MLB

Angels' stars combine to down Rangers, Dodgers edge Mariners in pitchers' duel

By Sports Desk April 21, 2021

The Angels' stars were on display Tuesday in Anaheim, as Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit towering home runs to back two-way star Shohei Ohtani and the pitching staff in a 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers. 

Making his second start of the season, Ohtani baffled Rangers hitters for better or for worse in his four shutout innings. He allowed just one hit, but walked six and struck out seven as he worked his way into and out of jams throughout his stint on the mound. 

Though Ohtani's 11 walks through two starts are a concern, MLB hitters have yet to demonstrate they can do much damage against him with the bat. 

The same cannot be said for the heart of the Angels' lineup. After Trout hammered a 446-foot home run in the sixth inning, Pujols hit one exactly the same distance in the seventh. It was Pujols' second homer of the season and the 664th of his career.

 

Urias takes pitchers' duel

There was little margin for error between the Dodgers' Julio Urias (seven innings, one hit, career-high 11 strikeouts) and the Mariners' Marco Gonzales (seven innings, two hits, six strikeouts) on Tuesday.

The two teams combined for just three hits -- a single and a double by Los Angeles and a single by Seattle -- as the World Series champions prevailed 1-0.

According to Stats Perform, the four combined total bases were the fewest ever in an interleague game. 

 

Cardinals' bullpen blows up

Adam Wainwright turned in a vintage start for St. Louis against the Nationals, but a meltdown by the Cardinals' bullpen led to a 3-2 loss in Washington. Wainwright left after seven innings, holding a 2-1 lead after striking out 10. 

But his replacement, Giovanny Gallegos, could not close the door. He walked the first batter he faced and hit the second before eventually walking Josh Harrison with the bases loaded and two outs to force in what proved to be the winning run. 

 

Spectacular catch backs spectacular pitching

Corbin Burnes had another remarkable outing for the Brewers, striking out 10 without walking a batter to give him 40 strikeouts and zero walks this season. According to Stats Perform, Burnes is the first pitcher to fan at least 40 without walking a man over any four-game span in the modern era.

Impressive as those numbers are, Burnes would not have kept the Padres off the scoreboard in a 6-0 win without an incredible diving catch by Billy McKinney in left field to end the fourth inning with two San Diego runners stranded on base. 

 

Tuesday's results

New York Yankees 3-1 Atlanta Braves
Oakland Athletics 7-0 Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics 1-0 Minnesota Twins
Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 Seattle Mariners
Chicago White Sox 8-5 Cleveland Indians
Baltimore Orioles 7-5 Miami Marlins
Washington Nationals 3-2 St. Louis Cardinals
San Francisco Giants 10-7 Philadelphia Phillies
Boston Red Sox 4-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago Cubs 3-1 New York Mets
Tampa Bay Rays 14-7 Kansas City Royals
Colorado Rockies 6-2 Houston Astros
Los Angeles Angels 6-2 Texas Rangers
Milwaukee Brewers 6-0 San Diego Padres
Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 Cincinnati Reds (suspended)
Pittsburgh Pirates-Detroit Tigers (postponed)

 

Giants at Phillies

San Francisco (10-6) will turn to pitcher Anthony DeSclafani to try to complete a three-game sweep of the Phillies (8-8). The right-hander has allowed just two runs over 17 innings in three starts this season, for a 1.06 ERA. 

Related items

  • The three Man Utd youngsters who could be breakthrough stars for Erik ten Hag The three Man Utd youngsters who could be breakthrough stars for Erik ten Hag

    Erik ten Hag is the latest boss Manchester United have turned to in their pursuit of success in the post-Alex Ferguson era.

    David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have failed to meet expectations since Ferguson's retirement in 2013, leaving Ten Hag with a difficult challenge on his hands.

    Aside from getting results right on the pitch and challenging for honours, Ten Hag also has the task of bleeding young talent into the first-team fold on a regular basis – something his predecessors have all continued to do despite their eventual failings.

    The likes of Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay have capitalised on opportunities in the past decade after rising through the club's youth ranks – and United have no shortage of players who can follow suit.

    Three players in particular are ones that Ten Hag should be keeping close tabs on, and they could become integral.

    Facundo Pellistri

    The highly rated winger has spent the past 18 months on loan in Spain with Deportivo Alaves, accumulating plenty of first-team opportunities with a total of 33 appearances across all competitions in that period, but just 11 have been as a starter.

