Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval put together perhaps his best outing of the season. Manager Joe Maddon did not have to go to the bullpen until the eighth inning, marking the first time in his career that Sandoval completed seven innings on the mound.
Over those seven innings, Sandoval allowed just two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out six. The two runs both came on mishandled double play opportunities by the middle infield. While David Fletcher and Jose Iglesias have both significantly improved from where they were at the beginning of the year, they failed to support Sandoval.
The offense did as well, as they scored zero runs on only three hits. One of those hits was from Fletcher, who extended his hit streak to 23 games. Maddon, however, was more focused on the defensive problems when discussing what went wrong, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“I thought Sandoval was outstanding,” Maddon said, “but those are the kind of plays we have to get done, particularly in a game like this and the situation that we’re in. To win these kinds of games, you have to make those plays. We didn’t complete those plays and that was the difference in the game.”
Maddon went into more detail on the fumbled double plays that turned into two runs on the night.
“The ball was hit hard enough,” Maddon said. “Fraley runs well, but Fletch gave him a perfect feed. Iggy just didn’t get across the bag and the positioning probably inhibited him a little bit. But we failed [to make] a play like that last night and I’ve often talked about that laser-thin line between winning and losing.”
“Fletch had it all the way,” Maddon said. “It’s one of those communicative things where they have to read each other. From my view, Fletch had a clear path to the bag and an opportunity for a much harder throw than Iglesias coming off the bag. That’s what I saw, but, fortunately, Fletch is fine.”
There weren’t many highlights from the Angels’ second loss in as many nights to the Seattle Mariners. Any time the starter goes seven innings and gives up two runs, that team should expect to win that game.
That simply wasn’t the case on Saturday, and now the Angels must win on Sunday to avoid the sweep and to avoid heading to the All-Star break below .500.
Small mistakes plaguing Angels against Mariners
This is the second night in a row where Maddon felt as though small mistakes were the difference between winnings and losing back-to-back games against the Mariners. On Friday, there were a series of small pitching and fielding miscues that allowed Seattle to climb back into the game and complete a comeback win.