Detmers gives Angels a chance without best stuff

April 23rd, 2022

ANAHEIM -- It didn’t end with a win, but it was a step in the right direction for rookie Reid Detmers on Friday night in the series opener against the Orioles.

Detmers turned in his best outing of the young season, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk over five innings in the Halos' 5-3 loss at Angel Stadium. He entered with an 8.59 ERA in two starts and had not pitched deeper than four frames this year.

Ranked as the club's No. 1 prospect and No. 21 overall by MLB Pipeline, Detmers looked better against Baltimore, striking out four while throwing 70 pitches.

“I didn't have my best stuff, but I got through five,” Detmers said. “I was just trying to give my team a chance. Some guys made some big plays. They had my back. My job was to go out there and get outs. I felt good. I got some quick outs.”

Detmers looked strong out of the gate with a 1-2-3 first inning with two strikeouts, but he found himself in trouble in the second. Anthony Santander led off the inning with a seven-pitch walk before Ramón Urías singled to right with one out.

Right fielder Taylor Ward made an ill-advised throw to try to nab Santander at third, which allowed Urías to reach second. It proved costly, as Robinson Chirinos followed with a two-run single to right field to beat the Angels' infield shift.

Detmers gave up the single to Urías on a 3-1 fastball and the two-run single to Chirinos on a 1-1 fastball; Angels manager Joe Maddon noted that Detmers has to improve the location on his heater going forward. Detmers threw just 30 four-seamers among his 70 offerings, as he leaned heavily on the slider (19) and curveball (15). Maddon loves Detmers’ breaking pitches, but he has to have his fastball working to make them more effective.

"He was a little better, but I'd still like him to be a little more efficient with his fastball usage and where he's locating it,” Maddon said. “We made some plays to help him through it. They were hitting the ball pretty good and hit a few to the wall several times.”

Detmers settled down after the second inning and was aided by a strong defensive play by Anthony Rendon to prevent a run from scoring in the fifth. The left-hander found himself in trouble after allowing a leadoff double to Chirinos, who then advanced to third on a grounder from Kelvin Gutiérrez. Jorge Mateo followed with a hard-hit grounder to third, where Rendon made a diving stop to his left before throwing home from the ground to get Chirinos at the plate. Mateo then stole second base, but Detmers got Cedric Mullins to line out to right to end the inning.

“That was a hell of a play,” Detmers said of Rendon’s diving stop. “I thought that was going to sneak through. Obviously, he’s there for a reason and is good at his job. That was a great play.”

Detmers was lifted after five innings and reliever Archie Bradley struggled in the sixth, allowing three runs while recording just one out. Bradley was hurt by a Santander infield single that potentially could've been a double-play ball but hit off his glove, and another grounder off the bat of Urías to Andrew Velazquez near second base that saw the umpire get in the way of the throw to second. Those three runs turned out to be pivotal, as Rendon hit a two-run homer in the seventh.

"I thought it was the right time to turn it over [to the bullpen],” Maddon said. “We thought it was perfect. We talked about it before the game, and we liked Bradley there, specifically. It just didn't work out. It’s one of those games where we kept shooting ourselves in the foot.”