Since being swept by the Tampa Bay Rays in late August, the Los Angeles Angels have gone 8-4 and have been playing an inspiring brand of baseball. That run culminated in a near sweep of the Detroit Tigers, even in a 5-4 loss on Wednesday, manager Phil Nevin likes what he sees from multiple players on his roster.
The Angels tallied 19 runs in their three-game set with the Tigers, most of the damage coming on Monday in a 10-0 blowout. Players with limited opportunities are producing, especially in the case of backstop, Matt Thaiss, who launched a two-run shot in the fourth inning on Tuesday.
That homer was his first since the 2020 season and the 27-year-old has had only a handful of at-bats, but his multi-hit performance in the series finale with the Tigers didn’t go unnoticed by Nevin or the Angels staff, via Sarah Wexler of MLB.com:
“He’s impressing me behind the plate,” Nevin said. “His calling game, blocking balls, really working well with our pitchers, studying everything. But he’s really swinging the bat well. The home run was obviously huge for us at that moment. Another base hit after that. His timing is good, his barrel’s to the ball a lot, and I like what I see.”
Thaiss has only appeared in 24 games since 2019, and with a few catchers on the Angels roster, his playing time will hinge on how well he performs and if he can make a case to earn more at-bats.
José Quijada spoils Angels’ power supply
The approximately 15,000 in attendance got to see Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani hit home runs, only to have José Quijada blow a save opportunity.
For Trout, it was his fourth consecutive game with a home run, tying the longest streak of his career. But for the Angels’ superstar pairing of Trout and Ohtani, it was their second time in four games with both hitting homers. In total, it was their eighth time this season and 22nd time overall going yard in the same game.
Those two — plus a two-run Matt Thaiss home run — gave the Angels a 4-3 lead going into the ninth inning. Quijada then gave up back-to-back home runs to the Tigers’ No. 8 and No. 9 hitters, Kerry Carpenter and Ryan Kreidler. The Tigers held on to the 5-4 lead to win and avoid the sweep.