Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Jordan Walden had a trying month of April. The Halos started 6-14, and as closer he didn't have many leads to protect, appearing in just six of the Angels' first 19 games. He blew his second save chance of the season and was demoted from the closer role, but he has thrived ever since.
In 12 appearances in May, Walden has allowed just one run, with 11 baserunners and 12 strikeouts in his 12 1/3 innings. He pitched two scoreless innings on Monday to earn the victory as the Angels beat the New York Yankees 10-8.
"He pitched great at times last year in closing. He went through some really, really good streaks last year," manager Mike Scioscia said on Wednesday. "There were obviously some that got away from him. This is really more of a mechanical issue than to say where he's best suited."
Walden saved 32 games last season and had a 2.98 ERA with 67 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings, but he also had 10 blown saves. But Scioscia still thinks highly of Walden, who he believes will have a bright future.
"He's best suited long term to be a major league closer on a championship caliber club, and that's what I think he'll eventually be," Scioscia said. "This guy is good, and I think he's grown from where he was last year."
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