Not so fast.
The Halos’ pitching struggles reared their ugly head against the Mariners as their bullpen allowed six runs, five hits, five walks and one home run in 2.2 innings pitched. Once starting pitcher Jered Weaver was taken out of the game after pitching 6.1 innings with six strikeouts, two runs allowed and a 3-2 lead, the Angels’ bullpen subsequently gave up the lead and the win.
Reliever Fernando Salas took over for Weaver and gave up a game-tying double to first batter he faced in Abraham Almonte. After Michael Kohn provided a shutout inning of relief that included two strikeouts, it was the ninth inning where things got worse. Kevin Jepsen began the inning with two strikeouts but could not finish it off. He allowed three consecutive hits that were capped off by a three-run home run from Justin Smoak that blew the game wide open and effectively ended any chance for an Angels comeback.
Jepsen would walk the next two batters before being taken out of the game. Los Angeles’ pitching woes did not end there, as Nick Maronde allowed a base-clearing triple by Dustin Ackley that plated three more runs and put even more of a disgusted taste in mouths of Angels fans.
It was not an opening night to remember, but one that could be a constant theme for the Halos with the bullpen blowing a lead or letting a game out of hand. Although it’s just the first game of the season, it does not bode well for Los Angeles to have last year’s pitching woe resurfacing this early on.
The Angels are looking to have a reliable pitching staff, and with their bullpen already struggling, it leads one to wonder if they have really fixed their pitching problems.