The Los Angeles Angels dropped a wild 13-inning loss to the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. And while games that go that deep are sometimes bound to be losses, the Angels had a number of opportunities to win before getting in their own way. Joe Maddon was forced to play pitcher Griffin Canning in the outfield and at the plate after forfeiting the designated hitter position.
That wasn’t the only mistake, as the Angels fumbled several chances to end the game. Max Stassi swung at two consecutive pitches out of the strike zone on a 3-1 and 3-2 count with the bases loaded in extra innings. Taking even one of those pitches walks home a run and the Angels win. Juan Lagares also got tagged out at the plate after initially being called safe.
Maddon wasn’t overly disappointed in his team given the circumstances, but said the Angels had to do a better job playing situational baseball, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“Canning was the most athletic and ready,” Maddon said. “But he did great and looked great in the outfield. Flawless. And then the bunt and he almost beat it out. Good for him. And Bundy took a good rip at the last one. And then you have TW catching. I’m so pleased with our guys. That was a tremendous effort from beginning to end. We have to get better in situations, obviously, against good teams. You have to take advantage of certain situations and we did not, but I was happy with the way we went about it.”
If the Angels have better situational awareness, they win this game on multiple occasions. A win evens their series with the MLB-best Giants and puts their record back at .500, which is needed in a crowded American League West.
A loss drops them to two games below .500 and gives the Giants a sweep. Meanwhile, the Halos are a full 10 games back of the division lead and 7.5 games back of the second wild card spot. The farther away they get from a postseason spot, the smaller their margin for error becomes.
They have to be aware of this when they play close games like that. They knew going int that they were going to have a short bench, which means Maddon and the entire roster needed to make better decisions in-game that reflected that limitation. Instead, they gave up a huge chance to win a big game.
Andrew Heaney struggles in backbreaking loss
The first of the two-game set against the Giants wasn’t nearly as exciting or intriguing, but it was every bit as frustrating. The Giants stormed out of the gate, scoring five runs before recording an out in the second inning. However, 5-0 wound up being the final score, as neither team could muster offense after that opening frame.
Andrew Heaney was particularly disappointed because of the way he was able to recover, meaning the early struggles weren’t a sign of bad pitching.