    United may feel they can provide those limited opportunities off the bench themselves and, if utilised, can expect plenty of link-up play down the right side from Pellistri – with the majority of his final-third passes during his spell with Alaves coming in that area.

    No team in the top six of the Premier League last season scored fewer goals than United last term (57), with seventh-placed West Ham (60) and eighth-placed Leicester City (62) also bettering that tally.

    The attacking third is an area where Ten Hag needs to find more threat and Pellistri may provide that option, albeit he failed to register a goal or an assist during his spell in Spain. He created seven chances in 753 first-team minutes last season, but none of those were converted.

    With more creativity in the squad at United and better support, Pellistri should be able to improve on his direct return to register more influential moments in matches.

    James Garner

    Garner has helped turn Nottingham Forest from second-tier middlemen to a Premier League outfit – with a play-off victory against Huddersfield Town bringing an end to a 23-year wait for top-flight football.

    In Forest's promotion-winning campaign, loanee Garner was a regular fixture in the side with 41 appearances, 36 of which were as a starter, resulting in four goals and eight assists – with only Brennan Johnson, Lewis Grabban and Philip Zinckernagel being involved in more direct goal contributions.

    Seven of Garner's assists came from set-pieces, with United's overall total in 2021-22 being 10 in that regard – so Garner could play an integral part in improving that return with his deliveries from corners and free-kicks, if Bruno Fernandes can occasionally be shuffled off such duties.

    Crucially for a club like United, Garner has shown he can perform under pressure given his display in the Championship play-off final against Huddersfield – where his accuracy of 88 per cent from 48 attempted passes included completions across the field.

    Forest, understandably, are reportedly interested in bringing Garner back to the City Ground again next season in their bid to remain in the Premier League, but United will assess the 21-year-old in pre-season before making a final decision.

    Alejandro Garnacho

    Earning his senior debut for United in the Premier League clash against Chelsea in April, Garnacho's introduction to the Premier League was merely a cameo at the end of that clash.

    On the final day of the season, in a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, Garnacho again came off the bench for an 11-minute appearance and was once more limited with his opportunity to make an impression – though that has already been done in the youth ranks.

    He scored in UEFA Youth League matches against Atalanta and Young Boys. However, it was in the FA Youth Cup where Garnacho made perhaps his biggest impact, scoring in every round bar the fourth as United lifted the trophy – with a seven-goal haul in the competition including a double in the 3-1 victory against Nottingham Forest in the final.

    With Jadon Sancho struggling for consistency down the left for United since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund, Garnacho could return to the first-team fold during the 2022-23 season.

    Opportunities could well come in the cup competitions, including the Europa League, in what will be a frantic season due to the disruption caused by the World Cup in Qatar.

  • Stanley Cup: Avalanche star Cale Makar makes history with Conn Smythe Trophy win Stanley Cup: Avalanche star Cale Makar makes history with Conn Smythe Trophy win

    Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar added yet another incredible accomplishment to his resume by being named winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy for MVP of the playoffs, as his side secured the Stanley Cup with a 2-1 win in Game 6.

    In doing so, Makar became the first player to ever win all five of the Hobey Baker Award for best player in college hockey, the Calder Memorial Trophy for Rookie of the Year, the James Norris Memorial Trophy for the NHL's top defenseman, the Conn Smythe Trophy, and a Stanley Cup.

    It is a resume that will likely book his place in the Hall-of-Fame when all is said and done – and he does not turn 24 years old until October.

    Speaking to ESPN after the final siren sounded, Makar said it was a dream come true.

    "I just look at [my teammates], and all the work these guys have put in," he said. "They've been here so many years, the ups and downs.

    "It's just so awesome to be a part of them getting rewarded for all their hard work and success over the years. I'm just so proud of the boys.

    "You grow up, you see [the Stanley Cup trophy] as a kid, you have pictures of it on your wall.

    "All I think about is everyone that got me here – my family is in the stands, so it's amazing, wherever they are. It's just surreal, amazing."

    He added: "It's just been building over time. I've been here only three years, with a couple tough exits in playoffs.

    "It was just all leading up to this. Oh man, if you told me this was going to be three years in, I would've said I don't know… it's just amazing, I don't have any more words."

    Avalanche coach Jared Bednar spoke about what it felt like to guide this team to the mountaintop.

    "I'm feeling every emotion you could possibly think of," he said. "I'm just so happy and so proud of these guys, and what they've put in.

    "To see them get rewarded for all their hard work is hard to describe. There's this sense of relief, a sense of satisfaction – it's still sinking in.

