After going through his fourth start of this year’s Spring Training, Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson appears to be ready for the regular season.
In Sunday’s game against the Seattle Mariners, the lefty allowed two runs on six hits, and had seven strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched. At first glance at the statistics, it may look as if the 33-year-old struggled on the mound, but that is not the case. The nine-year veteran did in fact struggle in the first inning as he faced a total of eight batters and gave up his two runs allowed. It was what Wilson did after he got out of the first-inning jam that was encouraging about his start, as he retired 12 out of the next 15 batters that included five of his seven strikeouts for the game.
In the second inning, he forced an infield popup to end the frame and it prevented a runner from scoring from third base. In the following inning, Wilson once again got out of a jam, this time with runners on the corners, as he got two consecutive strikeouts and a groundout to second base to end the inning. However, the strongest part of his performance came in the his final two innings of work as he did not allow a hit and struck out four out of the six batters he faced.
Wilson’s outing may have started off on the wrong foot, but it was the way he got out of jams that was telling of where he is at on the mound. He was already beginning to look sharp on the mound prior to Sunday as he had pitched two consecutive dominant games as where he allowed just one run on four hits in 9.0 innings of work. This included four innings of no-hit baseball against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his second appearance this Spring Training.
So with Wilson appearing to be right on track for the regular season, it is a great sign for Los Angeles as they look to get off to a strong start to 2014 and compete for the AL West title.