Heaney's start sums up Angels' rotation woes

September 4th, 2017

ARLINGTON -- Left-hander appeared to have turned a corner after firing six innings of one-run ball and striking out a career-high 10 in his last start against the A's. But he struggled to build off that success on Sunday, allowing five runs over 3 1/3 innings in the Angels' 7-6 loss to the Rangers, which sealed a series loss at Globe Life Park.
"It's pretty cut and dry," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He didn't have as crisp a command this afternoon, certainly with his breaking ball. He just didn't get a chance to bring that good mix that he had last time in. He gave lot of counts back, missed some spots with his fastball that were close. He just had a tough time commanding counts."
Heaney walked four and allowed three home runs -- a pair of solo shots to and and a two-run homer to -- in the laborious 93-pitch outing. In four starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, Heaney has yielded 11 home runs over 19 1/3 innings.

"I gave up a couple 3-2 homers on fastballs," Heaney said. "When you've got a good heater going and you've got a 3-2 count, a lot of times you can beat guys, get them to kind of get big on a ball, or maybe roll a ball over or pop the ball up. Today I didn't have that, but I also didn't do a good job of trying to throw something else to keep the guys off balance."
Heaney's outing capped a tough weekend for the Angels' rotation. , Ricky Nolasco and Heaney combined to give up 14 runs against the Rangers, and the longest start came from Nolasco, who gave up three runs over 5 2/3 innings on Saturday.
"We just didn't do the job on the mound," Scioscia said. "Last night, we did a little better job, but the whole series we didn't. We need to get that in order."
While the Angels addressed their two biggest offensive deficiencies by adding second baseman and left fielder on Thursday, they opted not to bring in pitching help, meaning any improvement from that arena will have to come from within. The Angels had been counting on Skaggs and Heaney to bolster their rotation, but the two lefties have recorded 5.86 and 6.98 ERAs, respectively, since returning from the disabled list.
"The potential is there," Scioscia said. "Right now, they've hit some rough patches, but these guys are good pitchers."

Heaney, for his part, remains confident that he'll be able to turn it around over the final weeks of the season and help the Angels as they chase an American League Wild Card spot.
"I feel good about it," Heaney said. "When my process is good, the results will come."
Worth noting
• Upton departed Sunday's game after walking in the ninth inning due to some cramping in his hip. Upton said that he was simply dehydrated because of the heat and expects to be fine for Monday.
"I tried to keep up with my hydration," said Upton, who reached base 10 times in his first series as an Angel. "I just lost today."
(right oblique strain) is scheduled to begin swinging a bat on Monday, Scioscia said. Escobar had started a rehab assignment last week, but he was pulled back due to a bout of back stiffness.
• The Angels recalled right-hander from Triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday. They now have 32 players on their active roster.