3 Things We Learned from the Angels’ 5-1 Loss To Oakland

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Updated: April 6, 2017

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim played Game 4 out of 4 in their opening series versus the Oakland A’s on Thursday afternoon, ultimately losing by the final tally of 5-1. The Angels and A’s split the set provided that the A’s took the series opener on Monday. Slugger Albert Pujols produced their only run on a grounder up the middle in the third.

One encouraging sign headed into the ballgame was that southpaw Tyler Skaggs made his first start of the 2017 campaign. Last year and the year prior his availability was nowhere to be found in April as a result of his health. Although it’s nice seeing him pitch in April again, Skaggs’ command today was spotty at best. Innings such as the fourth and fifth went by pretty smoothly for him. However, a lot the rest of the time he was a tad off location wise. His final stat line is as follows: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, and 1 HR. He threw 89 pitches on the afternoon.

Let alone this, here are three additional takeaways from the final match of the AL West showdown.

  1. Mike Trout Is Human, Believe It Or Not

In the third inning of today’s ballgame, the Halos’ centerfielder made a very rare mistake. To use the word mistake in any sentence referencing Trout may seem unbelievable. But it did transpire. Maybe the wetness affected him? Either way, it did happen and change the pace of the game. It led to Oakland eventually knotting up the contest 1-1 at that specific stage. On a ball off the bat of shortstop Marcus Semien, what should have merely been a single instead resulted in extra bases. The Angels’ superstar miscalculated the direction of the ball and appeared to take his eyes off the target at the last second.

Third base coach Ron Roenicke appeared to briefly talk with Mike in the top half of the fourth inning about what happened. No animosity of any kind sprung up given that Trout looked very attentive during the short aside the camera crew caught. The fact that he was so attentive is crucial because it demonstrates the type of player the 25-year-old is. He will certainly do everything he can to not replicate the defensive mishap down the road. That is for sure. Do not doubt Mister Trout.

  1. C.J. Cron Wields Far More Than A Power Bat

Everyone knows that Angels’ first baseman C.J. Cron can wallop the seams off a baseball when he is on. Last year’s career highs of 16 home runs and 69 RBIs further validate that point. However, the boom in his bat is not the only positive about Cron’s game. His improved level of play on defense has been noticeable the entire series. In today’s game, the story was no different.

For instance, there was one sequence in the third inning when a ball off the stick of Rajai Davis looked like it was headed for the bleachers on the right side of the field. However, the ball managed to stay within reach interestingly enough. The Halos’ first baseman never gave up on the play and recorded the first out of the inning at that interval. He perhaps made an even better play the prior inning. It was an over-the-shoulder snag that the broadcast booth described as Willie Mays-esque in style. That being said, Cron’s best skill may be what he can do at the plate. Do not think he cannot flash the leather from time to time, though.

  1. Angels’ Rotation Not Pitching Deep Into Games

Today marked yet another instance that has become a bit familiar so far in 2017. No Angels’ pitcher has lasted a full six innings at this point. It is still extremely early beyond the shadow of a doubt. It accordingly seems a bit unfair to judge the team prematurely. However, the fact that Skaggs was the next man in line to not make it relatively deep into a game is a small concern to be sincere. It is quite reminiscent of last year’s ball club. It is dangerous territory to trek along since it puts unneeded pressure on the bullpen. This is part of the game, but it is unsafe to rely on the bullpen to come to the rescue all the time.

Right-hander Jesse Chavez is slated to be on the mound tomorrow when the Angels play their home opener versus the Seattle Mariners. Although no one was sure that he would be in the team’s rotation this year, Chavez was surprisingly effective throughout the spring. He very well may reverse the not so slightly trend tomorrow night. This would be ideal because the bullpen could use a little extra rest than they have been getting.

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