    "When the buzzer went there was almost disbelief that we got the job done. It's been an amazing ride, and I'm just grateful that I've been able to be a part of it with this team."

    He went on to touch on just how hard it is to actually make it all the way, and the evolution he has seen over the past couple of seasons.

    "It's so difficult to get here, and that's why I'm so impressed with the Tampa Bay Lightning to be able to do it three years in a row and win two Cups, it's incredible," he said.

    "We've gone from just being a skill team that was fun to watch, to digging in and getting more competitive in a lot of areas, and more determined in a lot of areas, but they're such a close-knit group and a resilient group.

    "Whether we've learned that with maturity, or the last couple seasons of heartbreak, this group has been so focused to accomplish their goals, that's why I'm so happy they got rewarded. It's been a long journey for a lot of these guys, and it's been an amazing ride."

    Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic – who spent 13 seasons as a player in Colorado, including both of the franchise's previous Stanley Cup seasons – said he is filled with joy for the older players in the team who may have thought they would never get one.

    "It feels great, it's amazing," he said. "This is something you dream of. I'm so proud of the players, particularly the older guys that have been around.

    "Guys like [Nathan] MacKinnon, [Gabriel] Landeskog, Erik Johnson, they didn't want to leave, they wanted to be a part of it. I'm happy for those guys.

    "You bring in a guy like Jack Johnson who hasn't won, and [Andrew] Cogliano comes in, and these older guys who have been around a long time and now have their opportunity to win their first cup. Being a former player, you know how happy they are, and how relieved they are to have a chance to lift the Stanley Cup."

  • Benches clear in clash between Angels and Mariners after seemingly intentional hit-by-pitch Benches clear in clash between Angels and Mariners after seemingly intentional hit-by-pitch

    Six players and both managers received ejections following a benches-clearing brawl during the second inning of Sunday’s game between the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels.

    The nasty incident occurred after Angels pitcher Andrew Wantz hit Mariners outfielder Jesse Winker in the hip with a pitch to begin the second inning, after throwing behind rookie star Julio Rodriguez in the opening frame.

    After exchanging words with Wantz and briefly moving towards first base, Winker then charged the Angels’ dugout on the third-base side as both teams’ benches and bullpens emptied.

    Numerous punches were thrown in the resulting fracas, which delayed the Angels’ eventual 2-1 win for more than 15 minutes. When order was restored, both Winker and Wantz were ejected along with Seattle outfielder Julio Rodriguez and shortstop J.P. Crawford, Angels pitchers Raisel Iglesias and Ryan Tepera and each team’s manager – the Mariners’ Scott Servais and the Angels’ Phil Nevin.

    Tensions between the American League West rivals were already running high after Seattle pitcher Erik Swanson’s errant pitch sailed over Angels star Mike Trout’s head in the Mariners’ 5-3 victory on Saturday night.

    Wantz was not originally scheduled to start the game, with the change coming in the hours leading up to start time, prompting those on the Mariners' side to believe he was brought in with the intent to hit batters.

    "It’s classless," Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzales said afterward. “To throw at Julio, who’s a kid, over something that happened last night when we were trying to win a ballgame in the ninth inning, (not) put the tying run on base. It’s just classless to come out and change your pitcher before the game.

    "It’s clear. The intention is clear."

    Wantz, who was making his first career major league start, denied intentionally throwing at either Rodriguez or Winker.

    "I was pretty amped up for my first start and the first one just got away from me," he said. "It was sweaty. I was sweating.

    "First day game I’ve pitched (in the majors), and that’s that. Second one to Winker was a cut fastball inside and just yanked it. That’s all I’ve got to say."

    Nevin also downplayed the incident afterward.

    "You play eight games in a matter of a week against the same team, things like this happen," he said. "The scheduling, tensions, that’s baseball sometimes – unfortunately there’s some ugly incidents once in a while. I think that’s just what happened today."

    Winker later directed obscene gestures towards several Angels fans as he left the field, actions he expressed remorse for during his postgame interview.

    "The only thing I’m going to apologise for is flipping the fans off. That’s it," he said. "As fans, they’re spending their hard-earned money to come watch us play a game, and they didn’t deserve that. So, I apologise to the fans, especially the women and children."

    The two teams are scheduled to face one another 11 more times this season, including a four-game series in Seattle from August 5-7. The Mariners will visit Anaheim twice more in 2022, a three-game series in August and a four-game set in September.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.