3 Things We Learned from the Angels’ 3-0 Loss To Houston

Updated: April 17, 2017

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim came into the night having lost five consecutive contests. In the series opener against the division rival Houston Astros, the nasty bug did not heal itself. The Astros shutout the Orange County squad by a final tally of 3-0.

Right-handed hurler Jesse Chavez  was on the hill today for the Halos. Chavez pitched seven rock solid innings this evening and allowed only a pair of runs in the process. In those seven innings he earned five strikeouts. Be that as it may, the offense never backed up his fine effort. In spite of giving themselves various opportunities, the Halos never manufactured a measly run. This marks the second straight game the team has not gotten a runner to cross home.

Here are three additional takeaways from this evening’s AL West matchup:

1. Angels Struggle To Capitalize On Opportunities

This past weekend the Angels’ offense fell asleep more or less. Only three runs were scored during that span, which is wholeheartedly unacceptable. Tonight, though, they at least gave themselves some opportunities to remedy that. However, the ball club failed to do a whole lot when a chance presented itself. In the first three innings alone, for example, the Angels left seven runners on base. The second inning in particular was a bit head throbbing to observe for the reason that the bases were juiced.

Tonight was only game number 14 of 162 on the season. Nonetheless, it is reasonable to ask for greater production when multiple opportunities are there to create considerable havoc. Getting to a pitcher early can be a confidence killer. The Angels did not make things easy for Charlie Morton by any means. His pitch count kept being elevated because the Halos found ways to get on base. The silly errors made by the Houston defense did not aid Morton, either, which partially explains why he only made it through five stanzas. That being said, it only increases the importance of needing to cash in when opportunities come. The Angels had a couple generous gifts tonight. Alas, they did not make the most of them.

2. Halos’ Pitching Making Strides Of Late

The Angels’ starting rotation has been rather shaky for the majority of 2017. Shaky may even be a fairly mild way of putting it. Generally speaking, their primary dilemma has been getting through a decent chunk of innings. It seems like in many of their starts four to five innings is the maximum. However, things have turned out to some degree. Tyler Skaggs spun a gem in the series finale yesterday by tossing seven scoreless frames. Today the trend was sustained by Chavez.

More starts along these lines are needed in the time to come. It is an absolute must. The starting pitching at large still remains questionable because of their consistent ineffectiveness. A couple good starts in a row is encouraging, though. More depth was necessary because of the overworked bullpen. Tonight was another case when a starter gave the bullpen a breather. It is perhaps the one bright spot to take note of after tonight’s game subsided. Because, let’s be completely honest, not a whole lot of excitement transpired this evening.

3. Simba Is One Heckuva Defender

This piece of information is not necessarily new news. Anybody who has had the privilege of seeing Andrelton Simmons discerns how skilled he is defensively. In the seventh inning of tonight’s game, fans got a glimpse of Simmons’ gift. On a grounder off the bat of Nori Aoki, Simmons recorded the first out with ease. It was nothing complicated. The second out, though, was anything but that to the average viewer at least. Simmons depended on his arm solely to make a perfect, sharp throw back to first. It may seem outlandish to focus on one sequence. But when the play is thought about carefully, it is certainly harder than it sounds. It is precisely why the play was given a second look to begin with. It paid off thankfully. Simba never ceases to amaze. That is for sure.

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