Mon, 28 Sep 2020

Canning will need to hush Chapman when Angels host A"s

Field Level Media
12 Aug 2020, 18:40 GMT+10

Griffin Canning will make the start for the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday afternoon when they play the Oakland A's in Anaheim, Calif., and if there is one hitter in the Oakland lineup Canning needs to be wary of, it's third baseman Matt Chapman.

Chapman has three hits in 10 career at-bats against Canning, but what makes him dangerous is the way he's been hitting recently, regardless of who's on the mound.

Despite an 0-for-3 game on Tuesday, Chapman is hitting .409 (9 for 22) with four homers, two doubles, one triple and 10 RBIs in his last five games.

"I'm staying nice and relaxed and staying easy," Chapman said. "Before the good stretch I've been on, I was still getting my timing and adjusted to the way guys were pitching me. I feel like I've done a pretty good job of hunting the pitch I want and staying disciplined."

Overall, Chapman is among the American League leaders in total bases, home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage and runs scored. The key for Chapman to continue his success is to stay patient even when pitchers refuse to give him anything good to hit.

"I gotta always be able to stay disciplined and look for my pitch," he said. "They're not always going to come after me, so I have to be smart and take what they give me. I think I've been doing a good job of that lately."

Another hitter in Oakland's lineup Canning (0-2, 3.14 ERA) needs to look out for is Ramon Laureano, who has appealed his six-game suspension for his role in Sunday's scuffle with the Houston Astros. Laureano could drop his appeal and begin serving his suspension immediately, but it would seem unlikely considering Laureano's success against Canning -- four hits in seven at-bats, including two homers and two doubles.

Canning is 1-2 with a 3.97 ERA in four career starts against Oakland, including a loss earlier this season on July 27, when he allowed three runs on four hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings.

Chris Bassitt (1-0, 1.08) will start for the A's, coming off a superb performance against the Houston Astros last Friday. Bassitt got a no-decision, but held Houston to one run on three hits and three walks in seven innings.

Bassitt's first start of the season came against the Angels on July 27, and he shut them out on five hits over four innings. Overall, he is 2-2 with a 5.33 ERA in seven career games (five starts) against Los Angeles.

David Fletcher (3 for 6, two doubles), Albert Pujols (5 for 10, one homer), Mike Trout (5 for 12) and Justin Upton (4 for 10) have had success against Bassitt.

Trout, however, seems to have a history of success against just about any pitcher. And he's been even hotter at the plate since returning from a four-game absence following the birth of his son July 30.

In the eight games since his son was born, Trout is hitting .343 (12 for 35) with six homers, 10 RBIs and nine runs scored.

"He's more relaxed," Angels manager Joe Maddon said. "He had such a big concern of him and his wife regarding the birth and the virus and everything else surrounding it, so he's coming out the other side of that. He's playing with more mental freedom."

--Field Level Media

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