Bridwell rebounds with 6 shutout innings

Angels rookie evades trouble to earn win over Twins

July 6th, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- Angels right-hander understands it's difficult to be mad in the Major Leagues, especially when you've spent your career attempting to reach this stage. After all, the 25-year-old rookie has just five starts on his big league resume.

But Bridwell found himself frustrated following his performance last Friday against the Mariners, in which he gave up five runs over six frames. He put it on himself to bounce back in the four days leading up to his start Wednesday night against the Twins.

"Those four days are my hardest workweek I've had in my career," Bridwell said following the Angels' 2-1 victory over Minnesota at Target Field. "I'm glad it paid off. It feels good to feel good again."

Bridwell -- rated the Halos' No. 10 prospect by -- cashed in on the hard work, spinning six shutout frames for the win in the finale of a three-game series. He scattered four hits, racking up five strikeouts and three walks. He threw 59 of his 98 pitches for strikes.

It wasn't a breeze. The only time Bridwell pitched a clean inning was in the opening frame. He left runners on the corners in the second and stranded a leadoff single in the third. In the fourth, Bridwell recovered from a two-out double and a walk. When he surrendered a one-out double in the sixth, it came as no surprise that he followed up by inducing consecutive groundouts.

"He had to work to get through some innings, he had to work for some outs, but he made pitches," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Outside of maybe the walks, that's a good outing."

Bridwell took a massive stride from his previous showing, but it was by no means an accident.

He put in extra work leading up to this outing. Bridwell completed drills on the mound in tennis shoes, working on landing soft and under control. He performed towel drills on the side. All of it was to emphasize staying in line with the catcher and not getting too lateral with his plant foot.

"[It was] stuff I did when I was 11 years old, literally," Bridwell said.

It was all to ensure he would bounce back and improve his chances of sticking with the club for more than a short-term basis -- a pipe dream just 11 weeks ago when he was designated for assignment by the Orioles.

The Angels nabbed Bridwell in a mid-April trade and sent him to Double-A Mobile to stretch him out as a starter. After the first few outings, it was evident that Bridwell was going to be with the Halos sooner rather than later.

"After my first couple outings, a couple guys were like, 'Don't be surprised if you move a little fast,'" Bridwell said. "I've been working my whole life to be here. It's awesome though, everything is moving so fast. I just need to stay in the moment."