Angels’ bullpen collapses as Royals come back from 6 runs down to win

The Angels bullpen blows a 6-run lead as the Royals win 10-9 on Saturday in the second game of the series.

The Angels led 8-2 in the 7th inning before the bullpen had a complete meltdown. The Royals had lost 10 in a row and had just 18 wins on the season before picking up their 19th on Saturday afternoon. The Angels bullpen had been the best in the league in the month of June entering Saturday, but after 8 earned runs given up from the pen on Saturday, there now some uncertainty about whether the pen is still the strong suit of the team. That was by far the Angels worst loss of the season, especially when you consider they had won 10 out of 12 entering the game, and the Royals had lost 10 in a row and came back from 6 down to ultimately win. 

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Drury continues to stay hot, smashes 2 homers on Saturday 

In the Angels write up I did yesterday, after Brandon Drury’s 2 RBI game from a double and single, I mentioned that Drury is having a massive impact on the Angels without producing much power, and boy did he prove me wrong today. Drury’s last home run was on June 1st against the Astros, but on Saturday afternoon he mashed two more homers to give him 14 on the season now (tied with Mike Trout for 2nd on the Angels). In the month of June, Drury is now hitting .322 with 19 hits and 3 homers. Despite the loss, Drury being able to show that he can still hit for power is going to be instrumental in the Halos stretch run at the playoffs.

Canning has yet another quality start 

Griffin Canning has his 4th quality start in his last 5 outings, but ultimately, despite a 6 run lead, it wasn’t enough for the Angels to pull out the victory. Canning’s only huge mistake of Saturday’s outing was giving up a 2-run home run to M.J. Melendez in the 4th inning. Other than that, he was in control of hitters, giving up just 2 walks and 3 hits. Canning’s ERA after Saturday’s performance is at 4.40 and his ERA in the month of June is 3.18. Canning has thrown 59.1 innings so far, has a WHIP of 1.21, and has accumulated 55 strikeouts in 11 games started.

Bullpen struggles and cost the Angels the game 

Kolton Ingram came in and after getting the first out, lost all control. He gave up 2 hits and walked a guy before having to get pulled for Jacob Webb. He only thew 0.1 innings and Webb then gave up a 2 RBI double to Bobby Witt Jr. on the next at bat. Webb then struck out Salvador Perez (who returned from injury on Saturday) and after giving up a walk to M.J. Melendez, Webb was was able to get Edward Olivares to ground out. Fast forward to the bottom of the 8th inning, then Jose Soriano struggled for the first time in his big league career, walking 2 guys and giving up an RBI single to make it an 8-6 game, before getting pulled for Chris Devenski. Devenski has been excellent all year when inheriting runners on base, but this time it was an extremely tough situation with the bases loaded to Royals best hitter in Witt Jr.. Witt Jr. proceeded to hit another 2 RBI hit and the Royals all of a sudden had tied the Angels 8-8. For a bullpen that entered the game first in ERA in the month of June, they completely collapsed and allowed the Royals to come back from a 6 run deficit. 

After Mike Trout hit an RBI single to take the lead again in the top of the 9th, Devenski came back out for the 9th and collapsed giving up a few hits before facing Samad Taylor with one out and a guy on third. Taylor hit a high fly ball that they’ll call a single (even though Trout could have gotten it) to win it, but many will question Manager Phil Nevin’s decision to not put Taylor on first to have a double play situation. Carlos Estevez, the Angels best reliever was available to pitch after not tossing yesterday, but wasn’t called upon to come in up 9-8 in the bottom of the 9th. Regardless of all the nitpicking, the Angels completely choked and collapsed, looking like the team they were in April, and not they team they have been in June. 

The Angels will play the final game of this series Sunday with Tyler Anderson and Zack Greinke on the mound as the starting pitchers for Sunday’s contest. First pitch scheduled for 11:10 PST.