Angels' Ron Washington Praised Reliever For Not 'Backing Down' Against Dodgers

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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Hans Crouse returned to a big league for the first time in three years on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium but this time meant more than the first time he was called up.

Los Angeles Angels manager Ron Washington turned to Crouse in the bottom of the sixth inning. It was a magical moment. He struck out two and even retired Shohei Ohtani.

“He didn’t back down,” Washington said. “He went through the top one-two-three, and he did a tremendous job. And I just wanted him to leave on that note.”

The Dana Point native dealt with a biceps tendon tear in 2022 and thoracic outlet syndrome in 2023 and signed with the Angels in February. He was searching for a new chapter in his baseball career and found it in his backyard. He lives in Huntington Beach with his wife and son and isn't taking this chance for granted.

“I just had some things I didn’t like about myself as a person the past few years,” Crouse said. “I felt like, and it sounds weird, I felt like the game almost owed me something. And this game does not owe you a damn thing. And I just put my head down and I went to work. I told myself going into this year, ‘Just throw the ball over the plate as many times as you can and see how far that can take you.’ And it’s pretty cool that it got me here.”

He had a 2.70 ERA at Triple-A Salt Lake, with 42 strikeouts and seven walks in 23.1 innings which earned him his call-up and the opportunity to come home.

Maren Angus-Coombs