first on a high, crooked throw from shortstop Andrelton Simmons. This particular error was the more surprising one out of the two because Simmons rarely makes mistakes. His arm is an absolute weapon and is one that is normally accurate. If anyone needed any proof that Simmons is not perfect, well, here you go. Do not plan on any additional proof any time soon, though. Bad throws are not in Simba’s DNA.

3. Yusmeiro Petit May Be Long Reliever Angels Need

Because Alex Meyer did not have his best stuff tonight, the Angels’ bullpen needed to step up. This is not the first time such an occurrence has happened this year for the ball club by any means. Thankfully for the bullpen, the starting pitching had a stronger week in terms of getting deeper into games. Tonight the luck reversed. Yusmeiro Petit did not seem to mind the extra work load tonight. In what has already been a solid 2017 campaign, Petit pitched three fine innings. He only coughed up one hit and the only run he surrendered was unearned. The right-hander pitcher also picked up four K’s in his time on the bump.

Game two of the series is tomorrow evening at 6:07 PST. Southpaw Tyler Skaggs is slated to start for the Halos.

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