Angels put focus on improving pitching in 2020

September 18th, 2019

NEW YORK -- Before Tuesday’s game against the Yankees, Angels manager Brad Ausmus said he would like to see his club’s pitching improve heading into next season, and one could understand why he was feeling that way. Entering Tuesday’s action, the Angels’ staff was ranked 24th in the league with a 5.08 ERA.

The pitching didn’t fare any better after his comments, though, and the opener strategy failed the Halos against a tough lineup. The Angels used four pitchers and were pounded, 8-0, at Yankee Stadium.

Left-hander Jose Suarez was hit the hardest, allowing six runs in 2 2/3 innings, all of the damage against him coming during a six-run fourth. Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres highlighted the scoring with a three-run homer, his 38th of the season.

“Obviously, a tough night. … As he went through the order a couple of times, [the Yankees] got to him,” Ausmus said of Suarez.

It was brought to Ausmus’ attention that Suarez might have been tipping his pitches, but the skipper said he didn’t want to focus on what Suarez was doing wrong.

“If you execute your pitches, you will get outs. That is the most important aspect of it,” Ausmus said.

Suarez has given maximum effort in his last two outings, but the results haven’t aligned with it, as he has allowed 12 runs during that span.

“It’s frustrating going through this stretch,” Suarez said through interpreter Angel Miranda. “My prep, I do everything [the coaches] tell me to do. If they tell me to make a minor adjustment, I am making those adjustments. I am open to everything and I’m putting my full effort into it.”

Los Angeles did get a quality relief outing from right-hander Jose Rodriguez, who pitched three shutout innings and struck out two batters, lowering his ERA to 1.84. It helps that Rodriguez has more confidence in his changeup.

“I thought he was really good. He’s pitched well since he has been here,” Ausmus said about Rodriguez. “He throws strikes. He has a couple of pitches that hitters have trouble picking up.”

Rodriguez also noted that he benefited from some extra rest.

“The [days] off helped me out a lot after my last outing. I felt I had control of my fastball. I felt better coming out today -- rested,” Rodriguez said through Miranda.

On the other side of the field, Yankees right-hander Luis Severino made his season debut and pitched four shutout innings, leaving the game after 67 pitches. Severino had missed most of the season because of a right shoulder injury.

"He looked good. He looked strong,” Ausmus said. “ I figured he was on some kind of pitch count. I didn’t know how [far] they would let him go. Brian Goodwin’s first at-bat of the game -- [Severino] had double-digit pitches. I was hoping they would wear him down that way. He actually got a lot sharper as he went [deeper in the game]."