Detmers stays on a roll, dominates Mariners

Left-hander (1.16 ERA over last 5 outings) helps Angels secure doubleheader split

August 7th, 2022

SEATTLE -- Ever since his brief demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake in late June, rookie left-hander Reid Detmers has looked like a different pitcher.

Detmers, who worked to correct his arm angle on his sliders during his start in the Minors, has responded by throwing five straight dominant outings, including shutting down the Mariners over seven strong innings in a 7-1 win in Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader at T-Mobile Park.

Detmers, who allowed one run over seven innings for a second straight start, has posted a 1.16 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 31 innings over his last five outings, lowering his season ERA to 3.44 in 17 starts. He hasn't allowed more than two runs in any of those five starts and has averaged 6 2/3 innings per outing.

"He was awesome," said interim manager Phil Nevin. "You're seeing a really good one growing before our eyes. He's making the adjustments on the mound. Today he was able to lay in changeups behind in the count and his slider was what it's been his last few times out."

It helped the Angels make up for a 2-1 loss in Game 1, although right-handers Jaime Barría and Mike Mayers both pitched well in that game, with Barría allowing two runs over 4 2/3 innings and Mayers hurling 3 1/3 scoreless frames.

Starting pitching hasn’t been the issue for the Angels recently, as their starters have posted the best ERA in the American League dating back to July 24. They’ve posted a 2.90 ERA over that span, but the Angels are 7-7 in those games because of their scuffling offense.

Detmers was sharp early, retiring the first eight batters he faced before allowing a two-out single to Sam Haggerty in the third. He gave up his lone run on a solo shot from Luis Torrens in fifth on a 2-2 fastball up in the zone. Haggerty followed with a double and went to third on a wild pitch, but Detmers struck out Adam Frazier to escape further trouble.

Detmers allowed a leadoff single to Ty France in the sixth, but it was erased with an inning-ending double play after he struck out Mitch Haniger. Detmers went back out for the seventh at 84 pitches and ran into some trouble, allowing singles to J.P. Crawford and Torrens. He struck out Haggerty on a 3-2 slider on his 106th and final pitch of the night and pumped his fist into his glove as he left the mound.

"That was huge,” Detmers said. “I wanted to finish the seventh. I didn't know if the pitch count was going to let me. But I got out of it and got some swings-and-misses, so it felt good."

The slider was again Detmers' best pitch, as he threw it 43 times and registered eight swings-and-misses with it. He also threw his four-seamer 33 times, getting six whiffs, and his curveball 21 times, which generated three whiffs.

“It's the same thing I've been working on since I went down,” said Detmers, who struck out seven. “The slider is a big pitch for me and gets them off everything else. It's worked well for me."

Nevin said he left Detmers in to face Haggerty in the seventh as an opportunity for him to continue to grow as a pitcher. Detmers, who was the No. 10 overall pick in the 2020 Draft, is starting to show why he was the club’s top prospect heading into the season.

“To me it was a learning moment for him,” Nevin said. “I want him to learn to pitch out of those jams. We consider him someone who can pitch at the front end of a rotation and those kind of pitchers do that. They reach back when their pitch count is up and get big outs. We saw it in his no-hitter and we’re seeing it more and more each time out. We feel like he’s improving each time.”

Unlike in the first game, in which the Angels scored just one run and lost on a two-run homer from France in the third inning off Barría, Detmers received run support. The Angels scored twice in the third to give Detmers an early lead before new acquisition Mickey Moniak connected on a solo shot in the fourth. David Fletcher added a two-run homer in the sixth and an RBI single in the ninth to give the Angels insurance runs.

"It's always huge when you have run support," Detmers said. "I give credit to the guys, the last couple outings I've had some run support. They got on the board early, and credit to them, they kept it going."