Opening weekend is now behind us and as this short season continues, we will see more firsts. Something new that we saw on opening night was the International Tiebreaker (ITB), which begins in extra innings where a runner, usually the final out in the previous inning, starts at second base.
The Halos were the first to face the ITB on opening night and were left unhappy as they couldn’t get a run in for themselves. Instead, the A’s loaded up the bases and after a pitching change, Hoby Milner threw one pitch that resulted in a walk-off grand slam.
The second game saw the Angels come out on top for the only time in the series with a score of 4-1. Dylan Bundy pitched a shutout into the seventh inning and impressed in his debut as an Angel. Bundy finished the game pitching 6.2 innings, with seven strikeouts and giving up three hits and one run.
On Sunday, Ohtani made his highly anticipated return to the mound for the first time since having Tommy John surgery in September 2018. Hopefully he gets some more pitching in against the Mariners before the Astros come to town because that was not how anyone expected his return to go.
Ohtani gave up five runs after facing only six batters, walking three and giving up three hits. In his outing, there was no recorded out. Matt Andriese came in and impressed as he held the A’s until he got taken out in the sixth inning. Andriese walked one, had five strikeouts, and gave up three hits.
Prior to the game, all-star center fielder Mike Trout had gone 1-for-7 but hit his stride after being given a pitch down the middle of the plate on a 3-0 count. With the Halos down 5-0, Trout put them within two with a 3-run shot over the left field fence. They couldn’t finish the comeback as they lost 6-4.
Trout went 2-for-3 with four RBIs while David Fletcher, who has hit in every game, had a perfect day at the plate going 4-for-4. By the end of the weekend, Fletcher finished 8-for-15.
In the final game of the series, the Angels were held scoreless even though they had more hits than their opponent. There were many opportunities to score but they just couldn’t capitalize when there were runners in scoring position.
The final out of the game saw Mike Trout frustrated as he struck out on a pitch up high and out of the strike zone.
There was an Anthony Rendon sized hole in the lineup as he was unable to play due to an oblique injury during summer camp but was seen fielding and taking batting practice. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons got hurt in the final inning and was placed on the 10-Day Injured List.
The Angels are now 2-3 after defeating the Seattle Mariners 10-2 in Tuesday’s home opener. Rendon was in the lineup and 1-for-3 in his Angels debut.