Immaculate, just what the Angels needed. Richards’ nine-pitch, three strikeout immaculate inning was the highlight of his outing, but a straight up dominant performance was what this rotation desperately sought after a week of shaky rotation work including a few wobbly starts by Richards himself. Really, Richards was nearly flawless and was a strike-throwing machine. Well, at least in result. More than half of his pitches were out of the zone, as per usual, but his slider so sharp and his fastball had such great movement that he generated a ton of chases and whiffs out of the zone. The Angels bats took a little time to support him, but finally they did and finally the Angels have broken out of their slump… for now, at least.
Run Expectancy Rundown
David Freese was the big offensive force of the day, something that has already been said a few times since he came back. He’s been inconsistent, but there is now more than just a glimmer of hope with him. The same can’t be said for Raul Ibanez who did a lot in this game. Specifically, he did Jack and Shit. Meanwhile, C.J. Cron got the start against a righty and had two hits. Make of that what you will. Meanwhile, Hank Conger has fallen into a funk so deep that George Clinton with a miner’s helmet can’t even find him.
That is just incredible! Look at all those big bars on the negative side of the axis. Basically, Dexter Fowler and Chris Carter were OK and everyone else was bad. Nobody was awful. Nobody was “meh”. They were all right there at just bad.
Starting Pitcher Scores
Jarred Cosart was pretty solid in this game, but Garrett Richards was absolutely locked in. I already talked about it, but that immaculate inning he had was really just a microcosm for how good both his stuff and command was, which is a refreshing thing to see after his recent struggles. The only thing he didn’t do in this one was go the distance and I am kind of shocked Scioscia didn’t let him go for it (though I am glad he didn’t).
Joe Smith was perfect in his lone inning of work and the Houston bullpen was kind enough to surrender an insurance run. Other than that, the bullpens weren’t really factors in this game.
Even with Richards as good as he was, Cosart did fine job of holding the Angels in check early, so it wasn’t until the fifth inning that the win expectancy really started to move. But once it did, it quickly moved easily into the Angels’ favor, and smoothly so, showing how little of a threat Houston ever posed.
More immaculate innings, please.