The Los Angeles Angels fell to the Seattle Mariners in an 11-7 offensive battle that resulted in interim manager Phil Nevin receiving some much-needed innings from one of his bullpen pieces, set-up man turned long reliever Mike Mayers.
Touki Toussaint started Wednesday’s game and had his shortest outing as a member of the Angels, only lasting 2.2 innings while allowing four runs on three hits, while walking four. Nevin turned the game over to Mayers to close out the third inning, and he wound up bridging the gap until the ninth.
Mayers’ 96-pitch workload included five earned runs on six hits, three of those homers. It wasn’t the prettiest performance, and it didn’t keep the Angels within striking distance, but Nevin appreciated his willingness to stick it out, via Doug Padilla of the O.C. Register:
“Mike was unbelievable and he came in after the eighth, threw 96 pitches and begged me to keep him in the game,” Nevin said. “I’m just not going to do that to him. He gave us everything. It’s nice to have somebody like that who wants to pitch, wants the ball, wants to protect his teammates. You wish you can have a room full of those guys.”
Baseball isn’t all about winning, even though the final score is all that matters when the final out is recorded, but there are 162 games to get through and a clubhouse of guys who lean on each other. Mayers’ performance was of value given the state of the Angels’ strained pitching depth.
Mike Mayers describes waiver process after return to Angels
Mayers made his return to the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 6 after spending over two months with Triple-A Salt Lake. Mayers was designated for assignment back in May, but went unclaimed on waivers, landing him with the Bees.
He spent that time re-working some of his pitches and adding to his repertoire in the hopes that he could re-capture some of the magic from his elite 2020 season. He had a 5.40 ERA in his first 16.2 innings this season and was on a sharp decline since the pandemic-shortened campaign.
But on Saturday, Mayers looked like his old self, but with a new slate of off-speed pitches. He added a curveball and changeup to his arsenal, and tossed 3.1 shutout innings in which he allowed just one hit and two walks, while striking out four batters.
Following his return to the big leagues, he described the emotions of being designated for assignment, then going unclaimed on waivers.