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    Angels’ Reid Detmers rides re-tooled slider to his best game of the season
    • June 21, 2023

    ANAHEIM — Reid Detmers’ slider, the pitch that he used to turn around his season last year, might have arrived just in time to turn around his season this year.

    After the Angels’ left-hander worked seven scoreless innings in what might have been his best outing in the majors – no-hitter included – Detmers said he’s been retooling his slider.

    “I was messing with it quite a bit today,” Detmers said after the Angels’ 2-0 loss to the Dodgers on Tuesday night. “The last two to three starts I’ve been messing with it. It’s been a lot better. It’s felt a lot better. I’ve got a feel for it to start tinkering with it a little bit. Make it slower. Make it harder, which is nice to have. Makes life a little bit easier.”

    Detmers’ average slider on Tuesday night was 87.9 mph, which is down from his average of 90 mph coming into the game.

    That’s similar to the velocity that he had on the slider in the second half of last season. Although he was able to increase it this season, higher velocity didn’t lead to better results.

    Now, Detmers said it’s not just a matter of slower is better, but the ability to throw it at different speeds depending on the situation is better.

    “It just gives them a different look,” he said.

    The Dodgers whiffed on seven of their 18 swings on Detmers’ 36 sliders.

    It helped him get through 24 hitters on 99 pitches. In his previous outings this season, Detmers had trouble in the third time through the lineup, but during his previous outing in Texas he wiggled out of a sixth-inning jam to leave with only one run on the scoreboard. This time, there were no jams at all.

    Detmers gave up singles in the second and seventh, and both times he stranded the runners at first base. He issued a one-out walk in the fourth.

    That was it.

    “That was probably the best I’ve seen him, considering how the game was going, the lineup he’s facing,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “Obviously, those guys at the top are the best top of the order in baseball and he went right through them, pitched great.”

    Nevin acknowledged that Detmers threw a no-hitter last May, but he said he still felt this game was better. Detmers struck out eight and walked one on Tuesday. He only struck out two in his no-hitter.

    Detmers, who has an 0.98 ERA in his last three games, agreed that this game was better.

    “It’s probably the best I’ve felt in a very long time,” he said. “Things are finally starting to click a little bit.”

    Detmers even made an impression on Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers’ ace who shared the mound with him. Detmers said Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, is a fellow lefty he has admired for years, and the feeling is now mutual.

    “Detmers threw the ball really well,” Kershaw said. “He’s got good stuff. I mean, he pitched better than I did, honestly. He didn’t give up many hard-hit balls at all tonight.”

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    ​ Orange County Register