The Los Angeles Angels entered Thursday night’s home game against the Seattle Mariners five games below .500 with a lighter stretch of schedule heading their way. However, they were unable to get a win to start their homestand, as Griffin Canning struggled and was out of the game by the fourth inning.
Canning was solid through two innings, and even had a 2-0 lead heading into the third. However, this is when things fell apart. He allowed a walk and three consecutive hits while only getting the first out of the inning via a pick-off. This put one run on the board for the Mariners. Then in the fourth, he allowed a walk, a single, and a three-run blast by Jake Fraley, ending his night.
Joe Maddon was very blunt when discussing what went wrong with Canning on Thursday night, according to Associated Press at ESPN:
“His fastball command went awry after the first. He didn’t have one reliable pitch,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “We got a good lead and then gave it back.”
Canning tried to make sense of his out of control third and fourth innings after what was a really solid start to the game, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“I’m not sure (what happened),” Canning said. “I just got out of the rhythm I was in those first two innings.”
Now, the Angels sit at 25-31 and are three games back of the Mariners for third place in the American League West. This series could still be an opportunity for the Angels to make up ground in the division, but the turning point has to come now.
Hopefully, this will happen Friday, when the Angels have the ever-reliable Shohei Ohtani on the mound. For now, he is even scheduled to hit if his stamina permits. If Ohtani is his usual self, the Angels could get back on the winning track in short order.
Maddon says Angels must have playoff mentality
The Angels’ series against the Mariners is a part of a 17-game stretch in which they play 14 that are just above, at, or below .500. This is a perfect opportunity for the Angels to get right back into the thick of the playoff race, which is why Maddon said that the team must approach the month of June with a playoff mentality.