The Los Angeles Angels have just nine games remaining in their schedule until they enter a critical offseason filled with monumental decisions. But in the meantime, Angels superstars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani are continuing to fill the box score with their elite play.
On Sunday, the Angels finished off their series with the Minnesota Twins in blowout fashion, winning 10-3 behind a solid start from Jose Suarez. They also got five runs scored on 5-for-9 batting between Trout and Ohtani. The former nabbed his 37th home run of the season and the 11th three extra-base-hit game of his career.
The latter extended a hit streak to 11 games, batting .350 in that span. Trout started off strong by hitting a double off of Dylan Bundy and scoring on Ohtani’s first single. Trout then hit a home run in his second at-bat, walked in his third, and doubled again in his fifth.
The Angels long-time superstar spoke about his mentality with the team entering its final stretch of games, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“I’m just trying to finish strong,” Trout said. “We have nine games left and just trying to finish strong. Bundy just tries to keep you off balance. He threw me a couple sliders, and I was able to put good swings on them.”
Meanwhile, Angels interim manager Phil Nevin is focused on a very specific milestone for Ohtani in the team’s final nine games.
“He’s inching closer to 100,” Nevin said. “It’s what you’ve been seeing all year. He’s been taking good at-bats. He’s sniffing another milestone. I would imagine nobody has drove in 100 and done what [he’s] done on the mound. I’d love to see him get there.”
Currently, Ohtani has 93 RBIs, meaning he’d need seven in nine games to hit 100. He notched exactly 100 RBIs in 2021, furthering bolstering his MVP argument if he could do it again.
Beyond personal milestones, the Angels would like something to build off of as they enter such an important offseason. This is their chance to prove they can build a winning team around Ohtani and Trout, with Ohtani’s final season before free agency coming up.
The Angels are 15-13 in their last 28 games, and if they can compile a winning record over their last nine, they may have a formula with which to build the 2023 roster. Some extremely difficult decisions must be made before then, and as Trout says, it starts with finishing strong.
Reid Detmers struggles again
Angels starter Reid Detmers did not have himself a strong September, compiling an ERA above 6.00 in four starts. Performing well late in the season and being consistent are two things that Detmers would obviously love to improve upon, and he’ll have just one start left to do it.