It takes a long time to take the Los Angeles Angels spotlight off Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. You might even say it takes something like a makeover — field rookie Reed Dettmers threw a stunning throw at the Tampa Bay Rays at Angle Stadium on Tuesday night.
Just 22-year-old Dettmers scored his 11th career start, the latest must-watch moment of the Angels season gaining momentum. He hit only two hits in a runaway 12-0 victory as he crushed Trout twice at home while Anthony Rendon, the right hitter, blasted Homer off the left side.
After cruising through eight quiet rounds, Dettmers had to wait until his team’s offensive in the bottom extended half of the eighth half had finished. He showed no sign of tensions or jinxes when he finally made his way back up the mound, retiring Vidal Brogan on a hard blow to catcher and veteran defensive back Kevin Kiermayer on a ball in second place. He then stamped his name into the record books, recording the 12th ball in the history of angels by inducing another globe, this one from Yande Diaz.
This was the second he hasn’t hit the big hits this season yet Five pitchers of Mets combined for one Last month. Last year, MLB . pitchers scored Nine no hittersbreaking the one-season record set in 1884.
“Getting the last one was the coolest part,” Detimers said after joining the exclusive club. “It’s just something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid. I didn’t think this would happen at all.”
The long wait before things ended came after the game turned absurd. Trailing 8-0 in the eighth inning, Tampa Bay moved Brett Phillips, the team’s brave and would-be bowler, from the right court to the hill for a mopping job.
The Angels scored four times against Phillips while hitting five hits, leaving Dettmers truncated off the bench. Trout and Rendon homers off the Phillips both exited the 54 mph slides. In Rendon’s case, an unexpected record was set as he appeared as a right-handed hitter 4,528 times before sitting for the first time from the left side of the board.
“I thought it was a great stage. Baseball is looking for fun moments like that,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of Phillips’ hill adventure, adding, “It was a great run. I was just worried it was taking so long and Reed was on the bench thinking about it.”
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Phillips took the moment in stride.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know it was him until across the board and saw his last name,” he said of Rendon.
After Phillips came out eighth, Detimers made quick work in Tampa Bay.
Angels’ top pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, Dettmers entered this season as the best left-handed player in American baseball. He was 1-1 with a 5.32 ERA in five starts coming into Tuesday’s game and was working with Angels pitching coach Matt Wise, and assistant coach Dom Chetty, to better position the fastball inside him to the right-handed hitters and work to change him from his Fastball.
“If he learns to do this on a regular basis, with the other things he has, that will be a huge part of his success,” Maddon said.
In turn, this can be a huge part of the angels’ success. The spotlight on the hill tonight in Anaheim is an encouraging development for the Angels, whose lightweight and out-of-arms situation for most of the past decade has kept them out of the playoffs since 2014.
The Angels, now 21-11 this season, continue to lead the AL West, one game ahead of the Houston Astros. They have crossed 10 games .500 for the first time since April 14, 2018, when they were 13-3.
General Manager Perry Minassian noted the acquisition of a certain type of pitcher last winter, adding Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen as free agents. He wanted aggressive shooters to start setting the tone for inner youth like Dettmers and Patrick Sandoval.
Drafted by the University of Louisville Angels as the 10th overall pick, the Detmers entered the game holding left-handed hitters to an average of 0.053. He was tossing the rebound 24.2 percent of the time and had stopped his opponents with an average of 125 strokes on the field.
Despite his success with his curves, his inability to consistently put the fastball down is why his results until Tuesday night were mediocre. But he was shooting all the cylinders in the direction of the rays. He said he started feeling something special in the air in the sixth inning and noted that he almost felt numb.
“I just passed out, I don’t know,” he said, adding of the Angels lineup: “Our guys did a great job. They hit the ball everywhere. They just did what they did. They gave me a lot of plays.”
It’s been a very important week at Angle Stadium. On Monday, Otani smashed a Grand Slam – the first he’s achieved as a professional in the United States or Japan. Then came Dettmers. His fastball topped out at 94 mph and his curve dropped to 73 mph, with the big differential keeping Tampa Bay poised all night long.
It was the longest run of Detimers’ career, as his night came with highs at six innings and 97 throws.
The only heart-stopping moment came in the seventh inning when first baseman Jared Walsh failed to tackle a Phillips ground ball. He was judged wrongly, and history went on.
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