CJ coming into his own again …
C.J. Wilson pitched seven innings of one-run ball against the Cubs in Wednesday night’s 13-2 thrashing at Wrigley Field. But that’s not what had him all giddy postgame. He got a base hit — his second in 20 Major League at-bats — and went first-to-third on a single to center field.
“I love running the bases,” Wilson said. “It’s just fun. You feel like it’s a full baseball game.”
That’s great and all, but Wilson isn’t paid to produce offensively. He’s paid to pitch, and lately, he’s done that well.
Wilson has posted a 2.04 ERA in his last six starts, giving up 12 runs (nine earned) while striking out 32 and walking 12 in 39 2/3 innings. Now — despite a rough start to the season and many an inning that has gotten away — he’s 9-6 with a 3.37 ERA while tied for eighth in the American League in innings (120 1/3).
In short, he’s starting to look a lot like the pitcher who mostly dominated at the start of last season.
“It seems like he’s committing to pitches and pitching with purpose during this good streak,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
It goes without saying that if Wilson can keep this going — and avoid the rough second half that plagued him in 2012 — the Angels will have a much better shot at making the uphill climb to the playoffs, especially with Jered Weaver (two earned runs in the last 20 2/3 innings of his last three starts) looking like his old self lately. You can talk all you want about Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, but if the Angels don’t get a lot of good starting pitching in the second half, they aren’t going anywhere this year.
“I would say that even in the starts where I didn’t have good results this year, I felt better than most of my starts last year, like in a sense that if I get behind in the count or something, I feel like my mechanics are more dialed in and I can throw various pitches,” Wilson said. “… I need to pitch. I don’t throw 100 [mph]. I can’t just go out there and throw four-seamers by people. I have to pitch and I have locate. And I feel like, overall, my location has been a lot better this year.”