Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Angels' Wade LeBlanc Makes Pitch for Playoff Spot in 2-0 Win Over A's

It was a great game. And a relief too. I'm worried about the Angels' pitching going into the post-season.

The tangled web of an injury-plagued and struggling Angels rotation grew even more convoluted Tuesday night, but for a good reason. Veteran left-hander Wade LeBlanc has thrust himself into the playoff picture.

LeBlanc, filling in for the injured Matt Shoemaker, allowed five hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory over Oakland that pushed the Athletics into a tie with the Kansas City Royals for the American League wild-card lead.

Combined with his 5 1/3-inning scoreless effort last Thursday against Seattle, LeBlanc, who was designated for assignment three times this season — twice by the Angels — has thrown 10 2/3 scoreless innings in two starts, allowing eight hits, striking out four and walking one.

With Shoemaker questionable for the division series because of a rib-cage strain and Hector Santiago getting shelled in his last two starts, LeBlanc has positioned himself to be considered for the playoff rotation. At the very least, he should earn a long-relief spot...

Cory Rasmus, who's pitched a few games this last couple of weeks, is looking good too. Mike Scioscia needs to let him play longer.

I would have blogged more about the Angels since they clinched a playoff berth, but it's been depressing. Who knows if they'll clear 100 wins for the season, which is almost over?