For the Los Angeles Angels, Tuesday night was nothing more than the second-to-last game of another lost regular season, as well as a chance to bid farewell to a retiring Kurt Suzuki. But for Michael Lorenzen, it was a deeply important night.
Not only was it his final start of the 2022 season before entering free agency this offseason, it was also his final plea to convince the Angels to bring him back. Lorenzen has now stated on more than one occasion that he would like to return to Anaheim for 2023.
If Lorenzen’s goal was to prove what he can do when he’s fully healthy, his mission was accomplished. He tossed 6.0 innings against the Oakland Athletics, giving up zero runs on three hits and three walks. He struck out seven in the process, bringing his season ERA to 4.24 over 18 starts.
But more importantly, his ERA was just 2.36 in the five starts after returning from a two-month shoulder injury. He made some adjustments to his approach while he was on the IL, and was happy to find success upon his return.
Above that, though, he was happy to have a chance to pitch for the Angels, and again stated his hope to do it again next season, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“It’s been awesome,” Lorenzen said. “It’s been a dream come true. I really just want to see the Angels be successful. I want to be a part of that. I think it would be even more of a dream come true to be a part of that.”
Phil Nevin credited Lorenzen for the way he battled back from his injury, but remained non-committal on any contract negotiations moving forward.
“Flashes of greatness,” Nevin said. “He’s been pretty consistent, to be honest with you, when he’s been healthy. I like what I’ve seen. What does that mean for us going forward? I don’t know. Those are things we’ll talk about in the offseason.”
Of course, Nevin’s future with the Angels is also up in the air, so it’s unlikely he would be privy to any ongoing talks with Lorenzen. But the Angels definitely have some decisions to make regarding both the manager and starting pitcher role.
If the Angels opt not to bring Lorenzen back for 2023, then Tuesday night was still a success for the veteran starter. He could say he tossed six scoreless for his hometown team in his final start wearing their uniform.
Athletics def. Angels 2-1
Again, it was the bullpen that made life difficult for the Angels after a solid outing by the starter. Andrew Wantz allowed the Athletics to scratch first, scoring a run via a Seth Brown single in the eighth inning.
When the Angels managed to tie it in the ninth, it took the game to extras for the second consecutive night. There, Ryan Tepera loaded up the bases, then walked home the winning run. It was a 2-1 final in Oakland ahead of the season finale on Wednesday.