The Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers showed baseball fans just how rusty pitchers are during spring training after a 13-13 tie in their preseason game on Wednesday. Despite the tie, both teams showed what their offenses are capable of doing when they are playing well, and probably improved their sportsbook odds of winning the World Series.
Former NL MVP Albert Pujols finally got his first two hits of the preseason, after undergoing foot surgery in the offseason. Teammate and fellow MVP Mike Trout played very well also, and finished the game with a triple and a double.
Scott Kazmir, who is currently trying to earn a spot in the Dodgers pitching rotation was roughed up on Wednesday night, giving up five runs in 1 2/3 innings. Pujols, who was 0-5 in his previous spring training games, had an RBI in the first inning and a run scoring single in the second inning, ending Kazmir’s night.
After the game, Angel’s manager Mike Scioscia said Pujols is starting to look like his old self, and swung the ball well. Scioscia also heaped praise on his starters, saying they looked very good on the field on Wednesday.
Mike Trout’s triple also came while facing Kazmir, who gave up the five runs he allowed on six hits. Jered Weaver, who was the starting pitcher for the Angels, didn’t do much better than Kazmir did for the Dodgers.
Weaver, who is trying to bounce back from a disappointing and injury filled 2015 campaign, gave up homeruns to Scott Van Slyke (his second of the spring), Joc Pederson, and Austin Barnes. Weaver finished the game allowing five runs on six hits. He did last longer than Kazmir, and pitched 2 2/3 innings. The Angels were also disappointed that Weaver’s fastball topped out at 81 miles per hour, and are hoping the number improves significantly before the start of the season.
After the game, Weaver said, “I wake up every day hoping this is the day it is going to click, it just hasn’t happened yet.”
Kazmir said his problem during the game was that he kept throwing fastballs with two strikes, which ended up hurting him. He also added that he felt healthy, which is why he was so frustrated with his performance. Weaver said his biggest problem during the game was his inability to put the ball where he wanted to. He went on to say that he can get opposing players out while throwing 60 mph pitches, but since he wasn’t able to place the ball where he wanted, the batters were able to hit his pitches.
Dodgers’ infielder Alex Guerrero was again unable to play because he is recovering from a knee injury. Second baseman Howie Kendrick also missed the game due to a groin injury. The Angels got some good news about pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who threw his third bullpen session before the game. The team could also be getting closer Huston Street back after missing some time with a calf injury.
Even though Pujols returned from his surgery sooner than expected, he will continue to be the team’s designated hitter for now since C.J. Cron, who backed Pujols up at first base last season has played first base in the first three spring training games.