The Los Angeles Angels have defeated the Seattle Mariners in the first three outings of their four-game series. Sweeping a four-game set is a difficult task, but the Angels have the chance to do just that on Monday afternoon in Anaheim.
The first three wins also guaranteed that the Angels will win the 19-game season series over the Mariners, as Sunday’s win was their 10th against them this season. This is made all the more impressive when looking at the standings and seeing the Mariners with a 17-game advantage over the Halos.
As the Angels begin to prepare for perhaps one of the most critical offseasons in franchise history, getting a potential sweep against a playoff team could serve as a big boost. That’s exactly how interim manager Phil Nevin viewed it, according to J.P. Hoornstra of The O.C. Register:
“That’s a very good team over there; they’re going to make the playoffs,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “Just seeing us healthy, for one, and where we’re at right now with where our pitching … we want to be where they are. It’s nice to win these games and all, but we looked at this as a learning experience for us, for our team, to play in these games late in the season.
“Regardless of who we’re playing, we want to finish the season strong and take it into next year.”
The Angels have managed to do this even without being at full strength. Their entire Opening Day starting infield is either injured or no longer a part of the every day lineup. Jared Walsh is out for the season, David Fletcher is on the 10-day IL, Anthony Rendon is working to return from a wrist surgery, and Matt Duffy plays in roughly half of his available games.
Nevin can absolutely use this series as a springboard for what he wants the Angels to look like in 2023. They’re desperately going to need it, as 2023 is their final chance to build a contender around Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani before the latter hits free agency.
Livan Soto hits and homers in first start
It was a near-perfect first MLB start for infielder Livan Soto, who got the call up from Double-A to join the Angels on Saturday. Soto singled in his first at-bat of the day, scoring a run on a Luis Rengifo homer.
Then, in his third at-bat, he gave the Angels two insurance runs with his first big league home run. In total, he went 2-for-3 with the home run, two RBIs, and two runs scored.