Hey, if you can’t find consistency in your starting rotation, why not turn to the bullpen, right?
The Los Angeles Angels (35-43) were forced to do just that on Wednesday night against the Detroit Tigers when scheduled starter Tommy Hamilton was pulled before the game with tightness in his right forearm.
Billy Buckner (no relation to he of the infamous 1986 World Series debacle) assumed the starting duties, and after a shaky first inning in which he gave up solo home runs to reigning American League MVP Miguel Cabrera and former Angel Torii Hunter, he settled down enough to keep Los Angeles in the game.
From the third inning onward, the Halo bullpen relieved its relievers with timely success, with the bullpen giving up no earned runs in the final six innings and leading the team to a 7-4 victory. Since the Angels sent six pitchers to the mound on Wednesday, let’s hope Jered Weaver can go deep in the series finale today.
The win was the Angels’ eighth in a row at Comerica Park, a stadium that seems to provide the Halos with few difficulties. As Hunter grimly acknowledged after the game, the Angels seem to have their way with the Tigers, and it’s not clear why. As far as the Halos are concerned, they can’t play enough games at Comerica.
The bullpen wasn’t the only bright spot for the Angels, who benefited from Mike Trout and Erick Aybar‘s pair of two-run home runs, plus Trout’s RBI double in the seventh. Josh Hamilton also continued his reinvention as a small-ball hitter with a single in the third and an RBI grounder in the seventh to raise his average to .215 (I know, it’s dark times when it’s appropriate to celebrate Hamilton hitting .215).
It has been a one step forward, two steps back kind of year for Los Angeles. If they are able to complete the sweep today, let’s see if they can’t buck the trend and take another step forward.
Tony Baker is a Los Angeles Angels blogger for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @tonloc_baker.