Any worries that Matt Shoemaker‘s brilliant start last week was a one-off thing were washed away Friday night, as the right-hander’s encore performance proved to be just as good as the first. Shoemaker struck out 11 and allowed zero free passes in 8⅓ innings on Friday, making him just the third pitcher this season to strike out 10 or more and walk none in consecutive starts.
Run Expectancy Rundown
Most of the Angels’ offensive onslaught was limited to the six-run third inning, when the team notched six of its nine hits. Kole Calhoun dinked an RBI single down the line, Mike Trout blasted a three-run double off the wall, and Albert Pujols walloped a two-run home to cap things off. Johnny Giavotella was the only Halo to tally multiple hits, but Trout did walk twice on top of his double.
The Astros sprayed a few singles here and there, but that was it. Their only runs on the game came on a routine grounder to shortstop from Colin Moran that just happened to beat the shift. Why the Angels put an overshift on against a kid playing in his fifth big-league game? No idea.
Starting Pitcher Scores
Shoemaker is suddenly getting everything to work. He even hit 95 with his fastball! I don’t know what happened on his short trip back to Triple-A, but if he shows any signs of slipping in the future the Angels should have no qualms about sending him back there for a quick fix.
Mike Fiers was real bad, failing to reach the fifth inning for the first time this year. He now owns a 5.20 ERA, making him the fifth (!) Astros starter with an earned-run average over 5.00.
Cam Bedrosian was fine, he just fell victim to an unnecessary infield shift.
Chris Devenski was great for Houston, allowing just one hit over the final 4&13; innings of the game. Almost like he should have started the game.
A six-run inning tends to put a game out of reach.
Welcome back, Matt. We missed you.