Saturday, October 22, 2016

Los Angeles Angels reliever Andrew Bailey saved the day in September

For the past two seasons for the Los Angeles Angels when the gate opened in the bullpen going into the ninth with a lead, Angel fans knew who would be running out to save the day. This year the Angels closer was a dangerous spot to be in.

Veteran Los Angeles Angels right-hander Huston Street would com running in and you that nine times out of 10 the game was over and the Halo would be lit.  In 2016 this was not the case.  Street again started strong going 1-0 with five saves and a sparkling 1.17 ERA. However, in a season full of injuries Street was bit by the injury bug pulling his left oblique muscle which would sideline him for a month.

Joe Smith took over the closer duties and did adequately until Street came back.  That’s where things went downhill for Street as he compiled a 10.05 ERA in 13.2 innings converting only four of seven save opportunities. Then Street tweaked his right knee and was done for the season.  Cam Bedrosian was the closer for two days before being lost for the season with a blood clot in his arm and Joe Smith was traded to the Chicago Cubs.

Next up for the role was Fernando Salas who performed admirably in August converting all four save opportunities he was given. However, Salas was traded at the end of August to the Mets.  So who was next up, no one seemed to know. Except maybe Angels general manager Billy Eppler and Mike Scioscia and his staff.

A move that Eppler made in mid-August flew quietly under the radar.  Eppler signed former closer Andrew Bailey to a minor deal after he was released by the Phillies in early August and he was sent to Salt Lake City.

On September 2nd Bailey was called up to the Angels to take over the vacant closer role. The move paid immediate dividends as Bailey earned two saves in his first three appearances.  Overall in September Bailey saved six games in as many chances compiling a 2.61 ERA with a 0.87 WHIP.  In total for the Angels Bailey made 12 appearances pitching 11.1 innings giving up three runs giving up nine hits while walking only two batters and striking out seven.

Bailey provided that stability Angels had been missing all season.  In fact in 12 appearances he only gave up runs in one outing surrendering three runs in o.1 innings on September 16th to Toronto.  Not bad for someone who many though his career was over.  Bailey finished with a 2.38 ERA and 0.87 WHIP and opponents batted .214 against him.

However  a shoulder injury sidelined Bailey for most of the 2014 season and part of the 2014 season.  Bailey struggled to get back, and bounced around from the Red Sox to the Yankees, and Philadelphia. Bailey finally found a home in Anaheim.

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