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The Angels knew that a series win against the Mariners would put them in 3rd place. While it should not be the goal to finish in third place, it would have put them closer to the playoff spot that has alluded them for so many years. Their series split against the Mainers meant that the standings went relatively unchanged. Just wasted games for the Angels who are running out of time.
Canning underwhelming in series opener
The Angels got off to a rough start losing 2-6 in their first game against the Mariners. Canning was looking to build off a strong May but that was not the case. Canning only managed to pitch 3.1 innings while giving up 4 runs in the process. His 5 strikeouts were the only highlight of the night as the Mariners were able to tag him for 6 hits and 2 walks as well. His ERA went up to a dreadful 5.82 for the season.
Tough fought Angels win shows resilience
The second game of the series was perhaps the Angels best chance to change the tide on their rather bleak season so far. Of course Ohtani was on the mound which has become a familiar narrative when talking about big games for the Angels. While it might not look like it on paper this could have been his best start in his career in the majors.
If we cannot agree that it was his best start, we can surely agree that it was his most efficient start. Ohtani managed to pitch 6 complete inning without a single walk! While that might not seem so astounding at first, it is definitely a rarity for Ohtani who often struggles with command. In fact, this marked the first time in Shohei’s career that he did not give up a walk in a major league appearance.
Ohtani slightly rattled but pitched great
Although he pitched well, he was not perfect. The Mariners were still able to get 4 hits off of him and get 2 runs. Ohtani’s been so good this year that those 2 runs actually drove up his season ERA to 2.76. It is also worth noting that Ohtani recorded 10 Ks on 76 pitches. He also went 0-2 at the plate but managed a walk.
Iglesias earns his Halo
But the star of the show was surprisingly not Ohtani, it was Iglesias. With the Angels holding onto a 1 run lead in the 8th inning, Mike Mayers failed to record an out and managed to load the bases before getting pulled. Iglesias came in and shut the door in incredible fashion! Then he went out for the 9th and recorded a 6-out save.
The Angels won the next game 12-5 after being down 5-1. Although Cobb did allow 5 runs, he pitched rather well. If you take out the dreadful 4th inning, he pitched 6 solid innings with no runs. Despite the 5 runs, he still pitched 7 innings and allowed only 1 walk. The grand slam in that 4th inning really made a decent start look dreadful.
Sandoval making his case to stay in rotation permanently
Then the Angels lost a rather close one on Sunday, well it was close until the 9th inning when their relievers gave up 5 runs. Sandoval was wonderful for the Angels as he went 6 innings with 3 earned runs and striking out 10 batters. A quality start that kept the Angels in the game. This was his first start since given an official starter slot after Quintana’s injury.
If the Angels’ season is going to change it has to be now. Since Friday’s hard-fought win, they have gone 3-1 including a series opener win against the Royals. The Angels will send Andrew Heaney in hopes of keeping the momentum going.