Everything went the Los Angeles Angels way during their getaway rubber match against the Chicago White Sox. Joe Maddon finally had one of his most trusted starters — Alex Cobb — back on the mound, and the Angels thoroughly outplayed an AL playoff team in the 9-3 win and throughout the 2-1 series win.
Things were going well for the Angels shortly after first pitch. To lead off the top of the second inning, Jared Walsh drew a walk and Luis Rengifo crushed a two-run homer to give L.A. a 2-0 lead. Then in the fourth, the Angels took advantage of multiple White Sox defensive miscues, scoring five runs to make it 7-0.
They completed their onslaught in the fifth, scoring two more and building an insurmountable 9-0 lead. Maddon — who has spent plenty of time looking for good moments during disappointing losses — did not have to look to far during this one, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I’ve said it 1,001 times: this team comes to play every day. Their prep is outstanding. Their work is superior. They care. From the first pitch, they are locked in. So I’m not surprised.”
This series win capped off a road trip in which the Angels played three playoff contenders: the San Diego Padres, Houston Astros, and White Sox. On that trip, they went 4-4, which is better than anyone could have expected from a team that is nearly unrecognizable compared to their opening day roster.
Maddon has long touted the work ethic of the Angels clubhouse, regardless of the results on the field. Even with all the injuries, it’s clear that the players are connected with one another and have great on-and-off-field chemistry.
The Angels now have just 16 games remaining on their schedule. 10 of those games are at home, and it’s a final opportunity for everyone to show how they can be impactful to the 2022 roster.
For the front office, this is going to be a time for difficult decisions. For the players, it’s just going to be about putting together performances like Thursday.
Brandon Marsh hits game-winning home run
Wednesday was another special night for the Angels, and perhaps an equally impressive win. They went down to the wire with one of the best teams in the AL, only to have rookie Brandon Marsh hit the game-winning home run in the eighth inning.
Certain moments can expedite the development of a young player, and that’s exactly how it felt when Marsh took the 3-2 fastball out of the park.