ANAHEIM, Calif. — One of the toughest developments for the Los Angeles Angels this season has been the drop-off Patrick Sandoval has experienced. After being incredible in 2022, Sandoval has not been able to replicate that same production that had him looking like a top of the rotation arm. While it’s been a rough season for the left hander, his last two starts – particularly Tuesday night vs. the New York Yankees, have him looking like he did last year.
Giving the Angels 7.1 IP on Tuesday night, Sandoval allowed just two hits and one run, striking out seven before leaving the game with a 5-1 lead. Leaving the bullpen with just five outs to get, Sandoval gave the Angels exactly what they needed in what was their second-straight win over the Yankees.
Allowing Sandoval to head back out for the 8th inning, manager Phil Nevin said his starter asked for the opportunity to go back out there, telling him, “I’m the best you got right now. Those guys (in the bullpen) still need a rest.” On a one baserunner limit in the 8th, Sandoval retired the first batter he faced before exiting to a roaring ovation after allowing a one-out single.
Speaking with reporters after the game, Sandoval said, “I struggled a little bit early with the strike zone, but I think I did a good job of just kind of slowing things down and just attacking the zone.” Sandoval added that it was great to build off what Griffin Canning did in the series opener, and wants to see this rotation continue to pass the baton to the next guy.
If the Angels are going to keep their playoff hopes alive, performances like what they’ve gotten from Griffin Canning and Patrick Sandoval in this series need to become more prevalent. With a bullpen that is both heavily worked and already inconsistent, the Angels need reliability from their rotation. This is something Sandoval recognizes, which is why his performance on Tuesday night was more than just a feel-good outing for himself.