The Angels offense would have you believe the reason they were held to just two hits Wednesday against rookie flamethrower Michael Fulmer and the Tigers is that the shadows hanging over the area between home plate and the mound wreaked havoc on their hand-eye coordination. Never mind that their opposition managed 10 hits against an arguably tougher foe (Matt Shoemaker) in the same conditions, or that the Halos had ample time to familiarize themselves with their home park’s quirks, it was definitely the mid-afternoon shadows’ fault.
In reality, the Angels were held at bay not by tricks of light but by one of MLB’s more promising young arms. Sure, the shadows probably made it more difficult to pick up Fulmer’s slider, but let’s not pretend the kid wasn’t totally on his game. Sometimes, you really do have to just tip your cap.
Run Expectancy Rundown
The Angels got no-hit through 6&23; innings, but thanks to Shoemaker were still one or two good swings away from tying the game or taking the lead. Unfortunately, those good swings never came. C.J. Cron (single) and Gregorio Petit (double) had the only hits on the night, and three others walked. Albert Pujols pinch-hit in the eighth with a chance to tie the game, but seemingly no one warned him about Fulmer’s slider. He was gone in three pitches.
Jose Iglesias, Victor Martinez, and Nick Castellanos all had multi-hit games, but its Ian Kinsler atop the RE24 chart again thanks to the timeliness of his (RBI) single in the fifth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with the only other RBI hit of the day in the sixth.
Starting Pitcher Scores
Shoemaker got dinked and dorked around a bit, but still pitched well enough to go seven and lock in his third straight quality start. With eight strikeouts and no walks Wednesday, the Cobbler set a franchise record for most strikeouts without a free pass. He’s now fanned 33 since his last walk, a streak that spans three-plus starts.
Fulmer was just as good as Shoemaker on Sunday, but also managed to get all the bounces to go his way. The rookie right-hander has now allowed just one run in his last 22.1 IP. Things he’s figuring this MLB thing out.
Javy Guerra got charged with a run on what should have been an inning-ending double play.
Francisco Rodriguez made things interesting in his inaugural return to Anaheim, needing 33 pitches to get through five batters, but eventually escaped unscathed.
Can’t win without hits. Well, I guess you technically can, but the odds aren’t great.
Tying runs on second and third with two out in the eighth, and Johnny Giavotella hit a weak groundout. The magic seems to have run out.