The Los Angeles Angels faced the Houston Astros in a three-game, weekend set. They’ve notably struggled against the Astros all season long, especially when in Houston. But with the season nearing an end, wins and losses are no longer the only determining factor of success, forcing Joe Maddon to see a 1-2 series loss through a different lens.
In Game 1 of the series, pitching failed them. The Astros scored 10 runs — six off of Shohei Ohtani — and ran away with it. Jose Suarez helped provide the Angels with a bounce back opportunity, as the Angels won Game 2 4-2. Pitching was again solid in Game 3, but the offense mustered just one run on a Juan Lagares solo homer.
Despite uneven offensive performances and some pitching problems, Maddon saw a lot that he liked from their weekend in Houston, especially given where the two teams are in the standings, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“There’s a lot of good here,” Maddon said. “I like the fight. I like that we’re approaching this properly. We’re not going out and mailing it in at all. I’m seeing exactly the opposite. There’s a team (the Astros) that’s totally in the hunt right now. They are playing for something more than we are, but we played right with them.
“We did not move the baseball at the right time, but over these three games, I kind of like the way we matched up in Houston in September. It’s not an easy place to play. They have a very good offensive club. And I still think there’s something to be gained mentally and internally from this series.”
The Angels have their second-to-last off day of the season Monday, then continue to face a string of contenders. Their next four series’ are against teams either in the playoffs or within three games of the playoffs.
With only 19 games left in the season, Maddon is going to continue to find the positive in each and every outing, win or loss. Against a quality team like the Astros in September, going 1-2 while missing so many top players makes it pretty easy to find something good to say.
Chris Rodriguez out for season
While the writing was already on the wall, it was made official on Saturday that pitcher Chris Rodriguez would not return this season due to a right lat strain. There were no setbacks in his rehab, but he was just not going to be ready in time.
Their current plan is to stretch him out as a starter during Spring Training next season.