The Angels held a 3-1 advantage during Tuesday’s match against the Reds in the fifth inning, with right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito delivering a strong performance. In a critical moment with two players on base and two outs, Giolito induced a routine ground ball towards first base that seemed poised to conclude the inning. Regrettably, events did not unfold as anticipated.
Nolan Schanuel, a rookie first baseman who had been selected by the Halos merely six weeks earlier, found himself unable to complete the play. The ball struck his chest, resulting in two Reds players scoring and effectively tying the game. Following this, a successful RBI double granted the Reds a 4-3 lead that would eventually become the final score of the match.
“He feels awful for what happened,” Nevin said. “We’re not putting this on him. We had chances to score. The three home runs were good. But only three other hits besides that. Really scattered around. There was no traffic. We didn’t put any pressure on their defense, nor their pitcher. So to me, that’s what it came down to.”
This turn of events was a bitter pill to swallow for anyone, particularly for Schanuel, a 21-year-old rookie who was participating in only his fourth MLB game. Understandably, he was visibly disheartened by his error. Yet, his manager, Phil Nevin, stepped in to offer support and encouragement during this challenging time. It’s worth noting that Giolito made it clear that he did not attribute blame to Schanuel, showcasing the team’s unity in the face of adversity.
“I know that sometimes people want to point the finger at the error,” Giolito said. “But there’s a lot of things I could have done better to even avoid that situation altogether. Four-pitch leadoff walk kind of put us in a tough situation to start the inning.”
The Angels’ backing of their rookie player in the aftermath of this pivotal play is heartening. Given the significance of every game at this stage of the season, such errors could potentially carry substantial consequences. The Angels, well aware of the stakes, stand by their player and emphasize the importance of moving forward.
Looking ahead, the Angels are scheduled for a crucial doubleheader against the Reds on Wednesday. Schanuel, however, will not be in the lineup for the afternoon game.
The outcome of a single play can significantly alter the course of a game, as demonstrated by the Angels’ recent match against the Reds. The incident involving a rookie first baseman’s costly mistake serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of sports. As both teams strive to maintain their positions in the league, the importance of composure and quick recovery remains paramount.