3 Things We Learned From The Angels’ 8-5 Victory Over Oakland

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Updated: April 26, 2017

The Angels came into tonight winners of their last two contests. Make that number three. In a game where there was a combined 25 hits, the Halos outlasted the Athletics 8-5.

The instantly recognizable Matt Shoemaker toed the rubber for the Halos in this one. In his fifth start of the 2017 campaign, Shoemaker did okay. He only allowed two runs in the first inning. Otherwise, Shoemaker was unscathed. Be that as it may, Shoe’s five innings were not too easy to get through. It was an inefficient night for him as he got behind in various counts. He threw exactly 100 pitches in his outing. It was definitely a grind. In spite of the inefficiency, Shoe attained his first win in 2017.

Oakland dealt with some strings of adversity early on in this one. After only a pair of innings on the mound, A’s starter Sean Manaea was replaced by Frankie Montas. Manaea apparently left the game as a result of shoulder tightness.

Perhaps the biggest story tonight regarding the Halos was the hitting in general. This is an area the team has not fared in all too well since those first eight games. Tonight was anything but that, though. It was an absolute barrage. Third baseman Yunel Escobar was the only player that did not join the hit parade.

With the second game of the series now in the books, here are three more takeaways from this one worth bearing in mind.

1. Big Bats Not The Only Ones Producing

Mike Trout and Albert Pujols have been the primary RBI men for the Halos this year. As a result, the sheer depth of the lineup has not always demonstrated itself. Tonight was a case, though, where fans got a glimmer of what could be for the bottom half of the order. It is a part of the lineup that has not been consistently reliable up to this point, but tonight’s display shows that the big bats will not always be the only ones putting up runs.

In the third frame, for example, a quartet of hits (three of which were extra base hits) from that part of the order led to a total of three runs. At that stage of the ballgame, it gave the Angels a 3-2 edge over the opposition. Because guys like Mike and Albert have done much of the heavy lifting this year, it is encouraging to see some much needed backup support. As dependable as Mike and Albert tend to be in the batter’s box, assistance is crucial now and again.

2. Bullpen Shoulders Hefty Workload Yet Again

In the last week and a half the Halos’ starting pitching has gotten better collectively. Various starters have gotten deeper into games, which has helped out the bullpen. However, tonight was a step back from the recent trend. What happened so often earlier in the year came about insofar as the bullpen having to absorb extra innings. Given the circumstances of pitchers like Huston Street, Andrew Bailey, and Cam Bedrosian being on the DL, too much work is not ideal for the bullpen.

The team thankfully carries arms such as Yusmeiro Petit who can make it through multiple innings. Several instances of this have already occurred this year, and tonight was no different. Nevertheless, the further starters can get into the game, the better. The multi-inning options are there, yet five innings is not the type of night the team needed from Shoemaker. It is reasonable to want a little more from the bearded hurler. The bullpen exists for a reason, but only so many innings can be devoured.

3. Marté Making Logjam Situation Tougher To Endure

Jefry Marté’s overall numbers may not be too striking, but in tonight’s performance he made some solid contact. Because of the fact that left-handed bat Luis Valbuena is bound to return sometime in May, either Marté or C.J. Cron is likely headed for the minors. It is unavoidable. It is one of those classic “is what it is” scenarios. The platoon can only last so much longer, so any time a game like this occurs the decision will only become tougher once Valbuena returns from his rehab assignment.

Ricky Nolasco is scheduled to pitch in tomorrow’s series finale for the Angels. First pitch is set to occur at 7:07 p.m. The Halos will be hoping to get the brooms out of the closet and sweep their AL West rival.

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