Over the Los Angeles Angels’ last 10 games, they’ve done an incredible job winning the games they’re supposed to while stealing a few wins in the process. It served as a sign of maturity and growth within Joe Maddon’s clubhouse. However, that all came crashing down in the Angels’ season-opener against the Seattle Mariners.
The Angels led 3-0 through three innings, thanks to a David Fletcher home run — extending his hit streak to 22 games — and a Shohei Ohtani monster homer that reached the upper deck in Seattle. However, a defensive error by Luis Rengifo — and a walk by Alex Cobb — allowed the Mariners to make it 3-2 in the fourth inning.
Then, more walks and hits allowed by the bullpen gave the Mariners a chance to tie it 3-3 in the seventh. Finally, a one-out walk, a two-out single, and a two-out walk loaded the bases for Mitch Haniger. Jose Quintana, now in the bullpen, proceeded to give up a game-losing grand slam to make it 7-3.
After the game, Maddon was disappointed in the team’s little mistakes — walks and errors — that allowed the Mariners to climb back and ultimately win the game, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“Those are the kind of things that we can’t do, that no team can do,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of the error and the walks. “We have such a small margin for error that we can’t do those things.”
“Sometimes we get a little more in nibble mode,” Maddon said. “I can’t give you a solid answer (for why). When you run into those problems you sit them down and talk about being more assertive and aggressive in the zone. It’s just part of some guys’ pitching DNA right now, and we’ve got to get it out of them, because they are hurting us.”
This is a series the Angels desperately need to figure out a way to win, and a loss like the one on Friday certainly comes with some disappointment. The Angels are fourth in the Major Leagues in walks allowed and are eighth in errors committed.
This is a bad combination for a team who is trying to avoid small mistakes and get wins to climb back into the playoff picture. With each bad loss, it looks less and less likely they make that push.
Ohtani hits homer No. 33
The Angels losing in the fashion they did took away from what was one of Ohtani’s best home runs of the season. As he’s been doing all year, he crushed a baseball where very few people have ever done before. He became the sixth person to hit a home run to the upper deck at the Mariners’ ballpark since it opened in 1999.