Angels stymied by Yankees ace Gerrit Cole
The Angels didn’t arrive at their Manhattan hotel until 5 a.m. EDT Monday, their 10-game, five-city trip getting off to a bit of a rough start when their flight from Long Beach to Newark was delayed for several hours Sunday.
“I’m sure there will be some fatigue,” manager Joe Maddon said before Monday night’s game against the New York Yankees, “but Yankee Stadium is the kind of place that can draw some of that out of you if you’re not feeling 100%, and then you have to face a pitcher of Gerrit Cole’s stature on top of that.”
A lively crowd of 37,010 showed up in the Bronx for the makeup of a July 1 rainout, and any cobwebs the Angels had were knocked off by Cole’s first pitch of the night, a snap-to-attention 99-mph fastball that Shohei Ohtani swung through.
The Angels went on to play a crisp game, getting a solid start from left-hander Jose Suarez, stout relief from Steve Cishek and turning a clutch double play in the sixth inning, but they managed just three hits off Cole and four Yankees relievers in a 2-1 loss.
Cole came off the COVID-19 injured list to give up one run, two hits and strike out nine in 5 2/3 innings to improve to 11-6 with a 3.04 ERA, and relievers Zach Britton, Albert Abreu, Joely Rodriguez and Chad Green combined for 3 1/3, one-hit innings.
“I got Yankee pitching,” Maddon said, when asked if the results had more to do with New York’s arms than Angels at-bat quality. “They threw big arms at us the whole night. Cole had really good stuff. And the guys out of the bullpen, all those dudes with no names, threw the ball really well.”
Eleven games into his second MLB stint, Angels outfielder Jo Adell looks like ‘a completely different player,’ manager Joe Maddon says.
Cole, leaning on a four-seam fastball that averaged 97.5 mph and a sharp slider, gave up a two-out solo homer to Justin Upton in the first, a leadoff infield single to Phil Gosselin in the second and nothing else.
Britton replaced Cole and struck out Jared Walsh with a nasty slider to end the sixth.
Abreu, who ran his two-seam sinking fastball up to 97.8 mph, retired five in a row in the seventh and eighth. Rodriguez struck out Ohtani, who leads baseball with 39 homers, with a 94-mph fastball to end the eighth. Green struck out two in a scoreless ninth.
Suarez, who took an earlier flight on Sunday, grooved a 95-mph fastball that Joey Gallo lined into the second deck in right field for a two-run homer in the first.
He retired 13 of the next 15 batters before walking three in a row — DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge on four pitches and Gallo on a full-count curve — to open the sixth.
Cishek came on and struck out Giancarlo Stanton with a sweeping slider and got Luke Voit to ground into a 5-4-3 double play, second baseman David Fletcher making a difficult turn as Gallo slid into him.
“In the sixth inning, I don’t know what happened,” Suarez said through an interpreter. “I did everything the same. I just couldn’t find my location.”
Suarez’s five-inning, two-run, four-hit, six-strikeout effort snapped a four-start skid in which he went 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA.
Mike Trout, out since May 18 because of a right-calf strain, traveled with the Angels, stirring hopes the star center fielder might start ramping up activities in anticipation of a return.
But he did not work out on the field Monday, and it’s beginning to seem as if he might need some divine intervention to play again this season.
“As you work through these different days and exercises, you just have to be diligent,” Maddon said, “because you don’t know if that calf is going to have an epiphany and all of a sudden it’s going to feel great.”
The Grade 2 strain was supposed to sideline Trout for six to eight weeks.
On July 19, Trout said he was “really close” to beginning a rehabilitation assignment, but a week later he suffered a setback.
“We’re just trying to get him to the point where that calf feels normal on a consistent basis,” Maddon said.
“I want to believe he’s gonna play again. It’s just not to the point where he’s ready to do that.”
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