Jose Suarez took the mound for his last start of the 2022 season on Saturday night. And with the Los Angeles Angels riding high amid a five-game winning streak, Suarez knew he needed to head into the offseason on his best note possible.
He certainly made that happen by retiring the first 18 batters he faced, taking a perfect game into the seventh inning. And thanks to a Jo Adell double and Kurt Suzuki single in the second, the Angels held a 1-0 lead for a majority of that stretch.
Marcus Semien broke up Suarez’s perfect game bid with a leadoff single in the seventh. He would score on a two-run home run by Nathaniel Lowe. And suddenly, despite one of his best performances of the season, Suarez was on the hook for a loss.
The 24-year old starter spoke about his goals heading into the night and why — despite losing his perfect game — he had no reason to be disappointed, according to J.P. Hoornstra of The O.C. Register:
“It ended the way I wanted it to,” Suarez said through an interpreter.
“I knew (going out for the seventh) that I had a perfect game but my focus was on throwing seven innings. I had a bet with my pitching coach that I was going to throw seven and I did that,” said Suarez.
In total, Suarez tossed 7.0 innings, allowing two runs on two hits with six strikeouts and zero walks. It was one of his best starts of the season, and he grabbed his eighth win of the season when the Angels mounted a comeback in the seventh.
David Fletcher singled, Suzuki was hit by a pitch, Livan Soto doubled, and Matt Thaiss grounded into a fielder’s choice to score two runs. This gave the Halos a 3-2 lead that the bullpen would hold on to the rest of the way. Ryan Tepera tallied his sixth save of the year.
Soto, who went 3-for-3 with two doubles, discussed being able to help Suarez get the win in his final start of the year.
“It feels great to help the pitchers get a win,” said Soto, who went 3 for 3. “It was Jose’s time. He was pitching very well.”
Suarez caps off a successful 2022 campaign having tossed 109.0 innings over 22 appearances — 20 starts. In that time, he posted a 3.96 ERA, a 1.248 WHIP, and 103 strikeouts compared to 33 walks.
In 11 starts after the All-Star break — 64 innings — Suarez held a 2.81 ERA and a 1.016 WHIP.
Reid Detmers shines in final start
The young Angels starters are proving themselves to be core pieces in their last starts of 2022. On Friday night, it was Reid Detmers who put together a quality start, striking out nine over six innings, allowing just one earned run.